The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Continued from: 



The RTI Act has been in force since 1997 when Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan enacted their versions. Other states followed. Then there was Freedom of Information Bill (with much diluted provisions) of 2000 which became a law in 2002 but the rules were never notified.

The civil society that had been struggling to enact a strong access to public information law meanwhile, continued with its struggle that ultimately forced the government to enact and notify the present RTI Act of 2005.

Now, when the government was enacting this law, it would never have expected of the consequences that is facing now given the empowering nature of the RTI Act. The direct corollary that makes it evident is the government’s attitude towards the Lokpal Bill.

What the activists are demanding would be a much stronger tool than the RTI Act available to the public to make the ruling class a real serving class, making them directly accountable to the voters who elect them.

That has led the government to frame a Lokpal Act (unlike the RTI Act) with provisions that would serve their purpose in place of making their lives vulnerable due to the continued tale of the widespread corruption they are a more than a willing partner of.

Prior to 2005, we had not heard so loudly of something like RTI activism and the column of activists armed with nothing but a law requiring simple documentation and almost negligible monetary threshold to proceed and demand empowering the ordinary man to access and make information public where public fund and government machinery were involved.

Policymakers have always underestimated the potential of the voters in this country and they have been right most of the time except few occasions like the JP wave or the failure of the ‘India Shining’ mirage of the National Democratic Alliance.

In 2005, while enacting the RTI Act, the policymakers thought something like this probably, the way Manmohan, his team, his political party and his coalition partners,  have been making mockery of the spirit of democracy and are resorting to the shameless denial of their shameful acts of corruption, tells us this only.  They are underestimating the collective response of the voters once again, probably (or arrogantly), baiting on the post-independence historical, ironical unresponsiveness of the masses in this country.

Back then in 2005, they had not expected such a widespread use of the Act by the people they always ruled (and underestimated) otherwise they would never have notified the Act before diluting it to suit their intent and purpose.

If the post-2000 era saw big ticket scams riding on the big ticket economic growth, it also saw more and more digging in about them post-2005 with the enactment of the RTI Act. Almost every talked about corruption case today owes a major share of revelations through the information accessed using the provisions of the RTI Act. And it has made the scamsters and the policymakers in their garb uncomfortable.

It is said one learns from the mistakes made in the past and so the corrupt ruling bunch is not ready to bite the dust once more by giving the ordinary man (the voter) a Lokpal that would be able to put the ruling class (including the ‘not-in-the-government’ politicians - collective unity of the political class across the benches in derailing the Lokpal Bill tells us this) in the dock on behalf of Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’.

Manmohan looks adamant to kill the empowering spirit of the RTI Act. So often he talks about how the RTI Act is being misused, but he seldom acknowledges the emancipation that the Act has brought across the cadres of unnamed masses of the Indians. Recently, his government had to drop a proposed amendment to the RTI Act after fear of electoral loss in the season of elections and the public backlash in the season of activists turning politicians.

RTI and Lokpal – either by the enactment, the subsequent use and the ruling class’s response (RTI) or by the efforts to derail the enactment (Lokpal) - these two Acts unmask the unitary character and double standard of the political parties across the party-line on issues of self-interest, probity and corruption. While they come together to derail the Lokpal Bill, none of them is ready to be put under the purview of the RTI Act.

In a world driven by the market economy, the Indian economy is poised to generate more, at least the in the near future, and so the ever increasing options to amass the disproportionate assets.

Like in the past, the ruling class will work in earnest to derail any such measure that would be potent enough to derail their corrupt march. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -