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Democracy degrading in India
(Economist Intelligence Unit-EIU)
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal 1/24/2020 9:50:33 PM


India is the world's largest democracy and the second largest country on the planet after China. The country is run as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution and government under this democratic set up speaks very high of running the nation in a most democratic way and speaks of enhancing the democratic values. Whereas India continuously slipping in 'Democracy Index' on the global platter and present regime has never shown its concern on this aspect but always propagating that country is being taken seriously now on world platter. We may speak in our own whims and wishes that suits to us appreciating our achievements but at the international level there are certain agencies with the statics to apprise the world populace about the placement of every country on different aspects. Accordingly, we have UK based company the 'Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that measure the state of democracy (Democracy Index) in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states
The state of democracy all over the world publicized as 'Democracy Index' based on 60 indicators grouped in five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on the scores (on a scale of 0-10) on a range of indicators within these categories, the index then classifies a particular country as one of four types of regime: "full democracy", "flawed democracy", "hybrid regime" or "authoritarian regime". Full democracies: are nations where civil liberties and basic political freedoms are not only respected, but also reinforced by a political culture conducive to the thriving of democratic principles. Flawed democracies: are nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honored but may have issues (e.g. media freedom infringement). These nations have significant faults in other democratic aspects. Hybrid regimes: are nations where consequential irregularities exist in elections regularly preventing them from being fair and free. These nations commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opponents, non independent judiciaries, and have widespread corruption, harassment etc. Authoritarian regimes: are nations where political pluralism has vanished or is extremely limited. These nations are often absolute monarchies or dictatorships, may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meager significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties. India is classified as a "flawed democracy".
A visitation to the annual rating of democracy index released by EIU, since 2013 to recently released report of 2019, the India that was ranking at No 27 in the list of 165 countries in annual Global Democracy Index of the year 2014, slipped to a position of 35 in 2015 just in the first year after Modi led BJP government came into power. (The novelists, essayists, playwrights and poets had returned the awards in 2015; they received from India's prestigious literary academy, over rising intolerance). In 2014, the year when the BJP came to power at the Centre, the index had rated the country at an all-time high of 7.92. This shrank to 7.74 in 2015 before rising again to 7.81. The score fell and remained stagnant at 7.23 during 2017 and 2018. It has fallen below 7 for the first time this year. Between 2006 and 2013, India's score had registered a rise every year after a dip in 2010 when it was rated 7.28. India further slipped to 42nd place in 2017 from number 32 in the year 2016, on an annual Global Democracy Index and this all is amid "rise of conservative religious ideologies" and increase in vigilantism and violence as well as other dissenting voices. We cannot isolate the letter written by eight U.S. Senators and 26 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, the lawmakers - several of them consistently pro-India, showing their grave concern about increasing intolerance, vigilantism and violence experienced by members of religious minority communities. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has recently released a global democracy index that provides an overall view of the status of democracy for the year 2019 and India slipped a record 10 places to 51st position in the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 with a decline in its overall score from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.9 last year. Across the five categories, India scored 8.67 in 'electoral process and pluralism', 6.79 in 'functioning of government', 6.67 in 'political participation', 5.63 in 'political culture', and 6.76 in 'civil liberties'. India's score has witnessed a fall in all but the categories of 'functioning of government' and 'political culture'. India is classified as a "flawed democracy". Democracy Index's global ranking that cited "erosion of civil liberties" in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend. The EIU cited the abrogation of Article 370, restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, detention of political leaders and suspension of internet access to as it explained India's downward trend.
The most basic outcome of democracy is that it produces a government that is accountable to the citizens, and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. The present Government never remained accountable to common mass and responsive to the needs of populace as we have seen at the time of demonetization when hundreds of people lost their life to get their own saved money that was kept in hostage by this government. We expect democracy not to take any decision against the public opinion. But Modi government has never respected the opinion of the public. No doubt present is a majority Government but majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights, because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper - Larry Flyn.
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