RTI drive gains momentum
Posted by rtiact2005 on August 13, 2006
RTI drive gains momentum
[ 14 Aug, 2006 0017hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
NEW DELHI: “It is critical to save democracy and for that we need the RTI Act.” This sentiment reverberated among thousands of people who launched an agitation against government’s move to amend the recently enacted Right to Information Act.
Demanding a total rollback on the government’s decision to amend the RTI Act, Sandeep Pandey, an activist and Magsaysay winner, launched indefinite hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in the Capital seven days ago.
Intensifying the protest, dharna camps are being organised all across the country and people from different states like Rajasthan, Orissa, UP are poring in to join the movement.
Said Arvind Kejriwal, an activist in the RTI movement: “Political leaders like Brinda Karat, D Raja and V P Singh have also joined the protest.
People from all walks of life, students, RWA’s, NGO’s, old age homes, children rehabilitation centres and slums have joined hands and are moving all across the country to collect votes against the amendment.”
Interestingly, villagers and the poor are the ones who have already filed RTI applications and are awaiting replies.
According to Kejriwal: “The response is very positive.
Practically, no one wants amendments to the act which will tear the real fabric of the act and render it useless. We are moving around the country to inform and educate people about it, and the possible amendments to draw support from everywhere.”
Attested Pandey: “Our objective is to stall the act from going to the parliament because once the amendments are made, the act will lose its importance. If the amendments are made, we will launch rigorous protest rallies and take to streets.
Our plan of action has been chalked out and it is certain to give the government sleepless nights.” Said an activist, Shuchi Pandey: “Students from schools and colleges like JNU and LSR have cast their votes.”
Said another, Commodore Lokesh Batra: “Our teams are moving around the streets and collecting votes which will be opened before the government around August 17.
We have received about 12,000 votes and are expected to garner over 50,000 by Independence Day.” He added: “Apart from the usual road, power and water issues, these people are filing RTI’s on problems they face while registering a complaint with the police, land scams, pension and provident fund.”
Added Shuchi: “We have roped in organisations like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Satark Nagrik Sangathan, RWA’s, student organisations like Josh, who have been actively participating in the campaign round the clock.”
Pandey concluded: “The government should explain to the public the real reasons behind amendments which in reality are threatening the Fundamental Rights of the people.”
The ‘Campaign to Save RTI Act’ kicked-off on August 8 with the submission of a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by a youth group and a performance by pop band Euphoria.