The state of human rights and freedom in the world’s largest democracy has worsened. India is undergoing its worst communally incited agitation since 2002 but as the Coronavirus spreads throughout the world in the early months of 2020. The Indian Government utilized this as an opportunity to control personal liberties and curb space for civil organizations and freedom of expression. This decline of liberty and human rights in India is indicated by practical evaluations by international human rights organizations.
In a recent report, V-Dem Institute singled out that ‘the Indian government’s alarming departures from democratic norms’ under BJP rule, which prompted India to suffer ‘the largest score decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies.’
The V-Dem Institute, based at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, concluded in this year’s annual Democratic Report that,
India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to severely shrinking space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under Prime Minister Modi’s government.
The pro-government attacks on the campuses of Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, and Jawaharlal Nehru University where dozens of students were injured were apt examples of suppressing dissent. There has been caste-based discrimination and violence against minorities all over India. Blaming ‘Tablighi Jamat’ in New Delhi for spreading the Coronavirus and being ‘Super-spreaders’ is the blatant manifestation of the hollowness & biasness Indian media has turned to.
The erosion of democracy is against the spirit of India and is a threat to weaken the country’s foundational force i.e; its throbbing and diverse democracy.
The NDA led government openly rejected India’s secular Constitution while making laws and norms which has ignored the soul of the constitution, for example, taking away the limited autonomy of Kashmir and refusing to release citizenship to Muslim refugees.
Deteriorating commitment to the very nature of the Indian constitution has been frequently demonstrated by the state while refusing to respect the public opinion, using unethical means, and falsity for capturing power in states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Bihar.
India is also seeing the delegitimization of political opponents, the first time in history after the Emergency under the then PM Indira Gandhi. There is constant annihilation of voices of protest and dissent. Student leaders like Asif Iqbal Tanha, Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid are behind the bars. Any voice raised against the ruling regime is now branded as ‘anti-national’ or with disparaging terms like ‘urban Naxals’ and ‘Khan Market Gang.’ Violence against Muslims and minorities is now perpetrated, and have become legitimate political acts.
“Give me a free press and free institutions and the government won’t last” : Rahul Gandhi
The assault on freedom of speech is done by misusing brutal police force, and rapacious BJP cadres. 20,000 civil organizations have been banned from receiving funding from foreign countries to stifle the right to protest.
All sorts of legal and illegal means are being embraced by the government to obtain or threaten the autonomous media, & people with differences of opinion. The democratic foundation is now crumbling day by day where the opposition is not finding its position to impersonate an effective role. Indian democracy is now on the verge of collapse and became a diminutive concept for the current autocratic regime.
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