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U.S. thinktank report classifies India as ‘partly free’

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

U.S. thinktank report classifies India as ‘partly free’:


Context:

The report “Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege” was recently released by US think-tank Freedom House.

Key findings:

  1. Freedoms in India have reduced resulting in India being classified as ‘partly free’.
  2. India’s score was 67, a drop from 71/100 from last year downgrading it from the free category last year.
  3. Reasons for the downgrade: The government and its State-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year.
  4. The private media are vigorous and diverse, and investigations and scrutiny of politicians do occur. However, attacks on press freedom have escalated dramatically under the Modi government, and reporting has become significantly less ambitious in recent years.
  5. Security, defamation, sedition and contempt of court laws have been used to quiet critical media voices.
  6. Revelations of close relationships between politicians, business executives and lobbyists on one hand and leading media personalities and owners of media outlets, on the other, have dented public confidence in the press.

Freedom in US and China:

  • The U.S. dropped three points over one year, down to 83/100.
  • The United States will need to work vigorously to strengthen its institutional safeguards, restore its civic norms and uphold the promise of its core principles.
  • China, classified as ‘not free’, dropped a point from last year going down to 9/100.
  • The malign influence of the regime in China, the world’s most populous dictatorship, was especially profound in 2020.

About the Report:

Since 1973, Freedom House has assessed the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world. It is used on a regular basis by policymakers, journalists, academics, activists, and many others.

How are the countries ranked?

The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

  • Freedom in the World assesses the real-world rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se.

What topics do the scores cover?

  1. Electoral Process.
  2. Political Pluralism and Participation.
  3. Functioning of Government.
  4. Freedom of Expression and Belief.
  5. Associational and Organizational Rights.
  6. Rule of Law.
  7. Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Report.
  2. Latest findings.
  3. How are countries ranked?

Mains Link:

Freedoms in India have reduced resulting in India being classified as ‘partly free’. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.