Between 2016 and 2020 the number of countries that have moved towards authoritarianism has been steadily increasing and outnumbering the number of countries that have seen democratic gains. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, democratic backsliding (state actions that erode the quality of democratic institutions, processes) has accelerated. India has been no exception to this global pattern with a sudden extended lockdown in 2020 leading to massive economic and social disruption for marginalised and vulnerable groups. In March 2021 Sweden’s V-Dem Institute categorised India as an “electoral autocracy” while Freedom House listed India as “partly free”. This month another Swedish think-tank, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), has categorised India as a backsliding democracy and a “major decliner” in its Global State of Democracy 2021 (GSoD) report. (Read More)
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