India has moved down to 42nd place on an annual Global Democracy Index amid ‘rise of conservative religious ideologies’ and increase in vigilantism and violence against minorities as well as other dissenting voices.
According to the list release by UK-based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), 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 ‘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.
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”.
The top three positions on the list are occupied by Nordic countries—Norway, Iceland and Sweden. New Zealand is at fourth and Denmark at fifth place, while others in top ten include Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Switzerland.