By Ovee Thorat and Rathnavel Pandian
Image credit: Ovee Thorat and Rathnavel Pandian
A fellow researcher’s experience with the Right to Information Act (RTI – 2005) prompted us to draft this graffiti. After being deflected to four different departments for what he considered as a simple query, his RTI was closed due to the “unavailability” of the document he was seeking. None of the departments seemed to know which document he was talking about. However, an email sent on a whim to a collaborator representing the US government, surprisingly came back with the same document attached! So, did the document he was seeking exist or not exist? Though the RTI act has supposedly given a common citizen his/her deserved right to be informed about their country, it is difficult to know if the data in the State’s box exists or doesn’t exist, even after 13 years of its implementation.
About the artists
Caption and idea provided by Rathnavel Pandian, project intern broadly interested in Governance, Policy and Political Ecology. The sketch was done by Ovee Thorat, a PhD student with an interest in political ecology of landscape change in dryland systems. The fellow researcher was Nakul Heble, a PhD student with an interest in resource policy.