Project Name: Rampant Corruption
Initiated by: MKSS (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan)
The first “right to information” movement started in India as a social resistance movement in order to bring transparency in village accounts for minimum wages in rural India. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in rural villages of Rajasthan in the early 1990s started as a campaign against Rampant Corruption in the system. Rampant corruption in the system of wage accounts for the farmers of Rajasthan was exposed through the demand of information.
The spirit of the movement inspired the citizens and administration in the country and gave a birth of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) in 1996 to advocate for people’s right to information at the national level. Eventually, in the same time in 1999, then Union Minister for Urban Development Ram Jethmalani issued an administrative order that enabled citizens to inspect and receive photocopies of files from his ministry.However, the struggle of the movement was not over and disappointingly, the Cabinet Secretary, then, did not approve this order, which led to the campaign. A thrust of national campaign on right to information gained momentum. This laid the foundation of the first national Freedom of Information Bill (2000) which was introduced in Parliament in 2002.
After a long struggle by the MKSS and NCPRI’s campaigns, the Right to Information Act formally came into force on 12 October 2005. Through this Act, the Constitution of India has provided both the right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression as fundamental rights, but one right cannot be exercised to violate the override the other.