Skip to main content

Democracy Index: India slips 10 ranks, rise of right-wing "Hindu forces", vigilantism, anti-minority violence blamed

By Our Representative
The latest Democracy Index 2017 report, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (IEU), attached with the powerful British journal "The Economist", has said that "India fell ten places in the rankings, from 32nd to 42nd to place, after its score deteriorated by 0.58 points", from 7.81 a year earlier to 7.23, on a scale of 10. The IEU data show this was the lowest score since 2006, when the IEU first brought it's Democracy Index report.
The report shows that, despite the slip, India still continues to perform better than its neighbours and comparable BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations, with the sole exception of South Africa, which ranks one notch better, 41st. While Pakistan ranks 110th, Bangladesh 92nd and Sri Lanka 62nd, Brazil ranks 49th, Russia 135th and China 139th. In all, 176 countries have been ranked.
Pointing out that "Asia’s two largest emerging democracies, India and Indonesia, suffered significant declines in their scores and fell down the rankings in our latest assessment", the report notes, "The rise of conservative religious ideologies affected India",adding, "The strengthening of right-wing Hindu forces in an otherwise secular country led to a rise of vigilantism and violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims, as well as other dissenting voices."
Company India keeps...
Putting India in the category of "flawed democracy" (as against "full democracies", mainly Western European and North American countries, as also Australia and New Zealand), the report, which has a special focus on the state of media freedom, finds that India ranking 49th in Media Freedom Index.
It underlines, "India has become a more dangerous place for journalists, especially the central state of Chhattisgarh and the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir", adding, "The authorities there have restricted freedom of the press, closed down several newspapers and heavily controlled mobile internet services. Several journalists were murdered in India in 2017, as in the previous year."
The data in the report show that on a scale of 10, India particularly scores poorly in political culture (5.63). Other scores for different categories the EIU report analyses include electoral process and pluralism, in which India scores 9.17, followed by civil liberties 7.35, Electoral process and pluralism 7.23, political participation 7.22 and functioning of government 6.79.
The report finds Norway topping the Democracy Index global ranking, with Iceland and Sweden taking second and third place. New Zealand comes in fourth place and Denmark in fifth. At the other end of the rankings North Korea, with a total score of 1.08, "remains firmly ensconced in last place", the report states, adding, "Syria, Chad, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo also bring up the rear, occupying the four slots above North Korea."
Talking about its methodology, the report takes experts’ assessments alongside, where available, public-opinion surveys, especially those that "predominate heavily in the political participation and political culture categories, civil liberties and functioning of government." In addition to the World Values Survey, other sources leveraged include Eurobarometer surveys, Gallup polls, Asian Barometer, Latin American Barometer, Afrobarometer and national surveys.

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.