India’s “Electoral Autocracy” Hits Back – By Sumit Ganguly
In the last few weeks, India’s already beleaguered reputation has taken two more hits. Two major global organizations that assess the state of freedom and democracy around the world, Freedom House, based in Washington, and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), based at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, released their annual assessments. In both reports, India’s standing tumbled.
Until last year, Freedom House had listed India as “free.” In the latest report, it downgraded the country to “partly free.” The V-Dem report went even further; it listed India as an “electoral autocracy,” below its evaluation of last year that had characterized the country’s status as “highly uncertain.”
The V-Dem rating was particularly difficult for India, since it placed the country on par with rival Pakistan and behind Bangladesh….