India Among 14 Most Worsened Countries in Fragile State Index

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi

In the various states of the fragility, India’s status has been described as ‘Elevated Warning’

Waquar Hasan

NEW DELHI – The warning of Shiv Sena about India breaking away like Soviet Union due to the Central government found its echo in the Fragile State Index (FSI) 2020 which put India among the most worsened countries.

India, ranked 68th among 178 countries, has been put in the most worsened 14 countries along with Chile, Libya, Mali, Colombia and other countries in the annual report prepared by the Fund for Peace (FFP), which has cited the Ayodhya judgment, Modi government’s actions on Jammu and Kashmir, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the rise of violence against Muslims..

In the various states of the fragility–Very Sustainable, Sustainable, Very Stable, More Stable, Warning, Elevated Warning, High Warning, Alert, High Alert, Very High Alert–India’s status has been described as ‘Elevated Warning’. Yemen has been put in the highest status of fragility with the first rank in the ‘Very High Alert’ category, while Finland is in the lowest status with 178th rank in ‘Very Sustainable Category.

The fragility of the states has been measured with five indicators –Cohesion Indicators, Economic Indicators, Political Indicators, Social Indicators and Cross-Cutting Indicators.

“The Fragile States Index is based on a conflict assessment framework–known as “CAST”–that was developed by FFP nearly a quarter century ago for assessing the vulnerability of states to collapse. The CAST framework was designed to measure this vulnerability in pre-conflict, active conflict and post-conflict situations, and continues to be used widely by policy makers, field practitioners, and local community networks. The methodology uses both qualitative and quantitative indicators, relies on public source data, and produces quantifiable results,” noted its website about the indicators.

Along with other worsened countries, the 2020 FFP report has devoted a chapter about India to describe the worsening situation of the country. The chapter talks about the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the campaign of Ramjanmbhoomi construction at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and its impact on India’s status in the FSI.

“The BJP’s embrace of this populist sentiment, and its violent manifestations, has impacted India’s performance on the Fragile States Index  in 2020, reflected in a significant worsening in the country’s Human Rights and Rule of Law indicator, and ultimately leading to India rating at the world’s 11th most worsened country overall,” noted the report.

The report also talked about the role of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in the 2002 anti-Muslim communal violence and his rise to be Prime Minister of India with the support of the business community. It talked about the sharp slowdown of Indian economy under Prime Minister Modi due to his faulty policies like demonetisation.

“Unable to tout his economic record, during the 2019 general elections, Modi embraced the type of hardline Hindutva that had fueled previous success for the BJP at the national level. With anti-Muslim hate crimes having already soared during Modi’s first term, the BJP promised to extend the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) to the entire country,” it said.

Then, the report went on to talk about the stripping of citizenship of 1.9 million people in Assam through NRC, the revocation of Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir by detaining 4,000 people of the erstwhile state, the passage of discriminatory citizenship law (CAA) and the anti-Muslim communal violence in northeast Delhi.

“Rising Hindu nationalism, inflamed by the BJP, has widened internal divisions ahead of a period that demands high levels of social solidarity. Taken together, India is facing a dangerous dynamic in the upcoming year,” concluded the report, which came into public in May this year.

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