Monday, April 26, 2010

The Dangers of Digging Up the Truth in India

clipped from
Last autumn, when New Delhi resident Ajay Kumar saw that private buildings were encroaching on government land under the aegis of a local politician, he asked the city authority to look into the matter. He was just being a law-abiding citizen. He couldn't imagine his query would put him in the hospital.
Using India's 2005 Right to Information (RTI) Act, which empowers any citizen to ask for information from any level of government, from village leaders to the Prime Minister's office, Kumar asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) why homes and shops were built on land not zoned for private construction.
"Neither the police nor the people helped me," says Kumar, who was struck in the head with an iron rod, blood covering his face and shirt. And yet despite the attack, Kumar still believes that "RTI is the only tool that can bring an end to a corruption in India
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