In the recent edition of an annual, global report surveyed by a pro-democracy, non-profit house called Freedom House, India has been ranked as one of the least free democracies in the world. 

While the largest youth democracy, India is ranked “free” according to this report, it has dropped its spot from 75/100 in 2019 to 71 in 2020. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are ranked 38,39 and 58, respectively, while China is ranked 10.   

New Indian Express

Freedom House, is based out of Washington and was founded in 1941 with the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in in response to the rise of Nazism at the time. It is also the world’s oldest organisation that monitors and watches over democratic freedom and human rights.  

Stockholm centre for freedom

In this report, 195 countries are ranked out of 100 using 25 indicators within seven categories like electoral processes, political processes and pluralism, functioning of governemt, freedom of expression and belief, association and organisational rights, rule of law, personal autonomy and individual rights to rank. 

Times Now

The report sheds light on the “alarming departures from democratic norms” and how India has suffered the largest decline in its political rights and civil liberties under the reign of the current Prime minister and the ruling party. The Senior Director of Research and Analysis, Sarah Repucci further writes: 

Indian government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies that abrogate the rights of different segments of its Muslim population, threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world. 

The report also mentions the implementation of National Register of Citizens in Assam as an example of the Modi government’s Hindu nationalist policies. Suppression and mistreatment of peaceful protestors and intimidation in the academic spaces are also contributing factors. 

India Today

After the abrupt revocation of article 370, Kashmir has been termed as “unfree” in this report. Contributors to this status of Kashmir in the report are Massive deployment of troops, the arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Kashmiri leaders and activists, the postponement or elimination of legislative elections, and shutdown of mobile and internet services. 

The New York Times

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not “discriminatory actions against minorities”, the report further added:

Has distanced itself from the country’s founding commitment to pluralism and individual rights, without which democracy cannot long survive. 
Live Mint

While in this report, India holds the status of being a “free” country only because of its constitutional values, these unjust acts pose a threat to the democratic structure of our country.