Ever since its Independence, India has struggled to keep the bickering union intact- mostly through brutal force and occupation, but while it still claims to be the most populace democracy in the world, data suggests, that the once shining India is becoming a graveyard for dissent and a poster child of “Flawed Democracy” In a recent spike in love affair of Modi’s government, with slapping sedition charges on its own people, and brutalizing the protesting farmers, it is pertinent to mention that modern India’s actions are a reflection of its former colonial masters towards Indian citizens In 1922, one of the most famous figures of the Indian Independence Movement, Mohandas Gandhi was charged with “sedition” under the Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code. While appearing at the British court in Ahmedabad, Gandhi called the law “prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.” He was sentenced to six years in jail. Sedition was often used as a ruse by the British empire to suppress dissent, however, today, Modi’s India is also acting as a colonial power towards its people-to suppress those who dissent, and even if Gandhi in his own manifestation, would have led protests against a fascist regime in modern India, he would’ve been slapped by similar charges. Ever since BJP’s ascendancy into the power, dissenting voices and journalists have been increasingly smeared, gagged or attacked – whether through legal or extrajudicial means. Those who oppose the BJP’s ideology and its policies are routinely branded as “anti-national” or corrupt. Within this hostile environment towards any opposition, sedition charges have been a de-facto strategy for many BJP-ruled state governments in pushing back against any form of dissent, the new database has found. An independent initiative called Article 14, tracked all cases registered between January 2010 and December 2020, under the Indian Penal Code’s (IPC) section 124A, in which sedition is defined as attempts through words or visuals that bring “into hatred or contempt or excites disaffection against the Government”. Sedition is punishable by life imprisonment with a fine or imprisonment that extends to three years with a fine. According to the data revealed by Article 14, 65 percent of nearly 11,000 individuals in 816 sedition cases since 2010 were filed after May 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power. They included political opposition figures, journalists, academics and students. A further 96 percent of cases filed against 405 citizens for criticising politicians and governments over the last decade were registered after 2014. The database highlights a surge in cases following protest movements such as those against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 and the rape of a Dalit teen in UP. During the anti-CAA protests, 22 of 25 sedition cases involving 3,700 people were filed in BJP-ruled states. Following the Pulwama terrorist attack in February 2019, BJP-ruled states accounted for 26 of 27 sedition cases filed involving 42 individuals for allegedly raising “pro-Pakistan” slogans and “anti-national” messages on social media. Given that it’s raining sedition charges in an otherwise winter season, in a recent spate of assault on dissent, at least six senior journalists and editors have been slapped with sedition charges for covering farmer protests, along with Congress party politician and former Indian Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor. These cases in quick succession seem to be no coincidence, since much of this has gone unchallenged because the institutions of constitutional democracy that are meant to function as a check on executive overreach have largely given way. Modi’s majority in both houses of parliament and an ineffectual political opposition mean there is little by the way of legislative restraint. The civil service and the police have been acting more as political extensions of the government rather than constitutional functionaries. Under Modi, since much of India’s press has already been compromised, exhibiting complicity and subservience to the government, the new legal actions have a clear aim: to silence or weaken what remains of the fourth estate. While, free press may have become a lost cause under an authoritarian regime in India, in a recent, the Modi regime suspended the Internet access in several districts of a state bordering capital New Delhi following violent clashes between police and farmers protesting controversial agricultural reforms. The move would’ve came as a surprise, since India’s mainland territories have never witnessed such clampdown on free speech or internet blockade, although India’s central government has regularly deployed these tools of intimidation and oppression to suppress the Kashmiri people. While, it is yet to be seen how long the sick man of Asia, takes to recover from the damage done, India is already under the radar for all the bad reasons. A powerful India Caucus in the US Congress has urged the Indian government to ensure that the norms of democracy are maintained and protesters allowed to demonstrate peacefully and have access to the Internet as it held a meeting with New Delhi’s envoy here. New Delhi’s descent into madness has also been reflected in a 2020 Democracy Index’s global ranking, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide. India slipped two places to 53rd position according to the report, which also said that the ‘democratic backsliding’ by authorities and ‘crackdowns’ on civil liberties has led to a further decline in the country’s ranking and has been categorized as “Flawed Democracy”. ‘With mounting pressure on India’s democratic norms, India’s score fell from a peak of 7.92 in 2014 to 6.61 in 2020 and its global ranking slipped from 27th (in 2014) to 53rd as a result of democratic backsliding’ under the current regime, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said. The escalating commotion may have become India’s permanent character, but its decaying polity and transformation into totalitarianism, will make it a dangerous entity for the international community to be reckoned with.