Saturday, November 14, 2009

Villagers, activists up in arms over proposed RTI changes

Kheema Ram, a 40-year-old farmer from Rajasthan who exposed a number of corrupt practices through his more than 350 RTI applications is against any amendments in the Act. Ram, hailing from Rajsamund district, travelled all the way to Delhi along with fellow villagers on Saturday to protest against the proposed amendments in the RTI Act which may take out some categories of information from the Act's ambit.

"The discussed amendments will take out the 'Atma' of the act. We will be at the mercy of the public information officer for extracting even the most relevant information. They can reject our applications, saying its `frivolous', if the changes materialise,'' he said.

Ram's views find resonance among a cross section of intellectuals, social workers, politicians, farmers and RTI activists. Opposing the proposal to "weaken'' the Act, people from 10 states across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar on Saturday for a day long dharna.

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