US watchdog Freedom House has dropped India from a list of "free" countries and placed it in the "partly free" category. The report, released by a Washington-based non-profit that has been conducting research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights, said that the country was being driven towards "authoritarianism."

India flag

Freedom House further explained that the reason for India's status decline as a result of a multiyear pattern in which the government and its allies have allegedly "presided over rising violence and discriminatory policies affecting the Muslim population and pursued a crackdown on expressions of dissent by the media, academics, civil society groups, and protesters."

Wrong depiction of India map

More than the actual report, what truly hits the nerve is the wrongful depiction of the Indian map. Freedom House conveniently chopped off crucial northern parts of India. The Indian map used in its reports does not show Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India. This is a clear sign of its anti-India bias.

Freedom House report

Note: We have intentionally blacked out the wrongful depiction of the Indian map as portrayed by Freedom House as it is illegal in India to present an incorrect rendition of the national map.

Freedom House has faced severe backlash - both for its factually baseless report and wrong depiction of the Indian map. This is a highly sensitive issue - something the government of India hasn't taken lightly in the past. India hasn't filtered its tone while addressing a similar issue when WHO and Wikipedia had done a similar crime of wrongful depiction of Indian map.

Whoever publishes a map of India, which is not in conformity with the maps of India as published by the survey of India, shall be punishable with imprisonment. which may be extended to six months, or with fine, or with both." - The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1961.

Netizens didn't take the faux pas lightly and condemned Freedom House.

Freedom House report
Freedom House report