Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Right to information bill

There has been a growing concern among the public and social networkers alike on the ongoing Right to Information bill debate in the parliament. There is much hue and cry over the said bill. 

When people benefit from this bill and when everything becomes transparent, right to information will make Bhutan happier not forgetting our pursuit of Happiness. People will avail swift public service delivery and works will be done faster and people can now question the ones not doing their delegated works. 

People reserve the right to access information held by the government and why shouldn’t the people? A government secret needs to be kept a secret unless it requires some mandatory disclosure for some legal proceedings. Otherwise it is the right of the people to access information held by any governments.

If the hue and cry over the right to information bill means the government will be exposed, so be it, now it’s the people’s government. My opinion on this debate is simple… if this bill is passed and implemented, some of the elite government officials will have to definitely face legal proceedings and that’s what the government is trying to put a cloud on. The government must function in the interest of its citizens and not in the interest of a select few. 

In the west, there are massive online revolutions, hackers attacking government websites and data, social services groups and individuals protesting against government held information and secrets. A typical example of a government deceit on its citizens would be; when USA withdrew its troops from Vietnam, they conducted a massive operation called the “Operation Baby lift” and their stand was to protect the innocent children from the North Vietnamese communist. 

But in the post war reality-era, it was just a propaganda move to cover up the lost war. America pumped hundreds of thousands of troops in Vietnam and lost the war. An Aljazeera correspondent based in New York now, was one such baby lifted to America during the operation. She too did a story on this fact. Where is the right to information? If we do not learn from other countries how shall we learn? From a group of select few who claims to have the all knowledge on right to information, give me a break! Wake up Bhutan, if not now! When?

I foresee a time when there will be another Julian Assange and Edward Snowden from Bhutan in the making if the government reserves the right to information bill.
Food for thought: It is error alone which needs the support of the government. Truth can stand by itself. –Thomas Jefferson