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.

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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