Isn’t it ironical? The same bureaucracy that did so much to block legislation on the right to information (RTI) is now the most enthusiastic user of this right.
Information commissioner M.M. Ansari said recently that a majority of the RTI applications coming to him are from government employees who want to find out why they have been passed over for a promotion.
This is unfortunate. The right to information was originally meant to empower civil society, which could use it to shed light on state policies. It also has the potential to check corruption. Instead, it is being used to climb career ladders.
This could be temporary. Bureaucrats use RTI with such zest because they know how potent it is. It is a matter of time before others—activists, journalists and ordinary citizens, start using it as well.
As stories of the efficacy of using RTI get around and more files are examined, civil society will also get into the act.