India’s Hindutva policies take it down on Freedom House index
The Freedom House report 2020 said that because of the Bharatiya Janta Party-led Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist policies, India has suffered the largest decline in political rights and civil liberties.
India is ranked ‘Free,’ but dropped one point from 75/100 in 2019 to 71 in 2020.
Freedom House’s Senior Director of Research and Analysis Sarah Repucci writes in the report, “India’s turn toward Hindu nationalism. BJP has distanced itself from the country’s founding commitment to pluralism and individual rights, without which democracy cannot long survive”.
She said India is moving toward the lower standards of its region.
Senior Director listed down three reasons for India’s decline in freedom index. She said, “The first major step was the central government’s unilateral annulment of the semiautonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim state.
Secondly, “The government’s second move came on August 31, when it published a new citizens’ register in the northeastern state of Assam that left nearly two million residents without citizenship in any country”.
She explained in the report, “Third major action of the year, the December 2019 passage of the Citizenship Amendment Law, which expedites citizenship for adherents of six non-Muslim religions from three neighbouring Muslim-majority countries. In effect, India will grant Hindus and other non-Muslims special protection from persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but Muslims—including those from vulnerable minority sects or from other neighbouring states like China and Sri Lanka—will receive no such advantage”.
Freedom House History
Washington based Freedom House, based was founded in 1941. As per the official website, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt supported in the establishment of Freedom House in response to the rise of Nazism.
There are 25 indicators using seven categories including a) electoral processes, b) political processes and pluralism, c) functioning of government, d) freedom of expression and belief, e) association and organisational rights, f) rule of law, g) personal autonomy and individual rights.
Pakistan has been termed as ‘partly free’ country and scored at 38 out of 100 score index.