Why we shouldn’t take US government-funded NGO report seriously which says India not a ‘free’ country anymore

India, the world’s most populous democracy, has its status dropped from “free” to “partly free” in the Freedom House’s report on political rights and civil liberties.

The report notes that the fall of India could have a damaging impact on world democratic standards. 

The report highlights:

“Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”

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The United States government-funded non-governmental organization released its annual Freedom in the World rankings.

Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties in 210 countries and territories.

It recognises that individual freedoms—ranging from the right to vote to freedom of expression and equality before the law—can be affected by state or non-state actors.

In 2021, the organisation’s report – Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege – has ranked India as “partly free” and Indian Kashmir as ‘Not free”.

The report read:

“Political rights and civil liberties in the country have deteriorated since Narendra Modi became prime minister.”

The 2021 report highlights that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government has continued to crack down on dissent during 2020.

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The report notes that under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India appears to have lost its potential to serve as a democratic leader. It observes that Modi has been:

“elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests at the expense of its founding values of inclusion and equal rights for all.”

With India’s decline to “partly free” nation, less than 20 percent of the world’s population now lives in a Free country.

The NGO in its mapping showed Jammu and Kashmir separate from India, which is an unacceptable portrayal to the Indian Government.

The highly placed officer in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs told The Australia Today, “The NGOs have no idea about local realities and there is no relevance of this theory to on the ground situations.”

“We don’t pay attention to these reports which are published with ulterior motives. We are busy in helping and supporting the rest of the world fighting COVID 19 pandemic with the early availability of vaccines.”