India, a country which was known in the world for its democracy, saw a sudden fall in the new freedom index. From Free to Partly Free status, India saw a drop in the 2021 Freedom Index, as per the US-based non-profit Freedom House in its latest ‘Freedom in the World 2021’.
The Modi government and its state-level pool continued to squash down on critics throughout the year and the response to COVID-19 that includes amateurish lockdown which resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers.
The report’s overall verdict on India said that India could be categorised as “partly free” while on the other hand Kashmir was rated as “not free”.
BREAKING: India is not rated "Free" in Freedom in the World 2021. Political rights and civil liberties have eroded in India since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, causing the country to drop from Free to Partly Free in 2020. #FreedomInTheWorld https://t.co/HuNzEAc6Nw pic.twitter.com/mae0CmGpi5
— Freedom House (@freedomhouse) March 3, 2021
The report further said that the ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the pushover of Muslims, who were unreasonably blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs. Rather than serving as a title holder of democratic practice and a counterforce to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Narendra Modi and his party are unfortunately navigating India toward authoritarianism.
Not only India but the report did not spare the US as well. Accordingly it said the awful state of US democracy was apparent in the early days of 2021 as an revolutionist mob, provoked on by the words of retiring president Donald Trump and his refusal to admit defeat in the November election, attacked the Capitol building and temporarily disrupted Congress’s final certification of the vote.
The crux of the report said
“the enemies of freedom have pushed the false narrative that democracy is in decline because it is incapable of addressing people’s needs”.
“In fact, democracy is in decline because its most prominent exemplars are not doing enough to protect it. Global leadership and solidarity from democratic states are urgently needed. Governments that understand the value of democracy, including the new administration in Washington, have a responsibility to band together to deliver on its benefits, counter its adversaries, and support its defenders.”