Headlines January 23, 2020
India drops 10 places in Democracy Index
India has dropped 10 places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking. It is now ranked 51 and the survey has called the erosion of civil liberties in the country as the main cause.
The Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy across the world. It is based on electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.
In the Asia and Australia region, India ranked eighth, behind countries such as Timor-Leste, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Norway is number one while North Korea was at the bottom.
The Democracy Index described 2019 as a “tumultuous year” for Asian democracies. It referred to the changes in Jammu and Kashmir and the controversial implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam while describing the regression in India, which is the world’s largest democracy.
The Indian government stripped the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state of its special status by repealing two key constitutional provisions granting it powers of autonomy.Following the removal of these provisions of the Constitution and the passage of a new Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019, J&K no longer enjoys statehood and is now divided into two union territories..Ahead of the move, the government deployed a large number of troops in J&K, imposed various other security measures and placed local leaders under house arrest, including those with pro-India credentials. The government also restricted internet access in the state. – Democracy Index
It also said that the new citizenship law has “enraged the large Muslim population, stoked communal tensions and generated large protests in major cities.”
Three countries – Chile, France and Portugal have moved to the full democracy category.