India’s status as a democracy and free society has been downgraded to “partly free” in the latest annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world. The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 – Democracy under Siege”. India’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.
India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71. In the latest report, India had a score of 67 out of 100.
About the Freedom House:
- In 1973, Freedom House launched the Freedom in the World report, which assessed the level of freedom in each country and ranked them with a numerical score and declared them as “free”, “partly free” or “not free”.
- The annual report is perceived as one of the oldest quantitative measures of democracy. The latest report said political rights and civil liberties in India had deteriorated since 2014 because of increased pressure on human rights organisations, rising intimidation of academics and journalists, and a “spate of bigoted attacks, including lynchings, aimed at Muslims”.