Business Standard

Democracy, autocracy, or both?

Most democracies, or autocracies, fall in a category of one. Why then are we trying to judge all of them in the same way?

Democracy, autocracy, or both?

Illustration: Binay Sinha

R Jagannathan
The Gothenburg-based V-Dem institute has again ruffled feathers in India by categorising India as “one of the worst autocratisers” in the world. Every succeeding year since 2018, when V-Dem first called India an “electoral autocracy”, the verbiage in its annual reports has only gotten worse. 

It is not my purpose here to question the V-Dem methodology and point out its obvious problems. I have done that earlier in “No method in the Madness” (Business Standard, February 28, 2024). But there is always going to be a tension between freedom and authority because all states — whether democratic or authoritarian or somewhere
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Apr 02 2024 | 10:16 PM IST

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