The Shiv Sena today said there have been attempts to muzzle dissenting voices and this is one of the reasons for India slipping in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece "Saamana" said a slowdown in economy gives rise to unrest and instability, and this was getting reflected in the prevailing situation in the country.
"Now (after an economic slowdown) there is a slide in (India's) global democracy index ranking," the Marathi daily said.
India slipped 10 places to 51st position in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited "erosion of civil liberties" in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend. The EIU report was released earlier this week.
Citing issues like scrapping of Article 370, that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir, new citizenship law CAA and the proposed NRC, measures which have witnessed protests, the paper said the country had witnessed a churning in the last one year.
"There have been protests and attempts to muzzle dissenting voices. Those who showed sympathy with JNU students (attacked by goons) were put in the dock and were made to look like an accused."
"This is the reason India slipped to 51st position in the Democracy Index, the editorial said and wondered if the ruling party at the Centre and its supporters accept the current situation."
"Even if the government rejects the (EIU) report, does the ruling party have an answer as to why the country was witnessing a slide, from economic field to democracy (ranking)?" the Sena, a former ally of the BJP, asked.
The Sena publication said if the government thinks the country was doing well (on economic front), "why is it asking the RBI for money"? apparently referring to the Centre's decision last year to seek Rs 1.76 lakh crore from reserves of the RBI.
It is good to have a goal of making India a five trillion dollar economy (by 2024), but the GDP is not likely to grow by even 5 per cent in the current fiscal year, the party said.