Anytime some foreign organisation releases some report or study saying how ‘democracy in danger’ in India under Modi government, the Indian left-liberals laps it up. The latest such report that has become favourite of India left-liberals is by a little known Swedish organisation, named V-Dem, which ‘downgraded’ India’s status as a democracy. V-Dem stands for Varieties of Democracy, and the institute claims that it is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. They publish various reports ranking the countries on various subjects.
The latest report published by V-Dem is its Democracy Report 2021, where it has declared that India is no longer a democracy. The organisation claims that India has turned into “an electoral autocracy”, as the country’s democratic process is ‘on a path of steep decline’. According to V-Dem, India ‘lost’ its status of electoral democracy, and became an electoral autocracy.
While liberals want the people to believe that V-Dem is a ‘prestigious’ organisation and the Indian government should take its verdict seriously, the facts present a different picture.
First, a glance at the members of International Advisory Board organisation shows its anti-India bias. The board has two Indians, and both are known haters of the Modi government. They are Centre for Policy Research Chairman Pratap Bhanu Mehta and JNU professor Nirja Gopal Jayal. Both of them are known critic of Modi government’s policies, including the CAA. It may be noted that V-Dem has used the CAA as one of the main examples as proof of India turning autocratic.
It may be noted that for some unknown reason, Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s name was been removed from the list on the V-Dem website today. He was listed as an advisor on the website, as can be seen in an archive of the webpage.
Another member of the advisory board is a Pakistani national, lawyer-politician Aitzaz Ahsan.
Apart from the advisory board, another major concern is the so-called country experts, the people who provide the insight, based on which V-Dem ranks the countries. Shockingly, the Sweden based organisation judges whether a country is democracy or not based on the opinion of around two dozen people. The methodology adopted by V-Dem makes it clear that their report is not based a large-scale survey, but based on ‘data’ provided by 5 person per country for each indicator.
As the report is based on five indices, this means around 25 persons per country. The V-Dem website confirms this in their website by saying, “We endeavor to have a minimum of five experts for each indicator per country. This typically means we have twenty-five or more experts per country, since each expert only codes indicators in his/her areas of expertise.”
Another matter of concern is that the 25 experts who give data on a country may not be from that country. V-Dem says that “two-thirds of Country Experts providing data on a country should be nationals or permanent residents of that country”. This means, 8 or 9 ‘experts’ out of 25 giving opinion on a country are foreigners.
With people like Pratap Bhany Mehta and Nirja Gopal Jayal on the advisory board, it is not difficult to estimate the ideological leaning of the experts selected by V-Dem for providing their opinion on the status of democracy in India.
These facts make it clear that the ranking of India in the V-Dem report is nothing but a propaganda by the left-liberals in India, who want to downgrade India’s image in front of the world for their severe hatred for the Modi government.