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Ranking India poor 136th in Global Peace Index, report blames Modi for "deteriorating" political instability

By Our Representative
A Sydney-based non-profit institute has ranked India 136th in its Global Peace Index (GPI) of 163 countries across the globe, a “slight” (one point) improvement over the year. The report, “Global Peace Index 2018: Measuring Peace in a Complex World”, released by the Institute for Economics & Peace, has found, however, that except for Pakistan, all other neighbours ranked much better than India.
Thus, while Pakistan ranks 151st, one of the worst in the world, Bangladesh ranks 93rd, Sri Lanka 67th, Myanmar 122nd, Nepal 84th and Bhutan, one of the best, 19th. Commenting on the “a slightly improved overall score” of India, the report claims: “Government efforts to tackle violent crime have paid off with an improved score, and falling levels of military expenditure, particularly on weapons imports, resulted in a slight improvement in its militarisation score.”
At the same time, the report does not fail to notice, though without providing any evidence, “However, the concentration of power in the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to deterioration in India’s score for political instability”.
Interestingly, among the comparable BRICS countries, India’s 136th GPI ranking is worse than China’s (112th), Brazil’s (106th), and South Africa’s (125th), but much better than that of Russia (154th).
The report’s data show that India’s “economic cost of violence”, as a result of different types of conflicts, came to 9% of the GDP, as against Pakistan’s 13%, Bangladesh’s 4%, Nepal’s 6%, Sri Lanka’s 8%, Myanmar’s 10% and Bhutan’s 8%.
The report states that South Asia as a whole may have slightly improved its position in GPI, but “inequality of peace in the region continued to widen over the year, with the least peaceful nations – Afghanistan and Pakistan – continuing their decline, while the most peaceful – Bhutan and Sri Lanka – continued to improve.”
“The regional scores on the domains of Safety and Security and Militarisation improved, but Ongoing Conflict, particularly internal and external conflicts fought and neighbouring countries relations, deteriorated”, it added.
“However”, said the report, “Given the wide disparity between the peace performance of the nations of South Asia, the aggregate data tell an incomplete picture. Bhutan, famous for trying to maximise Gross National Happiness rather than Gross Domestic Product, was once again the most peaceful nation in the region and was the most significant regional riser last year.”
“Strengthening scores on the Political Terror Scale, refugees and IDPs and terrorism impact were only partially offset by a deterioration in external conflicts fought after a border dispute with China flared in the Doklam Pass”, the report said, adding, “The three-month standoff also involved India, which sent troops to the area.”
The report further said, “Sri Lanka was again the second most peaceful nation in South Asia, and the second largest riser in the region last year. Although the scores for terrorism impact, the incarceration rate and military expenditure improved, there are some worrying signs for the future. The scores for both refugees and IDPs and political instability deteriorated, a reflection of waning confidence that President Maithripala Sirisena can deliver the reforms his government promised.”
Though ranking quite high compared to India, the report, simultaneously, pointed out, “Bangladesh had the largest deterioration in the region. Improvements in political stability and terrorism impact failed to offset a rapid fall in external conflicts fought, and neighbouring countries relations, which were adversely affected by the influx of 700,000 Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.”
The report measures GPI using three domains of peacefulness: Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; Societal Safety and Security, and Militarisation, reflecting the link between a country’s level of military build-up and access to weapons and its level of peacefulness, both domestically and internationally.

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