Editorial: Flawed democracy

Srinagar: Democracy in today’s world means collective and individual freedom for every citizen. However, the concept of democracy has been misused by the powerfull and elite class in the developing countries like India.

Though the country can still claim some sort of semblance to logic and sanity but over the past few years several issues have dominated the political landscape which promotes a different story altogether. 

As of now India has slipped to 42nd place on an annual Global Democracy Index amid rise of conservative religious ideologies and increase in vigilantism and violence against minorities. The increase in the number of dissenting voices too has led to the fall.

While Norway has again topped the list, followed by Iceland and Sweden, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), India has moved down from 32nd place last year and remains classified among the flawed democracies.

The index ranks 165 independent states and two territories on the basis of five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture. The list has been divided into four broad categories — full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

India is not alone in the list which witnessed a downslide. Countries like the US (ranked 21), Japan, Italy, France, Israel, Singapore, and Hong Kong have also been named among flawed democracies.

The EIU is the research and analysis division of the UK- based media behemoth The Economist Group. Created in 1946, the EIU describes itself as having over 70 years of experience in helping businesses, financial firms and governments to understand how the world is changing and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed.

But the downslide in the ranking does not augur well for a country like India. The country is one of the biggest democracies in the world with over 1.3 billion population. Given the complex demographic pattern it is anticipated that democracy is not a suitable political system for the country and if adopted would bound to collapse.

But when compared to other democracies with similar conditions, India is doing fairly well. There are a few hiccups here and there during the course of the journey like using religious extremism and hate speech misusing art 19 (freedom of speech and expression) for vested interests and vote bank politics.

Plus the electorate has been divided and ruled in such a way that they have been given to elect their representatives in such a way that the corrupt make it to the legislatures threatening the very existence of the democratic setup. 



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