Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

India Prepares Own Democracy Index Amid Global Criticism

In a bold move reflective of its commitment to shaping its own narrative on democracy, India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is embarking on the development of an indigenous democracy ratings index. The decision comes in response to recent downgrades in international rankings, which have raised concerns within the Indian government about potential repercussions on the country’s credit rating. With apprehensions over the impact of global criticism on India’s sovereign ratings, the government has tapped the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a prominent Indian think tank, to spearhead the creation of this groundbreaking index.

Sources familiar with the discussions surrounding this initiative reveal that the ORF is meticulously crafting a ratings framework that aligns closely with New Delhi’s narrative, diverging from Western-based assessments that have faced criticism from Modi’s administration. The development of this index signals India’s proactive approach in asserting its sovereignty and shaping its global image, particularly in the lead-up to the nation’s forthcoming national elections.

While the exact timeline for the release of the index remains shrouded in uncertainty, government insiders hint at its imminent unveiling, raising speculation about its potential impact on India’s political landscape. Amidst preparations for the upcoming polls, the Modi government is keen to showcase India’s democratic credentials through this indigenous index, aiming to counterbalance perceived biases in existing international rankings.

Internal government documents reviewed by Al Jazeera underscore the meticulous attention to detail devoted to this initiative, with various ministries and departments closely monitoring India’s performance in global democracy indices. The proactive stance taken by the Modi administration reflects a concerted effort to address negative evaluations of India’s democracy credentials and press freedom, aligning with the government’s broader strategic objectives.

Critics, however, warn of potential pitfalls associated with an India-centric democracy index, cautioning that perceived government influence could undermine its credibility on the global stage. As stakeholders await further clarity on the parameters and implications of this proposed index, the debate surrounding India’s democracy ratings initiative continues to evolve, shaping the contours of the country’s democratic discourse in the digital age. (Source Al Jazeera)

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