A guest column in today’s Economic Times left me wondering.. Why is RTI always in news? It’s either the government is trying to introduce reforms in it or it’s not implementing it right; or RTI activists are being threatened. The guest column is a personal view of a professor who is denied information despite repeated appeals to multiple ministries. She shows how vested interests within the government will try and succeed in protecting (hiding) certain information. She suggests reforms to make government officials more accountable and a “major groundswell of pressure from a large coalition of citizens”. The column is her personal view drawn from her own experience of using RTI and obviously being a professor, it would be well researched in terms of gaining information from other’s experience also.. so in no way am I denying that RTI is still not a very transparent system.
There is obviously conflict in the sense that the Act that is supposed to keep the government accountable is actually controlled by the government itself. I think political influence (power relations) is ingrained in our system and trying to fight against it; trying to remove it completely is theoretical.Frankly speaking can we really do away with corruption? Is it always bad? Maybe in a purely black and white world corruption can be put in the black box and branded bad. Do we live in a black and white world? Aren’t there times when corruption actually helped you? We can get into the debate of petty corruption and grand corruption? petty corruption is fine but grand is unacceptable. Just branding corruption into to categories means that we are trying to justify some acts but theoretically they all fall in the black box… Okay I don’t know what I am saying now…and I should stop.
But I think something as strong as the RTI Act will and should always remain in news. RTI makes me proud!
image from: www.tisrilanka.org