Freedom House Rankings 2021: India's 'Free' Fall Under Modi

4 Mar, 2021 12:56 IST|Sakshi Post

United States government-funded non-governmental organization’s annual Freedom World Rankings report was released earlier and the report described India as ‘partly free.’ After terming India as ‘Free’ in 2020, this time the report changed the title, a bit.

Freedom House’s report on political rights and civil liberties, this time called India as ‘partly free.’ The report shared what India as a country has become post Modi’s reelection. It said that under his leadership, the situation is only becoming worse.

“Political rights and civil liberties in the country (India) have worsened since Narendra Modi became Prime minister in 2014, with increased pressure on human rights organizations, rising intimidation of academics and journalists, and a spate of bigoted attacks, including lynching, aimed particularly at Muslims,” read the report.

It further added that the decline only gathered more speed after Narendra Modi was re-elected in the 2019 elections.

The report took on the lockdown and shared that it led to disastrous outcomes. Unplanned and unmonitored lockdown during the pandemic led to millions of migrant workers losing their jobs and not having any means to go home. There was no arrangement done, to help these workers reach their native state. These workers were left with no choice but to embark on the long journey. Many even covered a distance of 1000 kilometre on foot.

The lockdown was imposed on March 1st, 2020. But only after the centre faced heavy backlash regarding the situation of migrant workers, they decided to arrange for trains. Over 300 “Shramik” trains were started on May 1, i.e. long after the lockdown was imposed.

“The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs.

Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism,” continued the Freedom House Report.

The report continued as the matter of “Love Jihad” came. Rumours were that Hindu girls were forced to convert to Islam. They were forced into marriages with Muslim men. This led to many BJP led states considering the enactment of a law banning inter-faith marriages.

“Under Modi, India appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader, elevating narrow Hindu nationalist interests at the expense of its founding values of inclusion and equal rights for all,” read the report.

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