Saturday, February 1, 2014

Anna Hazare - RTI Act Agitation

Right to Information movement and Anna Hazare

Dec 8, 2004
Noted social crusader Anna Hazare warned that he would start an agitation, along with other prominent citizens in the country, if the Union government failed to enact the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Hazare was speaking at the inauguration of an interaction on the usage of RTI, organised by 'Hum Janenge', a citizens' movement to right to information, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Maharashtra RTI Act 2000. President Signature 2003

Hazare started a movement in Maharashtra state demanding enactment of Right to Information Act.

He believed that citizens have the right to know where the public money is being spent. He pressed for legislating an Act for Right to Information.

He  struggled  a lot to force government to pass this law.  The first campaign started at the Azad Maidan, Mumbai in 1997. Followed by statewide tours that were held to aware general public about their rights. Public addresses were organized, posters, banners and folders were distributed all these resulted in the awakening of the citizens. Hazare went on a fast-unto-death on August 9, 2003. On the 12th day of his fast, the Bill was signed by the President of India and Government of Maharashtra enacted the Maharashtra Right to Information Act in Maharashtra. This Act  has enabled the common man to seek information by just paying a nominal charge of Rs. 10 or 20. Maharashtra Right to Information Act is considered as the base document for the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI), enacted by the Union Government.

Under the Official secrets Act, information was denied to people. So he started the movement for Right to Information. The question to the Government was "Why do you deny information which is not confidential" under the guise of Official Secrets Act? 

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