India among ‘worst autocratisers’ in last 10 years, says Sweden’s V-Dem Institute

Narendra Modi. [File Photo]

India is one of the “worst autocratisers” in the last 10 years, Sweden-based Varieties of Democracy Institute has said in a report. The report stated that the Modi-led government of India continues to suppress religious freedom in the country.

Titled “Defiance in the Face of Autocratisation”, the report was released on March 3. It said that India is among the countries “witnessing the most dramatic increases” in political polarisation. The others are Afghanistan, Brazil and Myanmar.

The think tank ranked India at the 108th spot globally for electoral democracy, below countries such as Tanzania, Bolivia, Mexico, Singapore, and Nigeria.

“Toxic levels of polarisation hinder cooperation among elites and induce citizens to abandon democratic principles to keep their leader in power and get their preferred policy,” the report added. “That way, toxic levels of polarisation often increase support for autocratic leaders and empower their illiberal agendas.”

Two years before, the same group stated that India had become an “electoral autocracy.”

The V-Dem Institute is an independent research institute founded by Professor Staffan I Lindberg in 2014 that studies the qualities of government. A number of government organizations, the World Bank, and several research institutions fund the institute.

The think tank claims to produce the largest global dataset on democracy involving 202 countries from 1789 to 2022. It says that it measures “hundreds of different attributes of democracy” with over 31 million data points, involving almost 4,000 scholars and country experts.

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