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What do we do? On Proposed RTI Act Amendment ? by Arvind Kejriwal

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 23, 2006

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: parivartan  india <parivartan_india@rediffmail.com>
Date: 22 Jul 2006 01:22:52 -0000
Subject: [antibriberycampaign] What do we do?
To: antibriberycampaign@yahoogroups.com

Dear all,

The proposed amendments are a big setback to the entire RTI campaign. For
the last two days, we have been struggling to figure out what should we do.
There aren’t clear answers. But some suggestions are as follows. Let us add
to these suggestions and do whatever all of us feel is possible within our
domain:

1.  A massive signature campaign. Both physically and through e-mails. I
suggest best recourse could be to write to Sonia Gandhi saying that she had
brought this Act. Now her govt was bent upon destroying it and she should
intervene to save it. Our stand should be that no amendment is acceptable to
us – none.

Rakesh from Bhillai said that if each of the cities of anti-bribery campaign
gets about 500 signatures (separate letters signed by people containing
their addresses also), it would add up to almost 2.5 lakh letters. This
could be released to the media together. So, please collect letters but
don’t send it. We can do that on the same day or maybe on different days,
whatever would be the best strategy. But we will have to do that fast. I
don’t know if we can do it in the next three to four days.

Simultaneously, if we can request people to send e-mails to Sonia Gandhi.
Let us flood her. We can also write to the Prime Minister. One petition
already exists on petition-on-line for which Divyajyoti has already written
through a separate mail.

2.  If we can get many other types of associations and organizations write
to Sonia and PM. Like industry associations, eminent citizens etc. Like PHD
Chamber of Commerce has condemned this move. Let us get many more such
organizations criticize. It should not appear to be an NGO affair. Each such
statement could be given to the media. Can friends from Ahmedabad request
Prof Chhokkar to get signatures from IIM Profs. Can Prof Chokkar also get
similar signature campaigns done in other IIMs.

3. Can Mr C K Jain try and persuade IIT Delhi alumni association to send
letters to Sonia and PM.

4. yesterday, we had a meeting with Aruna Roy. It is being planned to start
a dharna in Delhi after a week.

5.  Please ask everyone on your mailing list to visit petitiononline and
sign the protest letter.

6. We will talk to all media partners and get them to take it up. Pronnoy
Roy’s response has been quite encouraging. Just that he is busy till Monday.
We are meeting him on Tuesday to work out how NDTV can take it up as a
campaign. But let us not restrict it to our existing partners. Let us
approach every media house to seek their support. But what could a media
house do. The following three things come to my mind immediately. Please add
to this list:

a.  By publishing every small and big story about protests anywhere in the
country.

b.  By appealing to citizens to write to Sonia and PM. This appeal should
be made evry day and regularly till the proposal is withdrawn. The media
house can draft letters, put it up on their own websites and ask people to
visit their sites and send letters directly. For those who do not have
access to web, the media house could appeal to them to directly write with a
copy to the media house.

c. By even organizing protests. If they appeal through their media that a
protest is being organized on such and such date at such and such place, I
am sure people could turn up in large no. It has to be made into a “Save
Indian Democracy” Campaign.

In the meanwhile, the following developments have taken place:

1.  Student volunteers, who participated in the recently concluded campaign
in Delhi, have been able to get appointments from some top political leaders
like Prnab Mukherjee, Sitaram Yechury etc. I will request Saurav to update
us on this as he is organizing all this.

2.  Anna Hazare is coming to Delhi today. Pune friends have already
requested him to participate in a big manner. We are organizing a press
conference for him today.

3.  Someone from Amethi called me up last night and he was quite agitated.
He is starting a signature campaign in Amethi.

Should we keep anti-bribery and Hum Janenge yahoogroups as the main
platforms for this campaign? If everyone agrees, I would suggest that please
send e-mail IDs of all volunteers who participated in the last campaign or
whoever would wish to participate in this campaign to Suchi. Suchi, please
add all e-mail IDs from Delhi and elsewhere.

Any more ideas? Please let us think more on how we can make it more
widespread.

Best wishes

arvind

7 Responses to “What do we do? On Proposed RTI Act Amendment ? by Arvind Kejriwal”

  1. P.K. Aditya, Chandigarh said

    Maximum damage to RTI has been done by the DOPT, which on its own, rather say as “His Masters Voice” of the bureaucracy, changed the definition of ‘information’ on the official websites of the government, namely Persmin and the RTI Portal, without any force of law. Even the Prime Ministr’s instruction through press release of December 1, 2005 failed to convince it to initiate change to enable disclosure of certain type of notings. Its en masse blanket on all type of notings is contrary to the then decision taken by the PM.

    Whether the now decision of the Cabinet will make any dent, only time will show. In fact the now decision is meaningless in the face of fait accompali, by DOPT havong already done long ago what is now intended to be done. We should all press for the DOPT to undo what it has dome, immediately, and come back with whatever happens after consideration of the proposed amendment by the Parliament.
    P.K. Aditya, Chandigarh

  2. S.K.Kapur said

    I recommend everyone to go through one mail of an advocate of RTI
    If we have such proponents of RTI who is bothered of file notings?
    “redress my private issues with govt or local bodies (a friendly
    chai-pani of Rs.20 works much better than all the RTI’ing in the
    world).”

  3. Lawrence said

    Before we go to the issue of signature campaigns and other sort of things to persuade the govt from making any ammendments we must first see how many people are aware of the benefis of RTI is the awareness more than enough to fight back. We should take advantage of this situation to both educate the peolpe on the issue and also conduct he signature campaigns along side which I think would bring in the much desired results.

  4. Isn’t there a legal recourse? Is the amendment constitutional? If PIL is an option, we can raise funds to fight this in courts.

  5. No body has so-far taken NRI’s and PIOs and Indian
    Associations and Indian leaders in US, UK, Canada,
    Australia and Gulf Countries about dilution of RTI
    and abuse of Democratic Rights of RTI.

    This is Right time to involve Overseas Indians.

  6. “NRI” Coalition For Social Justice
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    Vice President ( REACH-OUT)
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    Vice President: (Fianance):
    Saeed Patel Saeed325@aol.com
    Vice President: ( MEDIA & PUBLICITY)
    Ajay Batra Ph: 646-436-5626 Ajaybatra@ivstv.com
    Vice President (LEGAL Affairs) :
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  7. http://moia.gov.in/showinfo1.asp?linkid=190

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