What are the criteria of ranking countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Democracy Index? Critically discuss India's rank in the recent released Global Democracy Index.

Published: February 10, 2018

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index is based on five categories :

  • Civil liberties;
  • Functioning of government;
  • Political participation
  • Political culture
  • Electoral process and pluralism

India is the world’s largest democracy and commits itself to celebrate the diversity. This slip in ranking to 42nd from 32nd is not a welcome sign for India.  The slipping of the ranking of India is due to:

  • Moral policing and cow vigilantism: Country has witnessed numerous law and order issues due to this moral policing and cow vigilantism.
  • Increasing Intolerance: There is rising fundamentalism and intolerance leading to disharmony and friction in the society.
  • Increasing restrictions on media: The establishment is often resorting to restrictions on media and internet blockade to address the increasing disturbances in Kashmir and naxal affected areas.
  • Murder of Journalists and liberal thinkers like Gauri lankesh which is creating a fear psychosis
  • Low female participation in legislatures and Parliament: Women MPs in parliament are just 14%.
  • Increasing nepotism in the political parties
  • Increasing money power in elections.
  • Increased disruptions and fewer discussions in parliament.
  • Criminalization of politics

Democracy is not just about elections. It also assures freedom of expression and liberty. A synchronized effort by the government, citizens and civil society is the need of the hour to ensure the democracy is upheld in true spirit.

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