India Slips Ten Position Down To 42nd In The Annual Global Democracy Index
India had moved ten places down from the 32nd position to 42nd in the Economist Intelligence Global Democracy Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) compiled a list including 165 countries and two territories. EIU is a research and analysis unit of the Economist Group. Created in 1946, the EIU describes itself as having over 70 years of experience “in helping businesses, financial firms and governments to understand how the world is changing and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed.”
The countries are ranked by:
Electoral process and pluralism, Civil liberties, The functioning of government, Political participation and Political culture.
The countries are further categorised broadly into:
- Full democracy
- Flawed democracy
- Hybrid regime
- Authorization regime
The top five countries are:
Followed by Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Switzerland respectively.
Norway topped the list again; with an overall score of 9.87, receiving perfect tens’ in electoral process and pluralism, political participation and culture.
The top nineteen countries were categorised as “full democracies”, whereas US (ranked 21), France, Japan, Italy, Israel, Singapore and Hong Kong were entitled “flawed democracies”. Pakistan (110th), Bangladesh (92nd), Nepal (94th) and Bhutan (99th) were kept under “hybrid regime”. Countries like China (139th), Myanmar (120th), Russia (135th), Vietnam (140th), Syria (166th) and North Korea (167) were categorized under “authoritarian regime”.
This also indicates the decline in democracy across the world.
This year was not suitable for Asian countries since most significant declines were recorded compared to other regions of the world. According to the report, Asia (5.63) was the lowest in comparison to North America(8.56), Western Europe (8.38) and Latin American (6.26).
Why Sudden Drop in Indian Ranking?
India’s score was a 7.23, with 9.17 in electoral process and pluralism. It did not do well on other parameters.
According to EIU, “The rise of conservative religious ideologies also affected India. The strength of right-wing Hindu forces in an otherwise secular country led to a rise of vigilantism and violence against minority communities, particularly music as well as other resenting voices.”
The ‘freedom of media’ was a parameter this time as well. India ranked 49 out of 167 countries that were covered under the index.” India has also become a more dangerous place for journalists, especially the centre state of Chhattisgarh and the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.” the EIU said.
The EIU also stated “The authorities there have restricted freedom of the press, closed down several newspapers and heavily controlled mobile internet services. Several journalists were murdered in India in 2017, as in the previous year.”