01 August, 2021

I Know, So I Am

The Right to Information has changed lives and made governments accountable

Sanjoy Ghosh
I Know, So I Am
When young Bhupesh says the "Right to Information Act is showing good results," he means it literally. Baffled at failing his Class XI English exam last year, Bhupesh asked to see his corrected answer script: "I’d worked hard, how had I scored so poorly? Wasn’t I entitled to a re-evaluation?" Bhupesh hounded the authorities at the Government Boys’ Senior Secondary School in Delhi’s Nand Nagri verbally, in writing, informally, officially. Only to be snubbed. Till, frustrated, he penned down his queries and sent them to the Public Grievances Commission under Delhi’s Right to Information (RTI) Act. Less than two months later, Bhupesh’s paper had been rechecked, he had passed and RTI had delivered results.

Who’d have known that the RTI campaign would one day help a student pass his exam? Certainly not the activists who’d sat on the first RTI dharna for 40 days in Rajasthan’s Beawar town in 1996, sloganeering that "the right to know is the right to live". The people’s movement for accountability in governance—for the citizen’s right to know—has been a long...

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