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‘India is no longer a democratic country’, tweets Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi has attacked the Modi government at the Center. Referring to the report of a Sweden institute, Rahul Gandhi has alleged that India is no longer a democratic country. 

In this report, it has been claimed that India has become a monarchy in terms of censorship and the situation is now worse than Bangladesh.

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The report has been released by Sweden’s V-Dame Institute. In this, instead of the world’s largest democracy, India has been said to be a country of electoral monopolies. 

In this report, India has been classified as ‘Electoral Autocracy’ along with Hungary and Turkey on the charge of ‘banning many aspects of democracy’. It is alleged that civil society groups and free expression are being hampered in India.

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute, an independent research institute founded in 2014 by political scientist Staffan Lindberg in Sweden, said that India registered a 23 per cent point drop on its 0-to-1 Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) scale, marking “one of the most dramatic shifts among all countries in the world over the past 10 years”.

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The institute produces its annual report on the state of democracy around the world. India was previously ranked as an electoral democracy.

“India’s autocratization process has largely followed the typical pattern for countries in the ‘Third Wave’ over the past ten years: a gradual deterioration where freedom of the media, academia, and civil society were curtailed first and to the greatest extent,” the report said.

The report particularly highlights the diminishing freedom of expression in India. “India is, in this aspect, now as autocratic as is Pakistan, and worse than both its neighbors Bangladesh and Nepal,” the report notes.

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“In general, the Modi-led government in India has used laws on sedition, defamation, and counterterrorism to silence critics. For example, over 7,000 people have been charged with sedition after the BJP assumed power and most of the accused are critics of the ruling party,” it said.

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