Monday, November 3, 2008
RTI Act & Common People
RTI Act is a legislative measure with radical, rather revolutionary, potential. For the first time, you and I can peep into the official files and know why the bureaucrats and politicians have taken the kind of decisions they have. It's our opportunity to look beyond the iron-curtain and penetrate the layers of Official Secrecy Act (1923). Now you can have as much transparency as you wish to have. Democracy is no longer the prerogative of the more privileged or the less educated. RTI Act has truly introduced an element of public accountability into our system. But friends, don't expect it to work like a magic wand. It's an instrument of power in the hands of well-meaning people and can actually help us move towards the laudable goal of establishing a civil society (right now, we are far from being one. Aren't we?). But at the same time, it could also become a subversive tool of arm-twisting and subtle manipulation of the powerful, even power-brokering in the hands of those who only know how best to serve their own selfish ends. So, let's use this great tool of empowerment of common people in the service of the common people and furthering social causes, thus triggering off a tiny revolution in our decadent system, as and when and wherever we can. Let's not use it to further our own petty ends, but only to create greater public accountability and transparency into our system. Without this, democracy is nothing more than a pack of 'demons' 'crazy' for 'power,' which has been the story of our nascent democracy since Independence.