In a damaging report, US think tank downgrades India as ‘partly free’

Express News Service
BENGALURU: In an extremely damaging assessment by Freedom House, a Washington-based ‘pro-democracy and civil liberties’ think-tank,  India has been rated as “Partly Free” in its ‘Freedom in the World 2021’ report, which has just been made public.

Kashmir, which India maintains is an integral part of the country, has been ranked separately as ‘Indian Kashmir’ and ‘Pakistan Kashmir’ as “territory as opposed to a country” in the controversial report.

The Freedom Report 2021 has dropped India’s score from last year’s  71/100, when they had rated the country as “Free”, to 67/100 and “Partly Free” in this year’s report.

While the score on political rights in the world’s largest democracy remained constant at 34/40 in both years, the rating in civil liberties has gone down from last year’s 37/60 to 33/60 this year. In 2019, India had scored 75.

The report, titled ‘Democracy under Siege’, alleged that Indian Government and its state-level allies “continued to crack down on critics during the year, and their response to Covid-19 included a ham-fisted lockdown that resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers.”

‘Freedom in the World’ is an annual global report on political rights and civil liberties.

This year’s report has covered 195 countries and 15 territories between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 on 25 markers that evaluate the health of the country’s democracy.

The organisation has ranked countries as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free”, based on their performance on those indicators.

Of the 195 independent countries that have been evaluated, only 28 have been given positive growth ratings.