Bangladesh has moved four places up in the latest Democracy Index, compared to the previous year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, or EIU.
A large majority of countries on the index recorded a decline in their total score compared with 2019 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the average global score falling from 5.44 in 2019 to 5.37 to hit an all-time low.
The 2020 result represents a significant deterioration mostly brought about by government-imposed restrictions on individual freedoms and civil liberties that occurred across the globe in response to the pandemic, the report said Bangladesh made a ‘marginal’ improvement in terms of upholding democratic norms which pushed its overall score up to 5.99 to rank 76th on Democracy Index 2020, from 80th place with a score of 5.88 a year ago.
The South Asian nation, however, is still classified as a hybrid regime and lags behind neighbouring India, which slipped two places to 53 with an overall score of 6.61 as a result of democratic backsliding under the leadership of Narendra Modi, according to the EIU.
The increasing influence of religion under the Modi premiership, whose policies have fomented anti-Muslim feeling and religious strife, has damaged the political fabric of the country while the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 continued to fuel riots in 2020, the report said.