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Pravasi Bharat’s Protests Held In London Against Amendment Of RTI Act.

25 August 2013 No Comment

Pravasi Bharat Protests In London against RTI Amendment

Pravasi Bharat U.K based Organisation of the citizens of India held a  Protest on 17th August 2013,against  the Indian Government’s  introduction of a bill in Parliament to amend the RTI law, as a reaction to the recent Central Information Commission order, which declared six political parties to be public authorities under the RTI Act.

Protests were held and petition copies were given to Government of India through Indian High Commission  in London.

The Act has enabled the making of informed choices and strengthened participatory democracy; by enabling the citizens of India to monitor and access services throughout the country. Any amendment to the RTI Act would undermine and weaken the process of realizing various constitutional promises.” We would, therefore, expect the government to hold wide ranging public discussions before they think of amending the law in any way”

The Key Highlights:

  1. They have tied their mouths with black cloth – To condemn: As government of India trying to suppress people’s voice by amending RTI.
  2. Some of them painted their faces with India flag and RTI Words – To show that the citizens of living abroad too were concerned about their mother land and the historical RTI act, which had given our citizens power through transparency and accountability.
  3. Submitted the petition to Honorable Prime Minister of India and the Honorable Speaker of Loksabha, requesting to  ‘Not Amend RTI – without wider consultations from NGO’s and Social Activists’ through High Commission of India.
The actual event as it un-folded as below.

Event Information & Back Ground:- As we all are aware that RTI act is one of the best tool
available for common man in our nation; it increased both the transparency and accountability in most of the public sectors.We the Indians living in abroad felt happy with the order of Central Information Commission (CIC)
declaring that political parties are public authorities under the RTI Act. We believe the transparency and accountability through RTI in the political parties of India will definitely enhance our democracy. We have come across the news through electronic and online media on the plans in amendment of RTI Act. It is reported that the Government is in process to amend the RTI law, as a reaction to the recent Central Information Commission order. We, as the citizens of India request that it not to be amended. The Act has enabled accountability and strengthened our democracy through citizen’s active participation. In 2009, when amendments were being proposed to the RTI
Act, the concerned minister of the government had assured Parliament, in response to a question, that “Non- Governmental Organisations and social activists will be consulted on the proposed amendments.” We would, therefore, expect the government to hold wide ranging public discussions and also include its abroad citizens and concerned organizations before amending the RTI Act.

Protests in London against RTI Amendment by Pravasi Bharat

Protest Process they followed:-

1. Mrs. Arti Gujare, Core Member started the event with the National Anthem.

2. Mr. Srujan Chada, Core Member lead the event; He requested everyone to be silent for 2 Minutes- All the participants stood silence and paid homage to all those RTI Actvists who laid down their valuable lives for being whistle blowers and for fighting for the right cause.

3- Mr. Srujan addressed the gathering by giving background information on RTI and about the initiation for this peaceful demonstration.

4. Mr Ceeka ChandraShekar, Core Member: Requested Government of India to not amend the RTI Act.

5. Mr. Nagender Chindam, Chairman of this campaign group appealed the Government of India to not amend RTI Act with out wider consultations, He said, we the citizens residing abroad heartily welcomed the CIC decision of including 6 major political parties under RTI Act and said very unfortunate to know that government is trying to amend the RTI Act without wider consultations from the stake holders i.e. Citizens of the largest democracy, which was in fact promised in the year 2009. He also appealed government to involve/invite Indian citizens/organizations in abroad for RTI consultation process (if any). He said when the political parties build their infrastructure based on tax-payers money – then how come they can be excluded from being transparent and being accountable for public? It is not just the matter of NGOs and the people like us, It’s the matter for genuine honest political parties to do a protest and demand government to not amend RTI Act.

6. Dr Naresh Hanchate: Reasearch Scholor and Citizen of India, US based member of Pravasi Bharat, appealed to not amend RTI Act by reminding the importance of RTI Act by addressing it over telephone.

7. Dr Amit Mukerjee, Core Member: Requested Government of India to not amend the RTI Act.

8. Many from the audience shared their feelings regarding the RTI amendment and demanded government to stall the amendment process immediately.

9. All the participants including the members of Pravasi Bharat Arti Gujare, Srujan Chada, Feroz Khan, Roopa Nagaraju, Dr Amit Mukerjee, Chandra Ceeka, Nagender Chindam submitted the petitions on RTI addressed to Prime Minister of India, Speaker of the Loksabha through High Commission Office in London.

HCI Official has received petitions on behalf of HCI, London

Letter to Honourable Prime Minister of India on RTI – Draft

Letter to Honourable Speaker (Loksabha) of India on RTI – Draft

 

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