Monday, April 5, 2010

India Right to Information Law Fights Petty Corruption

Sixty-seven countries have a law that allows individuals to request information from their government. In the United States this is known as the Freedom of Information Act. I know my home state of Illinois has a similar law--and I assume most other States in the Union.

Ms. Lina Khan just posted a wonderful article on the India's version, the Right to Information Act. Many peasants and those below the property line have used this to fight corruption and make dramatic improvements to their lives. For example, a neighborhood got the government to connect five hundred people to the sewerage system. Indians filed two million of these in the fifteen years of the law.

Of course, this instance of participatory democracy does not give the citizens any control over the government, just a method of accountability as this blog's purpose is to advocate-- but more importantly, RTI works.

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