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India today is only “partly free”: the 2020 Freedom House report

A global study shows that Indian democracy is failing

India today is only “partly free”: the 2020 Freedom House report

A global study shows that Indian democracy is failing

India today is only “partly free”: the 2020 Freedom House report

A global study shows that Indian democracy is failing

India today is only “partly free”: the 2020 Freedom House report

A global study shows that Indian democracy is failing

The world’s largest democracy is in danger of losing its title.

According to the 2021 Freedom House report, Democracy Under Siege, civil liberties in India have been on the decline since PM Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. But in 2020, as the BJP government cracked down on dissent even more harshly than before, they reached a new low.

Now India’s claim to being a democratic country hangs in the balance. For the first time, the annual global report by Freedom House – a US-based non-profit organisation that conducts research on political freedom and human rights - has judged that India is no longer “free”, but only “partly free”.

“Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism,” said the report.

The Indian government was quick to dismiss the report as “misleading, incorrect, and misplaced.” They failed to specify what exactly was incorrect, however. And this cannot be dismissed: another report on world democracy in 2021, by the Swedish V-Dem Institute, has also downgraded India’s categorisation from “world’s largest democracy” to “electoral autocracy”.

Yet India has remained largely silent on this damning report. Even Narendra Modi’s most outspoken supporters, who were unafraid to attack Rihanna and Greta Thunberg on Twitter when they voiced their support of the farmers’ protests, have kept quiet. Perhaps because it’s simply not possible to argue with facts like these.

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