India: Free or ‘Partly’ Free?

(Indian Express)

Context:

  • Recently, Washington-based Freedom House has demoted India’s freedom score from “free” to “partly free”, saying rights and civil liberties in India have been trading downwards for the last six years.
  • Specifically in reference to attacks on Muslims, use of the sedition and UAPA law, and coronavirus response including the lockdown of the Indian govt.

Freedom House:

  • It is founded on the logic that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where the representing govt. are accountable and answerable to their people.
  • It works to defend human rights and advocate democratic change, with an aim on political rights and civil liberties.

India’s rank on the different index:

  • This is the yearly ranking of nations on the basis of press freedom to news organizations, journalists, and citizens in the country. In World Press Freedom Index 2020, India faired poorly and ranked 142 out of 180 countries.
  • The Human Freedom Index is a worldwide ranking of civil, economic, and personal freedom. It ranked India 111th place out of 162 countries. Last year India was ranked at 94 on the index in 2019.

Ways to improve:

  • Empowering the local bodies or groups to solve problems through mutual deliberations and to lessen the influence of the state.
  • Accountability of the State has to be fixed in a timely manner in such circumstances where the violations are gross.
  • International agencies must be vocal about it and come down hard at it.
  • Trust building and the role of the judiciary become much more important in such scenarios.
  • Rather than punitive, preventive measures must be taken. 

    Download Link - Daily Current Affairs 4th March 2021

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