Right to ask for Greater transparency and accountability from the Government

Ptrikha By Ptrikha, 31st Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Documentary

Getting frustrated about lack of development where you live and work. Do not, and instead check for ways to ask Government as to the details of its different schemes just by filing a simple Application Form.

Background of the issues of Transparency and Accountability in India

You step out of your house. The road close to the market has water-logging just after a few rains, even though it was freshly laid a month ago.
The promised Multi-Level parking lot in your neighborhood has not materialized even after Million Rupees investment by Government three years ago. Don't we get to read about new Government plans(often World Bank and IMF funded) for Urban or Rural Poor, or which promise massive Billion Dollars funds for Infrastructure, or social sector?

Yet what do we see? We still get to hear stories about people still living miserably, farmers committing suicide, people asking for higher wages, demands for loan wave-offs etc. Village areas are even worse off than urban areas. Often, funds meant for Agriculture, laying new roads in village areas are diverted for personal purposes and the populace hardly get any benefits in reality, though the records show something else. On the other hand, we see a few people buying SUVs priced INR 15 Lakhs or above, and in greater number inspite of all the slowdown around!

What causes this to happen? We may turn a blind eye to such happenings for a while. Yet, it is also the hard truth that we too are impacted someway or the other by all this corruption, siphoning of funds, a few rich people literally "looting" or "pilfering" country's wealth, leaving others to the mercy of increasing prices, unstable job and economic situation.

The Social Indian TV show Satyamev Jayate brings the above issues to fore

A social Indian show in its second Avatar, Satyamev Jayate 2 has got the above topic in its Fourth episode, telecast on 23rd March 2014. This show is hosted by popular Indian cine star Aamir Khan.
On 23rd March, I missed the show on Sunday 11 Am India Time, since I had to go somewhere. I watched a part of the episode afterwards. The episode illustrated how a few people are exploiting a lot of country's resources and wealth in connivance with corrupt officials and other people. This is nothing new. Yet some statistics as to what if the wealth and resources of this country were much more equitably distributed. The figure was mind boggling, and each one of us Indians (yes 1.2 Billion of us) would have an average of INR 4 Million !!!
This figure is much more than National per Capita(and perhaps at par with some much richer nations).

Official Youtube Video of the Episode:

Solution to the Problems of Transparency and Accountability

The show asked questions from various experts as to how can this be tackled. What we found was that a lot needs to be answered by Government and officials. The Right-To-Information (RTI) act which was passed and enacted in 2005 by the Indian Parliament has led to a lot more questions being answered by government officials and more accountability. One just has to fill a simple form with a low value revenue Stamp and submit to the local government office. We can ask about the funds spent on our local parks, roads, Maintenance of street lights etc.
The Government officials can't just brush aside questions put forth to them. However, more can be achieved if some more bills which ask for actual implementation of projects and actual reception of benefits by the person for whom these are meant are pending.

We saw initiatives by different NGOs and individuals in this field, and even some good initiatives by some
local bodies. Changes are coming, albeit slowly. What is needed is more courage by citizens of the country and responsiveness by the state and central Government officials and ministers.
I am confident that such changes will start bringing improvement in the lives of Millions who are impoverished and live on margins.

About The Show Satyamev Jayate itself

The show Satyamev Jayate tries to tackle some tough issues like Crime, Safety of Women, Environmental challenges, Corruption and more in a never before frank, straightforward and often in a way that challenges our comfort zone. At times, one gets overwhelmingly emotional on seeing the plight of people fighting for justice and the grave mistreatment and harassement they have to undergo.

Some of my friends say that Aamir Khan is himself not sincere and he is also doing such shows for a hefty sum. I want to tell them and more such people: "Why don't you take initiative? Let you do what you think he is doing at a much lower price!." And the show is no cheap gimmick. Even at the worst, such shows do make us think how can we ask for accountability and transparency in matters that impact us. And perhaps people in many more countries in this world do need to ask such questions from their governments and officials.

Tags

Accountability, Satyamev Jayate, Satyamev Jayate Indian Show, Satyamev Jayate Season 2, Transparency

Meet the author

author avatar Ptrikha
Ptrikha is an IT professional, with a great appetite for writing on a variety of topics ranging from Business, Economics, Politics, Sports, Technology, and much more. He has written over 100 Articles

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Comments

author avatar Funom Makama
31st Mar 2014 (#)

This problem doesn't exist in India alone but most developing countries, especially those from Africa and specifically Nigeria. Thanks for the unbelievable share... Every sentence just reminds me of my fatherland.

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author avatar Ptrikha
31st Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks Funom

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Mar 2014 (#)

Well highlighted Ptrikha. Let truth prevail - is what this TV show is about. I have seen a couple of inspiring parts.

Almost all countries have reached the pinnacle of political system - democracy and freedom but few pull the strings whoever is in power.
The main issue is how we evaluate success. If there is a billionaire from a poor country rubbing shoulders with the richest in the world we should just look down upon that person. Come on, one does not become that rich by hard work! Then what about scientists whose work should rank high as their efforts benefit all? And what about those who risk their life and limbs taking up the most dangerous jobs? We have a lopsided perception of success and the reward system.

Transparency should be the clarion call for the way any government works. What is there to hide anyway. I will also say there should be no secret bank accounts as the big banks are forced to disclose American accounts, but why the double standards when others ask for it? I have no secrets as I am well balanced - no assets and no liabilities, okay almost! siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
31st Mar 2014 (#)

Well written and again an important piece Ptrikha...even the UN are asking for more transparency in the US...oh if all the world could come to a place of honesty and uprightness...what a wonderful world it would be...

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
31st Mar 2014 (#)

Nice post!

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author avatar Ptrikha
1st Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks Siva what all have been shown in this Programme applies not only to India but also to a lot of other nations. And we the citizens should see to it that we do put in our individual efforts to make the society and world a better and more just place to live.


Thanks cnwriter Yes People have a right to know especially as to where their Taxed Money is spent

Thanks Fern

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
2nd Apr 2014 (#)

I hope his show works. We all have (or should have) the right to gov transparency and to obtain that which we are funding through taxes and fees!!

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author avatar Ptrikha
2nd Apr 2014 (#)

Yes Phyll the show has been well received.

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