23rd Jan 2020 10:01:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Democracy Index 2019, compiled by the research firm Economist Intelligence Unit published on Wednesday has shown that India during the last one year has slipped 10 places down the ladder. This has triggered a lot of regretful musings, but, as a matter of fact, this fall from grace for the world’s largest democracy is hardly surprising if the nature of ‘democratic way of existence’ during this period in consideration is dissected without bias or prejudice. Had there been any other index of a similar kind, the ranking might had been nothing strikingly contrasting.
Based on five parameters namely electoral process & pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties, the Index is an annual comprehensive list that compares political systems of 165 countries and two territories and ups and downs in rankings are nothing unusual. But, if there is a slip of 10 solid steps within a single year resulting in lowest rank since the Index’s inception in 2006, there are certainly reasons to worry. Though varied opinions might remain regarding its acceptability, it would be difficult to bypass the reasons underscored as the contributing factors to this downfall. And by ‘lifting the veil’ from so many ‘open secrets’, the Index has also done a commendable service to the Indian democracy. It’s a fact that after revocation of Article 370 in J&K there had been ‘happenings’ which can be called far from the established democratic ethos. Massive deployment of troops as pre-emptive security measures, arbitrary usage of Section 144 of CPC, mass arrests and detention of political functionaries even those with pro-India credentials, blanket shutdown of internet and telephone services have all drawn serious and large scale reservations both from and outside the country. Besides pin-pointing the above which have contributed solidly to the ‘democratic regression’, the Index has been categorical in highlighting the NRC exercise in Assam and the much contentious CAA which has created and is increasingly creating mass outrage. Coming to the numeric part, the decline in overall score is from 2018’s 7.23 to 2019’s 6.9 and since, out of the five parameters, depreciation in civil liberties has been maximum which is -0.59 vis-à-vis the 2018 score, ‘erosion of civil liberties’ has been singled out as the primary cause of this rather unprecedented demotion. 
Now an average Indian who religiously participates in electoral processes to uphold the sacredness of the great gift of democracy guaranteed by the Constitution might want to know to what degree these observations will be paid importance. But since there are no assuring answers right at the moment, in long term perspective, nothing doing but to keep faith in the resilience power of the Indian democracy.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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