Action to defend RTI
Posted by rtiact2005 on September 1, 2006
The Right To Information Act has begun to make an impact in terms of empowering Citizens across the Country to make them monitors on the actions of the Government-questioning, and asking for their fundamental right of Information. The Anti-bribery Campaign from 1st to 15th July 2006 in 42 cities of India, started showing how Corruption and bribery could be challenged by independent lone Citizens using the Right To Information, and demonstrating their sovereignty.
The Empire has struck back to defend its Raj. It has done this by using the device of saying they will amend the law, so that about 20% of the impact of the law will be nullified. Citizens in many cities in India protested so vehemently and Anna Hazare’s and Sandeep Pandey’s fast put pressure on the Government, resulting in their offering to postpone the amendments. However the Government has clearly stated that they are only postponing the action of diluting the Act which is so important for the freedom of Citizens.
An initiative has been launched by Citizens in Mumbai to create a mass awareness about RTI and to combat the Government’s move to dilute their right with a simple slogan,
NO CHANGE IN RTI.
This initiative was been kicked off at a meeting at the Indian Merchants Chamber.
A 2 *3 ft. banner has been designed by Vidya Vaidya and her niece Aditi Chitre exhorting people to record their approval of the this slogan. The concept is very simple and like RTI –easy to use.
We are hoping that various Citizens will agree to put the banners-which are available in English and Marathi – at places where there is traffic of people. These could be housing societies, shops, stores, malls, hospitals, theaters, multiplexes, Ganesh Pandals, places of worship, Gymkhanas etc. A Swaraj box would be kept with it and ballot papers which Citizens could use to say Yes, we agree with the slogan, “ NO CHANGE IN RTI”, or express their support for RTI. If we can talk to friends and concerned Citizens to implement this simple device to register our active protest against an attack on our Freedom, the Government will have to take back its steps attacking our Freedom. You are an influential group and capable of getting a great deal of support. Do please use your voice and support for OUR Freedom. It would help the cause of RTI if volunteers could spare a few hours at the locations where the boxes are, to explain the significance of this to Citizens and persuade them to use the ballot for their freedom.
It is suggested that those who keep these boxes, count the ballots every 15 days and send the count to me for the earlier period starting from 16 September. They can inform me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sms it to me at 09820027305. At an appropriate time we will collect all the ballots and send them to the Prime Minister. We are hoping Citizens will take up this cause which impacts their freedom and use their contacts to implement this. If we can get a few thousand places to implement this, we will start a bushfire and send a powerful message to the Government. The implications of our ballots would not be lost on our elected representatives.
Note on Execution of
CAMPAIGN FOR ‘NO CHANGE TO RTI’
A key action in this campaign is for organizers to put up at a visible place three tools for people to effect their choice for ‘No change in RTI’. These tools are – banner, ballot box and ballot papers
Action Steps for Organisers
1. Order banner from Ravi Wadhwa at tel: 022 20633154. This is available in English and Marathi at the cost of Rs. 100 per banner. Alternatively, if organizers wish to make changes or get them printed themselves, send an email to Shailesh Gandhi at email@example.com. He will courier you a CD with the design.
It will useful if people could translate them into other languages.
2. Prepare a ballot box. Get/make a cardboard box with a slot at the top. Cover with white paper and write ‘Swaraj Box’ on it
3. Print ballot papers. The format is given below. Alternatively, order ballot papers from Ravi Wadhwa at 022 20633154.
It should be possible to do alayout of six to a page, and get them Xeroxed, threby the cost would come to around 10 paise.
4. Every fortnight, count the ballot and email the numbers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, store the counted ballots for collection at the end of the campaign.
5. Persuade others to emulate you. The effectiveness will multiply if lots of places keep these.
We can succeed.
The Campaign to Save the Right to Information feels that these amendments would considerably weaken the Act. Do you agree you want “ NO CHANGE IN RTI’.
(Tick one of the following)
1. I want “ NO CHANGE IN RTI” ………..
2. The Government has the right to change it ………….
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