India will celebrate the Seventh Anniversary of Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005 on 12 October 2012. This RTI Act has been the most powerful legislation in the last decade. This has been nothing less than revolutionary in the history of Indian Democracy. It has empowered people, created front page stories and has challenged the governments.
Does this mean RTI Act has achieved its stated objectives? If yes, how much has it achieved and if it has failed, where has it failed? Why has it failed? What are the road blocks? Why the politicians in the government and the bureaucrats are scared of the RTI Act? Are RTI activists being targeted because they challenge the system and vested interest? What are provisions to provide protection to Whistle Blowers? Is the Act being misused for personal gain and political rivalry?
Answers to these questions are neither simple nor straight forward; nevertheless we need to continue to ask these questions. What better opportunity than the Seventh Anniversary of the RTI Act to ask these questions and find out answers.
On the 7th Anniversary the Beyond Headlines team is conducting a survey on the effectiveness of the Act to discuss the future challenges and opportunities for common people.
Beyond Headlines will carry a special series on the RTI on the following points
1. RTI Act: Its implications for the common people.
2. RTI: Has it really made governments accountable and answerable?
3. RTI: The Response of the State machinery.
4. RTI: The successes and failures of Information Commissions.
5. RTI: The Response of the Higher Judiciary in India
6. RTI: Resistance from government and the society
7. RTI: Protection to the whistle-blowers.
8. What have been the attitude, successes and failures of social organisations, activists and movements with regard to Right to Information
9. Right to Information: Is there any need to further amend/modify the Act to make it more stronger keeping in view the experiences of these seven years.
10. Success stories, cases and struggles regarding RTI.
11. Any other topic related to RTI
Note: You are requested to send your opinion/article/case story/personal experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12th October, 2012. We would publish your responses as articles or part of our analysis where you/your opinion/experience may be quoted. If you want to remain anonymous or want to use a pseudonym please clearly inform us.