India slipped a record 10 places to 51st position in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Democracy Index’s global ranking that cited “erosion of civil liberties” in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories.

India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019. The primary cause of the democratic regression was an erosion of civil liberties in the country, the EIU said.

The index is measured five categories – electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

The biggest democracy in the world, India scored best on electoral process and pluralism with a score of 8.67 while it scored worst in the categories of political culture and civil liberties with scores of 5.63 and 6.76, respectively. 

Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland are the top five countries on the EIU’s index under the category of ‘Full Democracy’. 

India is recognised as ‘Flawed democracy’, along with South Korea, Japan and the USA but India is placed much lower on the list, just above Brazil and Tunisia.

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. 

It has also cited National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and the Citizenship Amendment Act that has “enraged the large Muslim population, stoked communal tensions and generated large protests in major cities.”

Courtesy : DNA

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