The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide, released its 2020 Democracy Index’s global ranking on Wednesday.
According to the EIU report, India has slipped two places to 53 in 2020.
The EIU report said that the democratic backsliding by authorities and crackdowns on civil liberties has led to a further decline in the country’s ranking. The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 167 countries, which showed that India’s overall score fell from 6.9 in 2019 to 6.61 in 2020.
However, India is ranked higher than most of its neighbouring countries in the Democracy Index.
“In India, democratic norms have been under pressure since 2015. India’s score fell from a peak of 7.92 in 2014 to 6.61 in 2020 and its global ranking slipped from 27th to 53rd as a result of democratic backsliding under the leadership of Narendra Modi, a member of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who became prime minister in 2014 and was re-elected for a second term in 2019,” stated EIU’s report.
The EIU report also mentioned about the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act in 2019 that continued to fuel riots in 2020, with several left dead following clashes in February in the capital city, New Delhi.
“……On top of these issues, the authorities’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic has also led to a further erosion of civil liberties in 2020,” stated EIU report.
Out of the 167 countries, the Democracy Index classified 23 countries as full democracies, 52 countries as flawed democracies, 35 countries as hybrid regimes and 57 countries as authoritarian regimes.
India has been classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ along with countries such as the US, France, Belgium and Brazil, according to the EIU report.
Norway topped the Democracy Index report titled “Democracy in sickness and in health?” with Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada making up the top five.