Freedoms, rights: India

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‘Freedom in the World’ report


Anam Ajmal, March 4, 2021: The Times of India

New Delhi: An annual report prepared by Freedom House, a US-based independent watchdog, on the “health” of democracies across the world has downgraded India’s status from “free” in 2019 to “partly free” in 2020. India’s overall score dropped to 67 out of 100 in 2020, compared to 71 in 2019. In 2018, India had 75 points.

China was categorised as “not free” with a score of 9 out of 100, a further drop of two points from 2019, when it had 11 points. Pakistan scored 37, one down from 38 last year. Bangladesh remained static on 39. The USA has also dipped from 94 (2010) to 83 (2020). Sweden, Finland and Norway scored a perfect 100. This was published in the Freedom in the World 2021 report.

The report said it marked the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. “Nearly 75% of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deterioration last year… With India’s decline to Partly Free, less than 20% of the world’s population now lives in a Free country, the smallest proportion since 1995,” the report said. The report warned about India’s move towards “authoritarianism”, and said there was a “pattern” to the rising violence and discriminatory policies affecting the Muslim population and silencing of dissent by the media, academics, civil society groups, and protesters. The decline, the report noted, was due to the government’s “crackdown on stirs opposed to a discriminatory citizenship law.”

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