By Anshul Tewari:
Over a Google+ Hangout that just concluded with Member of Parliament, Mr. Jay Panda and many other RTI experts, campaigners and activists – one thing that came our clear was that the RTI Act must be fought for as much as we’ve been fighting against corruption.
In his answer to our question about how people can engage more to protect the RTI Act, Mr. Panda made it very clear that people need to make their voices heard not just on the internet but on the streets as well. Mr. Panda said “The basic problem is that of prejudice amongst the political class that people like us don’t matter. That we are the minorities. That people like us don’t vote, and there is some truth to that. India is one country where as people go above the income standard and go towards the middle class vote less and less, and the situation is exactly opposite in many other countries.”
He went on to add, “We need to change this perception, and it is changing to a certain extent, and we saw that in the recent past. Hundreds and thousands of people took to the streets, and these are middle class people or aspiring to be middle class. The common thing was that these were outraged Indians who sent a message loud and clear to the political class that this (corruption) can’t be ignored. And similar incidents happened when we had a spate of violence against women.” We need to do the same.
One of the most pertinent and important points made at the end of the call by the panel moderator Bhanupriya Rao was that the RTI Act was not served to the people of India on a platter. There were years of struggle that went into bringing this act for a more transparent and accountable Government. Peasants fought for it. Activists fought for it and not for nothing. We should not let this pass away just like that.
So what are you waiting for?Â Sign this petition and click here to know what else you can do to #SaveRTI.
Check out the entire conversation with Mr. Jay Panda below: