Words of Wisdom:


Right to Information Linked to the Right to Life

  • Date Submitted: 11/27/2011 07:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.6 
  • Words: 711
  • Essay Grade: no grades
  • Report this Essay

India is the largest democracy in the world. We all pay taxes. Even a beggar on the street pays sales tax when he buys anything from the market. This money belongs to us. But do we know where does this money go? RTI gives us a right to question governments. In 1975 SC declared that   the citizens right to know flow's directly from the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.RTI is   directly linked to the   Right to Life which includes the right to food, health, education, liberty, etc. and the denial of information is a denial of these rights. If we do not have information on how our Government and Public Institutions function, we cannot express any informed opinion on it.


RTI is needed because there are certain problems in flow of information. Some of the problems are :

Laws like the Official Secrets Act / Code of Conduct of Civil Servants

Culture of secrecy that prevailed in Government

Lack of accountability in public offices

Badly kept records

People do not know where to go for information

Illiteracy of people


In early 1990s Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana began a movement to- bring in transparency in village accounts in Rajasthan. It lobbied government to obtain information   regarding bills and vouchers relating to purchase and transportation of materials. This was then verified at Jan Sunwais (public hearings) against actual testimonies of workers. These public hearings were highly successful in drawing attention to corruption and exposing leakages in the system. Success of MKSS became a source of inspiration for activists in India and sowed the seeds of broader discourse   on the right to information in India. Accordingly, some states passed RTI Act. Tamil Nadu was the first to enact it in 1997. Later Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam , MP and J&K also enacted RTI in their respective states.

For Indian Govt, it took 82 years to transition from an opaque system of...


Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. No comments