Skip to main content

Hall of Shame: Web platform launched to map increased attacks on India's RTI users, help activists, policy makers

By Our Representative
To mark International Human Rights Day (December 10), well-know civil rights organization, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has launched a web platform, http://attacksonrtiusers.org/Home/Index1/, for mapping attacks on right to information (RTI) users in India.
Calling web platform "Hall of Shame: Mapping Attack on RTI Users", CHRI says, it “wishes to encourage civil society actors and policymakers to work together to put in place mechanisms to prevent such future attacks. All RTI users who are attacked for seeking information in the public interest are in fact human rights defenders.”
CHRI, in a statement says, “Since October, 2005 when The Right to Information Act became fully operational, at least 51 citizens have allegedly been killed, 127 assaulted, 119 harassed or threatened and 5 driven to commit suicide because they sought information to expose corruption and wrong doing in government.”
“CHRI has developed the Hall of Shame to plot these cases geographically using the Google Map”, the statement says, adding, “Readers can access more than 300 media reports of such attacks on RTI users at the click of a button.”
The statement further says, “CHRI has also created a facility on this web platform for readers and activists to report instances of attacks on RTI users that we may have missed because they are published in the regional languages.”
Additionally, it says, “readers can access practical tips for preventing attacks in future. The web platform also contains guidance about how to approach the police and the National Human Rights Commission for an investigation or an inquiry into incidents of attacks on RTI users.”
According to CHRI, latest estimates show, people submit between 5-5.6 million RTI applications every year, wanting to know the reasons informing government decisions, insisting, “They need to be supported and defended.”
“Many want public authorities to take prompt action on grievances about stoppage of pensions or scholarships, or poor quality of services in government hospitals, schools and colleges”, the statement says.
“Others use RTI to expose corrupt practices in building roads with taxpayers’ money, or how welfare programmes for the underprivileged are implemented”, it adds.
Asserting that “not everybody who is attacked, harassed or threatened is a seasoned activist”, the statement says, “Sometimes, just one RTI application from a concerned citizen can lead to harassment or life-threatening assault.”
It alleges, “Vested interests, which benefit from corruption and wrong doing, are threatened by people’s demand for greater transparency and accountability. Hence the frequent attempts to stifle their voices.”

Comments

TRENDING

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer

Report suggests Indian democracy 'hasn't achieved' equitable economic decentralization

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram  The news that the current economic inequality in the country is worse than during British rule is unsettling. This suggests the harsh reality that our democracy has not achieved equitable economic decentralization. A recent report by Thomas Piketty and three other economists reveals shocking findings: in 2023-24, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in India hold 40% of the nation's wealth, with a 22.6% share in income.