New Delhi: India has reacted sharply to the report released by the US-based watchdog Freedom house in which it has downgraded India`s status as a democracy and free society to 'partly free' by calling the findings 'distorted, inaccurate'.
While addressing a press conference spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said, "Political judgment of freedom house are as inaccurate and distorted as their maps, example on the COVID-19 situation there is widespread appreciation of the response of our recovery rate and low fatality rate."
The ministry added, “Government of India treats all its citizens with equality as enshrined under the Constitution of the country and all laws are applied without discrimination. Due process of law is followed in matters relating to law and order, irrespective of the identity of the alleged instigator."
Freedom house in its report titled `Freedom in the World 2021 - Democracy under Siege` had stated, "The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its state-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year, and their response to COVID-19 included a ham-fisted lockdown that resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers."
The report by Freedom House brought to attention the Northeast Delhi riots, increase in use of sedition laws against critics of the government, internet shutdowns and the migrant crisis imposed due to COVID-19 crisis.
MEA responded by saying, "India has robust institutions and well established democratic practices, we do not need sermons especially from those who don`t even get their basics right."
The report has claimed the change in India’s status is part of a global shift in the balance between democracy and authoritarianism.