World’s largest democracy now only ‘partly free’ says new Freedom House rating

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Freedom House downgrades the “world’s largest democracy” from free to partly free

Citing politicization of the Indian judiciary, deterioration of political rights and civil liberties, intimidation of journalists and academics, internet censorship, undue pressure on human rights groups, scapegoating, stigmatization, and harm to Muslims and other religious minorities and an overall decline in democratic values under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, FW explained its decision, “India appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader, elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests at the expense of its founding values of inclusion and equal rights for all.”

The “Democracy Under Siege” 2020 report of the democracy watchdog said that India’s decline from “the upper ranks of free nations” could have an outsize global effect. “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,” it concluded.

By Milan Sime Martinic