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Freedom World

Freedom House report deems India to be ‘partly free’

Key reasons for the reduced score include; Delhi violence, invoking sedition charges against dissenters, plight of migrant workers during lockdown, and the acquittals in Babri Masjid demolition case.

Sabrangindia 04 Mar 2021

sedition law

American think tank Freedom House has released its ‘Freedom in the World’ figures for 2021 and has deemed India’s score to be 67/100 putting it in the category of ‘partly free’, which is 4 points lower than previous year’s score of 71/100. In 2019, India had scored 75/100 and until last year was under the “free” category.

The report states that India’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to a multi-year pattern in which the Hindutva nationalist government and its allies have presided over rising violence and discriminatory policies affecting the Muslim population and pursued a crackdown on expressions of dissent by the media, academics, civil society groups, and protesters. The key developments of 2020 highlighted in the report include:

- the North East Delhi violence of February

- students, journalists and activists being charged with sedition

- plight of migrant labourers during the lockdown

- acquittal of all accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case

The final score is based on political rights and civil liberties indicators, and these individually are also assigned scores. India scored 34/40 in political rights and 33/60 in civil liberties. While the country seems to be doing fairly in protecting its political rights; the civil liberties have taken a massive hit in the past year. The civil liberties indicators include Freedom of Expression and Belief; Associational and Organisational Rights; rule of law; and Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.

India scored poorly on each of the following questions related to civil liberties:

  • Are there free and independent media?

  • Are individuals free to practice and express their religious faith or nonbelief in public and private?

  • Is there academic freedom, and is the educational system free from extensive political indoctrination?

  • Is there freedom of assembly?

  • Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that are engaged in human rights– and governance-related work?

  • Is there an independent judiciary?

  • Does due process prevail in civil and criminal matters?

  • Is there protection from the illegitimate use of physical force and freedom from war and insurgencies?

  • Do laws, policies, and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population?

  • Do individuals enjoy freedom of movement, including the ability to change their place of residence, employment, or education?

  • Do individuals enjoy personal social freedoms, including choice of marriage partner and size of family, protection from domestic violence, and control over appearance?

  • Do individuals enjoy equality of opportunity and freedom from economic exploitation?


How is a country scored?

Freedom in the World is an annual global report on political rights and civil liberties, composed of numerical ratings and descriptive texts for each country and a select group of territories. The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is based on the premise that these standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.

Freedom in the World uses a two-tiered system consisting of scores and status. A country or territory is awarded 0 to 4 points for each of 10 political rights indicators and 15 civil liberties indicators. The political rights indicators include electoral process, political pluralism and participation as well as functioning of the government while the civil liberties indicators include Freedom of Expression and Belief; Associational and Organizational Rights; rule of law; and Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.

The combination of the overall score awarded for political rights and the overall score awarded for civil liberties, after being equally weighted, determines the status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

Related:

HRDA appeals to NHRC over illegal arrest of journalist Saleem Khan

Expression of dissent not seditious: SC

Tandav case: Allahabad HC denies pre-arrest bail to Amazon India Originals Head 

Freedom House report deems India to be ‘partly free’

Key reasons for the reduced score include; Delhi violence, invoking sedition charges against dissenters, plight of migrant workers during lockdown, and the acquittals in Babri Masjid demolition case.

sedition law

American think tank Freedom House has released its ‘Freedom in the World’ figures for 2021 and has deemed India’s score to be 67/100 putting it in the category of ‘partly free’, which is 4 points lower than previous year’s score of 71/100. In 2019, India had scored 75/100 and until last year was under the “free” category.

The report states that India’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to a multi-year pattern in which the Hindutva nationalist government and its allies have presided over rising violence and discriminatory policies affecting the Muslim population and pursued a crackdown on expressions of dissent by the media, academics, civil society groups, and protesters. The key developments of 2020 highlighted in the report include:

- the North East Delhi violence of February

- students, journalists and activists being charged with sedition

- plight of migrant labourers during the lockdown

- acquittal of all accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case

The final score is based on political rights and civil liberties indicators, and these individually are also assigned scores. India scored 34/40 in political rights and 33/60 in civil liberties. While the country seems to be doing fairly in protecting its political rights; the civil liberties have taken a massive hit in the past year. The civil liberties indicators include Freedom of Expression and Belief; Associational and Organisational Rights; rule of law; and Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.

India scored poorly on each of the following questions related to civil liberties:

  • Are there free and independent media?

  • Are individuals free to practice and express their religious faith or nonbelief in public and private?

  • Is there academic freedom, and is the educational system free from extensive political indoctrination?

  • Is there freedom of assembly?

  • Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that are engaged in human rights– and governance-related work?

  • Is there an independent judiciary?

  • Does due process prevail in civil and criminal matters?

  • Is there protection from the illegitimate use of physical force and freedom from war and insurgencies?

  • Do laws, policies, and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population?

  • Do individuals enjoy freedom of movement, including the ability to change their place of residence, employment, or education?

  • Do individuals enjoy personal social freedoms, including choice of marriage partner and size of family, protection from domestic violence, and control over appearance?

  • Do individuals enjoy equality of opportunity and freedom from economic exploitation?


How is a country scored?

Freedom in the World is an annual global report on political rights and civil liberties, composed of numerical ratings and descriptive texts for each country and a select group of territories. The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is based on the premise that these standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.

Freedom in the World uses a two-tiered system consisting of scores and status. A country or territory is awarded 0 to 4 points for each of 10 political rights indicators and 15 civil liberties indicators. The political rights indicators include electoral process, political pluralism and participation as well as functioning of the government while the civil liberties indicators include Freedom of Expression and Belief; Associational and Organizational Rights; rule of law; and Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.

The combination of the overall score awarded for political rights and the overall score awarded for civil liberties, after being equally weighted, determines the status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

Related:

HRDA appeals to NHRC over illegal arrest of journalist Saleem Khan

Expression of dissent not seditious: SC

Tandav case: Allahabad HC denies pre-arrest bail to Amazon India Originals Head 

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