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Quick Edit | Knowing can kill

Quick Edit | Knowing can kill
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First Published: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 10 33 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 10 33 PM IST
What do India’s Right to Information (RTI) mechanism and WikiLeaks have in common? Prima facie, both are standard bearers of transparency in public life, working to promote freedom of information and the citizens’ right to know. In doing so, both challenge, albeit in different ways, structures of power in unequal societies. This comes at a cost. As Mint reports today, RTI activists in India have faced oppression, threats and attacks on their lives. Some have been killed. In most cases, little has been done to apprehend the perpetrators—arguably the supporters of status quo. This is unfortunate: RTI has none of the voyeuristic, subversive capabilities of WikiLeaks; instead, it can help bring accountability to errant governance. In a country where imperfect access to information lies at the heart of many inequalities, allowing a legitimate and safe pursuit of information should be the most basic aspect of an inclusive society.
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First Published: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 10 33 PM IST