Aruna Roy slams govt for query on ideology
Aruna Roy accused the Centre of bringing changes in the Act to make it ineffective.
JAIPUR: Social activist Aruna Roy criticised the Centre for the questioning of RTI activists about their ideology and political leanings before their participation in a one-day seminar to mark 10 years of RTI in New Delhi on Friday. Roy, along with other senior RTI activists, boycotted the conclave saying the invitation was sent to only a handful of activists while ignoring many seniors.

Government officers asked RTI activists, while they arrived to attend the seminar, questions like ‘What is your ideology?’, ‘Your leanings are with which political party?’, ‘Are you affiliated with any political party?’, ‘What is you take on the new Central government?’.

“Even asking them about their family background indicates the Central government’s move to repress the activists,” Roy told reporters at a press conference in Jaipur. She said the government is scared of the fact that 80 lakh activists across the country are using RTI which is committed to bring transparency and good governance.

“Possibly the government is perturbed over the manner in which these RTI activists are coming up with the information making them uncomfortable,” said Roy. She accused the Centre of bringing changes in the Act to make it ineffective.

Elaborating on why she had boycotted the conclave, Roy said: “Out of 80 lakh activists, they had invited just seven while ignoring many others, who represent different regions and bodies, to get the holistic picture in the RTI conclave. Secondly, the manner in which Intelligence Bureau officers visited the place of those invited and questioned them clears their intention to influence the activists.”

Another activist, Megha Patkar, who was also present at the press conference, expressed her concern over the rising religious intolerance, communal discords and corruption cases. “The open endorsement of mob violence and killings of writers by the leaders of the incumbent party is further threatening the situation. The statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Dadri incident was very late and weak which in unacceptable,” said Patkar