NEW DELHI: The annual report released by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world has given thumbs down to India’s status as a democratic and free society. Freedom House is a Washington-based non-profit, non-government organisation that has been conducting research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights since 1941. The status of India has been relegated from free to ‘partly free.’
The report on political rights and civil liberties, released by NGO Freedom House says ‘democracy is under siege in India.’ It went on to say that India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader,” and added, “India’s fall from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards.”
The successive reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020 had ranked India as free, but the rank continues to witness downslide with each passing year. The recent score of India is 67 on a scale of 100, down from 77 and 71 in 2020 and 2019 respectively. The report claims that there is a growing pressure on human rights organizations, rising intimidation of academics and journalists, and a spate of bigoted attacks, including lynching’s, aimed at minorities after Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. “India is faring low on democratic parameters with each passing year,” states the report.