BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony today said that the country was going through a “transparency revolution,” which could not be stopped “midway.” He made the statement against the backdrop of agitations demanding more openness and accountability in the government functioning.
India’s premier news agency PTI has quoted him as saying: “Country is passing through a new era revolution — the transparency revolution. The walls of secrecy are crumbling in every field gradually including politics, business, administration and judiciary. Once the trend has started, you can’t stop it midway.”
The defence minister was talking to reporters after inaugurating a new conference hall of the Press Club of India.
Civil Society members such as Anna Hazare have been demanding greater checks and balances on the functioning on the government by having institutions such as the Lokpal and are holding agitations on the issue.
Antony said the transition was facing “problems” as “India is not ready as Indian politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, armed forces and all those who are holding key position are not ready for this transition that is why there are problems in this transition.”
“But that is also part of Indian democracy. But after few years they will. The transition will go on,” he said.
Crediting Parliament for increasing transparency in the country, Antony said, “For that (transparency), you have to give credit to Indian media, NGOs and social activists but ultimately it was the Indian Parliament through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.”
The minister said the RTI ACT, passed by Parliament in 2005, would help the transparency revolution percolate to all walks of life, organisations and ultimately all families.
“Instead of going back, I think in the years to come, the RTI Act will spread to new areas. I think every facet of human life will be transparent. This is happening in India under the law,” he said.
Lauding the role of Indian media in building the nation, Mr. Antony said the society is getting industrialised and there is a clash of interest between various groups.
“In this environment, you should n0t allow anybody to use you… The media should not allow itself to be manipulated by vested interests and groups,” he added.