NEW DELHI: The Centre issued a seven-point rebuttal countering the US government-funded NGO Freedom House for its “misleading, incorrect and misplaced” report which lowered India into the ‘partly-free’ category. Based on 25 indicators, the report ranked countries as ‘free’, ‘partly free’ and ‘not free’. While India’s score on political rights was 34/40, its score on civil liberties was 33/60. The report had said India was ‘partly free’ and blamed the BJP government at the Centre for the loss of its ‘free status’.
The report is misleading, incorrect and misplaced, the government said in a statement. “This is evident from the fact that many states in India under its federal structure are ruled by parties other than the one at the national level, through an election process which is free and fair and which is conducted by an independent election body. This reflects the working of a vibrant democracy, which gives space to those who hold varying views.”
The report had said that the government and its ‘state-level’ allies continued to crack down on journalists, academics, and brought a ham-fisted lockdown which led to ‘unplanned and dangerous’ displacement of internal migrant workers. In its statement, the government said that mass movement would lead to spread of the disease. “The government was fully conscious that during the period of an inevitable Lockdown, people should not face undue distress.” It also refuted there was crackdown on dissent by media.
Issuing a rebuttal to the report’s observations on discriminatory policies at the Delhi riots, the government said proportionate and appropriate actions were taken to control the situation. It also issued rebuttals on the use of sedition law, government’s response on human rights organisations, internet shutdowns and
The MEA also came out with a strong statement saying it did not need sermons from those who cannot get their basics right. “Their (Freedom House’s) political judgement is as good as their maps. We do not need sermons from those who get their basics right.”