India Slips 10 Spots to Rank 42 on Global Democracy Index

The fall in India's ranking is due to the rise of conservative religious ideologies, according to the Global Democracy Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


India has been ranked 42nd, 10 spots down from last year, on the recently-released Global Democracy Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). India remains classified under “flawed democracies,” and the slide in the ranking has been attributed to the “rise of conservative religious ideologies” in the country.

“The rise of conservative religious ideologies also affected India. The strengthening of right-wing Hindu forces in an otherwise secular country led to a rise of vigilantism and violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims, as well as other dissenting voices,” the EIU, the research and analysis division of the UK-based media giant the Economist Group, said, PTI reported.

The index also gauged media freedom and noted that Indian media was “partially free.” It said: “India has also become a more dangerous place for journalists, especially the central state of Chhattisgarh and the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The authorities there have restricted freedom of the press, closed down several newspapers and heavily controlled mobile internet services. Several journalists were murdered in India in 2017, as in the previous year.”

The report has ranked 165 countries and two territories on these five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. India scored well on electoral process and pluralism, while it did not do too well in political culture, functioning of government, political participation and civil liberties.

After the ranking, the countries have been divided into four categories — full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime. The top 19 countries belong to the category of full democracies. Along with India, other flawed democracies are the United States, Japan, Italy, France, Israel, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The United States was demoted from a full democracy to a flawed democracy in 2016. Almost one-third of the world’s population is under an authoritarian regime, EIU observed.

The top three positions have been occupied by Norway, Iceland and Sweden, respectively. Norway has the perfect 10 scores for electoral process, pluralism, political participation and political culture.

The rest of the top 10 countries include New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Switzerland.

The EIU was established in 1946 and helps businesses, financial firms and governments to understand how the world is changing and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed.

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