U.S. thinktank report:
The report “Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege” was recently released by US think-tank Freedom House.
- Freedoms in India have reduced resulting in India being classified as ‘partly free’.
- India’s score was 67, a drop from 71/100 from last year downgrading it from the free category last year.
- The government and its State-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year.
- The private media are vigorous and diverse, and investigations and scrutiny of politicians do occur. However, attacks on press freedom have escalated dramatically under the Modi government, and reporting has become significantly less ambitious in recent years.
- Security, defamation, sedition, and contempt of court laws have been used to quiet critical media voices.
- Revelations of close relationships between politicians, business executives, and lobbyists on one hand and leading media personalities and owners of media outlets, on the other, have dented public confidence in the press.
- The U.S. dropped three points over one year, down to 83/100.
- The United States will need to work vigorously to strengthen its institutional safeguards, restore its civic norms and uphold the promise of its core principles.
- China, classified as ‘not free’, dropped a point from last year going down to 9/100.
- The malign influence of the regime in China, the world’s most populous dictatorship, was especially profound in 2020