A 40-page report by the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem) of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden states India is on the verge of losing its Democracy status.
The report, deemed one of the most extensive and credible of its kind, says the nation could soon lose its status of the world’s largest democracy, thanks to the “severely shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under Prime Minister Modi’s government.”
The 2020 report on Democracy, titled ‘Autocratization Surges–Resistance Grow‘ shows a staggering rise of Autocratization in the world which is the absence of democracy.
It identifies almost all the major G20 nations are in what they call the ‘third wave of autocratization,’ and “India has continued on a path of steep decline, to the extent it has almost lost its status as a democracy.”
Almost 52% of the world’s population — comprising people of 92 nations — leave under autocratic governments, the report states, adding that such polarization in power share is remarkable since 2001.
Thirty-five percent of the global population or 2.6 billion people leave under automatizing nations, and the EU has its first non-democratic member, Hungary, which is now classified as an electoral authoritarian regime.
The reasons, attributed to such a demise of democracy are the fall or subjugation of traits typical to democracy, like media censorship, government assaults on civil society, seizure of freedom of expression among others are proliferating.
The report paid special emphasis on Hungary — EU’s first non-democratic regime — and says “it is the most extreme case of democratic regression in recent times.”
What is more worrying, the report drew parallels with India and says Hungary’s early development before the electoral authoritarian status is suggestive of the first stages of autocratization, which are reflecting in India.
The report identified that the “increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” as one of the early signs of the death of democracy.
Similar lines made global headlines when BJP opposition MP Mahua Moitra gave her maiden speech in the Parliament highlighting seven signs of Fascism in India.
“(…) it is the very nature of the overwhelmingness of this mandate, of the totality of this mandate that makes it necessary for us to be heard today, for the voice of dissent to be heard today,” she said highlighting seven signs she thought were signs of Fascism in India.
In the ‘Third Sign,’ Moitra said: “There is an unimaginable subjugation and controlling of mass media today.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry employs over 120 people solely to check the content on TV channels every day to make sure that there is no anti-government news being put out,” she said.
“Every piece of news that this government repeats, every piece of news that they put out, every lie that they put out, they repeat and repeat until it becomes a truth. This is the Goebbels’ Doctrine.”