Freedom in the World 2021 Report
Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report has downgraded India’s status from a ‘free’ country to a ‘partly free’ country, giving it a ‘global freedom score’ of 67/100 after judging it on various political rights and civil liberties.
Freedom in the World published by Freedom House reported that there is a decline in global democracy over the last 15 years. Explain the reason behind it with a focus on India.
About Freedom in the World Report:
● The report has been launched by Freedom House. The report has been produced since 1973. It 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.
● For each country and territory, Freedom in the World analyzes the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of the government, freedom of expression and of belief, associational and organizational rights, the rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights.
Report on India:
● 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.
● Freedom House gave high scores to India for the conduct of free and fair elections but expressed concern over the opaque financing of political parties.
● It also gave a low score to India over the ability of different segments of the population, including ethnic, racial and religious minorities, to have full political rights and electoral opportunities.
Reasons for downgrading India’s status:
● Deterioration of political rights and civil liberties in India
● Increased pressure on human rights organisations
● Rising intimidation of academics and journalists
● Increased violence affecting the Muslim population
● The report said the authorities have used security, defamation, sedition, and hate speech laws, as well as contempt of court charges, to “quiet critical voices in the media”.
● Freedom House cited other incidents and developments, including the government intensifying its crackdown on protesters opposed to theCitizenship (Amendment) Act and the arrest of dozens of journalists who aired criticism of the official pandemic response.
Report on World:
There is a decline in global democracy over the last 15 years.
The pandemic, violent conflict and economic and physical insecurity have led to democracy's defenders sustaining heavy losses against authoritarian forces which have shifted the international balance in favour of tyranny.
Nearly 75% of the world's population lived in a country that experienced a deterioration in its democracy score last year. The expansion of authoritarian rule coupled with a fading and inconsistent presence of major democracies on the world stage had a severe impact on human life and security, with frequent use of the military to resolve political disputes.