Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Mumbai protests against RTI mutilation:: Shailesh Gandhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 15, 2006

A very good sign is that the Left front MPs went to the Jantar Mantar Delhi protest and publicly stated that they would oppose the proposed amendments to the RTI Act.

Ms. Priya Dutt Congress MP from Mumbai,- in reply to a email from a Mumbai Citizen Rajul Desai,- wrote “This act has infact given the citizens a tool to empower themselves, and this must not be diluted.’ This shows that individual MPs are willing to put the Citizens freedom and interests beyond party politics. We salute these MPs and will remember that they are committed to OUR Freedom. We are sure more MPs will start taking this position.

Would VOTEMUMBAI make this part of their agenda?

August 14 on the eve of the Independence day:

1. About a dozen students-mainly from the Kamala Raheja College stood holding placards outside the Juhu Garden from 12.00noon to 1.00pm.

2. About 225 people turned up for a protest meeting at the Salvation Hall at Dadar, Portugeese Church. The Bombay Catholic Sabha had organised this meeting with NCPRI. Dolphy D’souza the President of the Catholic Sabha committed that the Catholic Sabha would initiate a number of ways to defend our Freedom and demand ” NO CHANGE IN RTI”.

Shri Julio Ribeiro explained the importance of file notings and made it clear that the file notings are important and PCGT would also take this protest further. Ms. Vidya Vaidya spoke from the heart when she mentioned how as a grassroots worker she had found the Right To Information very useful to arm her with the ‘truth’ about the misgovernance of the Government. Bishop Bosco committed that the Church recognised the importance of encouraging Citizens movements and commended the Catholic Sabha for the initiative. I spoke after this, and Anand Castellino conducted the program in a very effecient manner.

A ballot paper was also kept at the entrance, which a lot of people filled and deposited. Proposed copies of letters to MPs were also kept and listners were exhorted to meet the MPs and write to them demanding that the MPs must take a stand for our Freedom publicly and oppose any changes in the RTI Act.

Suggestions for organisations , groups, individuals:

1. If posssible hold demonstrations even for an hour or two at different Public places -railway stations, promenades, colleges, auditoriums. During these keep ballots ready and request people to deposit them in your ballot boxes.

2. Try and get ballot boxes installed at places where it is possible, with your organisations name, and keep ballot papers next to them.

3. Display banners at private places where a lot of people can see-large housing socities, colleges,auditoriums, theatres, shops, and if possible have ballot papers and ballot boxes placed next to them.
4. Talk about this individually or in groups.
5. If possible have Public meetings.

One Public meeting has been planned at the IMC hall, 4th floor-opposite Churchgate station- on  Thursday 24 August at 6.00pm. This is being organised by the Nani Palkhiwala Trust along other organisations. Let us all strive to organise and voice the People’s voice, to stop the mutilation of our RTI.

Ballot paper:
The Government wants to amend the Right to Information Act 2005 and exclude some important categories of information from being accessed.

The Campaign to Save the Right to Information feels that these amendments would considerably weaken the Act.

Do you want the Act to remain as it is? (Tick one of the following)
Yes, information should remain accessible                                 …………
No, the information should be restricted                                  ………….

Name: ……………………………………………………….



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