Correct statement: According to a Freedom in the World 2020 report, India has become one of the world’s least free democracies.
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Freedom in the World 2020 report:
- The recently released Freedom in the World 2020 reporthas ranked India among least free democracies of the World.
- The report has been released by Freedom House, a U.S.-based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century.
Highlights of the Report:
- The Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position, along with Timor-Leste and Senegal.
- This is near the bottom of the pile among the countries categorized as “Free”, with only Tunisia receiving a lower score.
- India’s score fell by four points to 71, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this year.
Reasons for low score:
- The annulment of autonomy and the subsequent shutdown of Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act,as well as the crackdown on mass protests have been listed as the main signs of declining freedom in the report.
- As per the report, the actions have shaken the rule of law in Indiaand threatened the secular and inclusive nature of its political system.
- The report noted that India has long been seen as a democratic counterweight to China and hence a strategic partner for the United States in the region.
- The report slammed the internet blackout in Kashmir, terming it the longest shutdown ever imposed by a democracy.
- It said freedom of expression was under threat in India, with journalists, academics and others facing harassment and intimidation when addressing politically sensitive topics.