An international survey finds Turkey, Poland, Brazil, and India among the top 10 autocratising countries. the latest report by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem, an independent research organisation with headquarters in the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) states that India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to the severely shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under Prime Minister Narender Modi’s government. The institute defines Autocratisation as the decline of democratic traits.
As per the institute, for the first time since 2001, autocracies are in the majority: 92 countries – home to 54% of the global population. Almost 35% of the world’s population live in autocratising nations – 2.6 billion people. The institute publishes Liberal Democracy Index (LDI) to rank democracies in the world.
As per LDI 2009-2019, India, Turkey, Poland and Brazil are among the top 10 regressing countries by the magnitude of change on the LDI over the past 10 years. It rates Hungary as the top of the list. “Similar to Hungary, the developments in Poland, Brazil and India suggest that the first steps of autocratisation involve eliminating media freedom and curtailing civil society. Early warnings include …the dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” states the report.
In South Asia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Nepal have improved their democratic processes.
China, North Korea, Eritrea, Burundi, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia and Turkey have among the lowest levels on V-Dem’s Liberal Democracy Index.
India ranks 142 in the World Press Freedom Index 2020 which is made by the organisation Reporters Without Borders.