The Global Peace Index (GPI) 2013, which was released on Tuesday, ranked India as the most violent nation in the world. The country was placed 141 among 162 nations, having lost more than two lives a day — or a staggering 799 persons — to internal conflicts in 2012.
Giving India company at the bottom of the heap are countries like Pakistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan, which are traditionally perceived to be more violence-ridden.
Iceland emerged as 2012's most peaceful country in the index and the Central African Republic the least. Ironically, India has improved on its 2011 rank by three notches.
India's poor ranking in 2012 was attributed to the high number of internal and external conflicts, ease of access to small and medium weapons and the political terror scale, as in the case of conflict-ridden Kashmir, said the report's author Steve Killelea, of the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank which works on the relationship between economics, business and peace.
On the positive side, India has reduced its number of deaths from internal conflicts as well as improved the perception of criminality among its citizens, which explains the bettering of its overall rank.
"For the first time since 1994, the total number of fatalities linked to conflict within India dropped below four figures, with a notable decline in deaths related to Islamist terrorism, insurgency in J&K and fatalities associated with Maoist insurgency across the Red Belt," stated the report.
The GPI ranks the countries on various measures including safety and security levels in the society and national and international conflict of the states.