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Democracy in decline


Democracies around the globe are facing serious jolts and setbacks since the outbreak of COVID- 19. The authoritarian and many democratic leaders found it perfect an opportunity “to do outrageous things”. They used emergency powers to snuff out political dissent by putting opponents in jails, detaining journalists and civil society workers. The proliferation of technology further gave impetus to digital dictatorship and put democratic norms under strain. It provided an easy ground to the rulers to strengthen their position in power by tracing citizens and monitoring their every activity. The compelling and decisive evidences of such acts are discernable from data of Freedom House Report which indicates the alarming deterioration of human rights and civil liberties.
Indian government’s departure from democratic values and secularism is also leading manifestation in this regard. When whole world was busy in combating the infectious disease,BJP’s government introduced new domicile lawwhich gives Indian citizens an access to settlement in Kashmir. According the available literature if any officer fails to grant domicile within fifteen days, he will have to pay fifty thousand rupees as penalty for that. The unilateral revocation of article 370 and 35-A also has resulted in unprcedental killings of Kashmiris, sexual harassment,teens with permanent disabilities and detention of top Kashmiri leadership. In the 21st century of human rights seven million people of Kashmir are under double suffocated lockdown of military. They have not even access to basic necessities.
Recently, America signed and agreement termed as Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).Accordingto available resource, America would provide India with access to American geospatial intelligence. The agreement would further fuel the repression of Kashmir and marginalized communities living in India. Now,it would become more conducive for Indian leadership to trace out and spy on their opponents in both Kashmir and India with the help of GPS and location of targets. It is the only reason that the Freedom House Report 2020 declared India as bad performer in democracy since the backing of Narendra Modi in power.
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence in autocratic was is giving impetus to rulers to detain and harass those against their point of order.During the outbreak of coronavirus, in the exchange of health and security, many people were spied on and traced. In the age of digital dictatorships privacy has remained a mere commodity.
The same is the case of Israel.Freedom House Report indicates “Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has taken increasingly drastic steps to maintain the loyalty of far-right groups by banning foreign activists and enacting discriminatory laws. Surveillance technology created on the West Bank violates the privacy of Palestinian. Micro phones, secret CCTV cameras, spy software and drones monitor every activity whether it is political or social media campaign. Surprisingly,only few Israeli soldiers control the population of Palestine. The proliferation in sensor-based technology violates fundamental rights and civil liberties of the people.
Similarly, Myanmar is also facing democratic crisis. Recently military has imposed state of emergency. Top political leaders including Aung San Suu has been kept under detention and thousands of people are killed during the unrest. The political instability has forced many to leave the country. In such circumstances, it becomes the responsibility of international community,especially the United Nations, to play its pivotal role for the restoration of democracy in true spirit.Violation of human and political rights cannot and should not be used for economic pursuits. Sustainability of peace and promotion of humanitarianism should be of worlds utmost priority.