Sunday, March 18, 2012

Right To Information (RTI) Act: Can Bhutan have one?

Information is vital. Information is knowledge and knowledge is power. When people are informed, they are empowered- the key pursuit of every democratic institutions.   

Simply put, Right to Information(RIT) Act is legalization of an individual's or organization's right to gain access to information. Democracy's essence is the rule of law. And in democracy, government is not about leaders but a governance based on rule of law. When such legal instruments are in place, both the electorate and elected assumes self-responsibility by default. This is because, the electorate remains ever vigilant of the actions of the elected to exercise their right to RTI and the elected on other hand readies itself to assume the duty to inform the electorate. When such mechanisms are in place, corrupt practices and ill-governance are kept away, hence, a sound governance based on healthy practices becomes by-product of RTI.

It is in this light one welcomes the news over the proposal to introduce RTI Bill by lone MP as an individual bill. I congratulate wholeheartedly, Hon. Sangay Khandu for the initiative. We know pretty much why the Cabinet kept aside the bill presented by MoIC, for all good reasons. We acknowledge that when RTI Bill gets enacted, there will/may be people who will exercise their rights to the full and extreme length, that may impend upon country's security. Because of that, we are aware that all information with the government cannot be given in the interest of larger good. However, this must not become the reason for keeping away RTI.

to be continued...

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