RTI: A Substantial but Blunt Tool

RTI stands for Right to Information, it has been a given a status of fundamental right under the 2005 mandate which gives citizens of a democratic state the right to question the government and other administrative bodies about their functioning. It’s been included under article 19(1A), under which every citizen has freedom of speech and expression and have the right to know how the government works, what role does it play, what are its functions.  Article 19(1) is one of the most significant weapons that media use which works actually on the enlightenment of nation’s citizens about the social issues and the provisions taken by the concerned authorities to rectify them.

RTIs have been in news now and then for one or the other reasons, it’s because of the RTI filed by the journalist of India Today which has leads to the conclusion that cabinet ministers and bureaucrats visit exotic location more for their personal purpose then to serve the nation and to do any good for the people of the country. Henceforth, the government appealed to all the associates to keep a check on their foreign visits (Report Posted by India Today in their issue of February and September 2008). It’s because of RTI that the judiciary has been made answerable to the citizens and judicial reforms epitomizes them.

However, the case is not such fruitful all the time, there are people who are fighting with their teeth and nails since years to receive the justice even through RTI but no good has been done so far.  There are people who have been striving to get such people justice but they are themselves in a predicament as they also know that it’s impossible for them.  According to Arvind Kejriwal, social activist and Magsaysay award winner, Plato said – we should question, it’s the easiest way to gain and discover new knowledge, and when the body is holding a position that is affecting our lives, we must question. But the irony is that our system is so shrewd that it never allows us to alleviate and question them. Even the chief information committee at times doesn’t respond at all. The latest RTI filed on LIC poses a question on the chief information office integrity when the department clearly rejects the appeal to ask the LIC to ravel the concealed savings and their utilization made from discontinued policies in the past 7 years.