Know Your Country – KYC. India Continues to be an Underdeveloped Country

PM Narendra Modi addressing the Nation on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, in Delhi on August 15, 2018. Photo: PIB (Representational Image)
PM Narendra Modi addressing the Nation on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, in Delhi on August 15, 2018. Photo: PIB (Representational Image)

Know Your Country – KYC
INDIA

Now, there is a dangerous nexus between dishonest politicians who want to stay in power by hook or by crook and cunning capitalists who are silently looting the Indian public.

By Rakesh Raman

Today, India is facing the worst existential crisis as the country’s 1.4 billion commoners are under a grave threat from their own political rulers who have been exploiting them for the past over seven decades after India got independence from the Britishers in 1947.

While almost all Indian politicians are crooks and corrupt – many are facing serious criminal charges – they have been winning elections by dividing voters on the basis of their caste, creed, color, and religious affiliations. They have also been tampering with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and bribing the voters to win elections fraudulently.

Now, there is a dangerous nexus between these dishonest politicians who want to stay in power by hook or by crook and cunning capitalists who are silently looting the Indian public. Together, they have reduced India to a level of criminalized kleptocracy, in which all the four pillars of democracy have collapsed. The courts in India have lost their relevance, bureaucrats are extremely corrupt, while the police and security forces operate as gangs of criminals.

The following data will tell you the extent of damage that Indian politicians of all political parties have done to the country and its people. This data further shows that India continues to be an underdeveloped country.

U.S. Resolution on Human Rights Violations: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced a resolution on June 22, 2022 to condemn human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. The resolution calls on the U.S. Secretary of State to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act, which has been recommended by the independent, bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for the past three years.  

Attacks on Press Freedom: With extreme attacks on journalists and media freedom, India has plummeted to 150th position in 2022 on the RSF World Press Freedom Index from its 2021 rank of 142 in 180 countries. The Index is published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Paris-based international organization that defends freedom of journalists in all parts of the world.

Extreme Hunger: The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 reveals that India has slipped to 101st position in 116 countries from its 2020 position of 94th, which throws India behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal which are considered poor and underdeveloped countries.

Environmental Damage: In the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the lowest scores go to India (18.9) in a list of 180 countries. Even smaller countries such as Myanmar (19.4), Viet Nam (20.1), Bangladesh (23.1), and Pakistan (24.6) have performed better than India to protect the environment. 

Corruption: While rampant corruption is happening across the country, the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released in January 2022 by Transparency International reveals that India is among the most corrupt countries of the world. The Index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, asserts that India, with a score of just 40, is ranked 85 in the world. In other words, India is more corrupt than 84 other countries.

Human Rights Violations: Human Rights Watch said in its latest World Report 2022 that Indian authorities have intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions. The report has revealed extreme human rights violations in India.

Similarly, Amnesty International Report 2021/22: The State of the World’s Human Rights which was released in March 2022 has cited a number of individual cases which reveal that human rights violations are rampant in India while the government is complicit in most crimes.

Criminality in Politics: The world’s top magazine The Economist said “a penchant for criminality is an electoral asset in India.” The magazine published data about the political success of India’s “accused murderers, blackmailers, thieves, and kidnappers,” saying that 34% of India’s members of parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha had criminal charges filed against them.

Discriminatory Policies: The annual Freedom in the World 2022 report released in February by Freedom House has labelled India as a “Partly Free” country while its Global Freedom Score has plummeted to 66 from 67 last year. Also, India’s Internet Freedom Score is just 49 which shows that there are frequent restrictions on the use of the Internet in the country. 

As there are extreme human rights violations in the Kashmir region – which is under the occupation of Indian security forces – the Freedom House report states that Kashmir – with a Global Freedom Score of just 27 –  is “Not Free”.

Electoral Autocracy: The Democracy Report 2022 released in March by the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, finds that electoral autocracies are home to the largest share of the world population following India’s downgrade to electoral autocracy in 2020. 

Crime and Impunity: The U.S. Department of State in its annual country reports on corruption and human rights practices released in April 2022 has reported extreme corruption and human rights violations in India. The U.S. report reveals that a lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels of government in India, contributing to widespread impunity. 

Collapsed Justice System. As the justice system has completely collapsed in India, the World Justice Project (WJP) ranked India at 79th position across 139 countries in 2021 in its WJP Rule of Law Index.

Poor Human Development Index. In the Human Development Index (HDI) compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for 189 nations, India staggers at a poor rank of 131. Smaller countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Morocco, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam have a better HDI ranking than India.

Attacks on Religious Freedom: The International Religious Freedom Report released in June 2022 by the U.S. Department of State has raised serious concerns over increasing attacks on Muslims and other minority communities in India. The report states that attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year. These included incidents of “cow vigilantism” against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade in beef.

Repressed Nation: India is currently rated Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor. The new watchlist was released in March 2022 by the CIVICUS Monitor, an online platform that tracks the latest developments to civic freedoms, including the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, across 197 countries and territories. 

Genocide Alert: The global Genocide Watch has put India under “Genocide alert” with Muslims and landowners among the affected groups. It says Hindu extremists and naxalite maoists are harassing these groups. Genocide Watch aims to predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder. Its purpose is to build an international movement to prevent and stop genocide.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. 

He has also launched the “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” editorial section to cover the news, events, and other developments related to the 2024 election.

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