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INDIA’S RANK IN DEMOCRACY INDEX – IS SUCH REPORT CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE ?

By N.S.Venkataraman
India , people enjoy enormous liberty and personal freedom , which have often led to counter productive protests and agitations. As a matter of fact, many people have started thinking that there is too much of freedom and liberty in Indian democracy and vested interests and motivated media run by politicians, business houses , religious bodies and activists with motivated interests could be spreading false information to malign one group or the other or the government.

A report by a private research agency has “judged “ that India has dropped ten ranks in Democracy Index, on the basis of so called global survey made by this private agency.

The report “A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest” was done by “The Economist Intelligence Unit” – the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, which is the sister company to the Economist newspaper.

This adverse report about India has been widely publicized by Indian media. While doing so, it is surprising and even shocking that none of the Indian media houses including print and visual media have cared to examine as to what could be the veracity of the findings and what was the methodology adopted and whether such findings are appropriate based on the present Indian conditions and ground realities.

All over the world , many private research agencies claim that they have made world wide research on different topics and publish their findings, many of which may be published by those with vested interests.

Today, worldwide, many private research agencies are suspected to be biased and are known to bring out half baked and hasty reports and on many occasions, they do not even mention the number of contacts established and sources from which views were ascertained,. They do not care to publicise the names of the individuals who have given their views on the subject and data sources. Such research agencies say that they would not indicate the source of data , in the name of protecting the identity of the individuals and sources.

Today, it is well known that India is one of the reasonably well established democracies in the world and certainly the largest democracy . It is also known that in India , people enjoy enormous liberty and personal freedom , which have often led to counter productive protests and agitations. As a matter of fact, many people have started thinking that there is too much of freedom and liberty in Indian democracy and vested interests and motivated media run by politicians, business houses , religious bodies and activists with motivated interests could be spreading false information to malign one group or the other or the government.

Many observers , both in India and abroad , even think and argue that India is paying too big a price for it’s democratic process with personal freedom , in some cases , reaching absurdity level.

Indian Prime Minister is being called a thief, murderer and unprintable abuses are being heaped on him by his opponents and critics. The Prime Minister Modi is not reacting at all and people making such abuses are going scot free As a matter of fact, a Chief Minister of one state has gone to the extent of saying that Prime Minister Modi should be slapped on the face. No action has been taken against her for using such extremely abusive language. In such conditions, how can any research report state that liberty in India is in jeopardy?

There are many people in India including business houses and politicians and even religious bodies are indulging in massive corrupt dealings and tax evasion. The present Modi government which has promised to eradicate corruption in India is taking action to identify such corrupt persons and the government is framing charges against them in the court. All these suspected corrupt persons, simply say that all the charges against them are motivated by Modi government, even as it is crystal clear and proof exists in many cases that these persons are corrupt. The persons facing charges of corruption , number of whom are politicians , say that their freedom is being curbed.

It is high time that the so called research reports by the private agencies should be scrutinized very critically without accepting them straightaway.

It is very unfortunate that most people in India simply take the findings as correct , even without demanding to see the full text of the report.

It appears that anyone can say anything and get away with it , as a democratic country like India allow any motivated reports to be published.

Finally, one should think that if the personal freedom in India were to be curbed ,then would it be possible for any agency or individual to say whatever they want without offering proof for their findings,

All said and done , it appears that the so called research agencies have a field day now ,as far as India is concerned.

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

Published Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 | 03:55 PM

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