The editorial “Accounting for accountability” (August 3) has echoed the views of millions. The hurriedly evolved consensus among major political parties that the Right to Information Act should be amended — to nullify the effect of the Central Information Commission’s order bringing them within the ambit of the law — clearly shows the lack of political will to usher in transparency and accountability.
It is unfortunate that none of the major parties has taken a positive view of the CIC order. This shows that no party is willing to eliminate corruption which has taken root in its functioning. Despite living in a democracy, we, the people, are reduced to being mute spectators to unaccountability on the part of our parties. As a result, we are left with no role models.
I am quite sure that people are unanimous in their support to the CIC order. But I am also sure people knew that all parties, irrespective of their differences, would come together to nullify the order as they do not want to face any questions on funds and their sources, and selection of candidates for elections.
Giving the Election Commission more powers will perhaps serve the purpose better.
As expected, major parties have come together to nullify the CIC’s order, citing inner party democracy. But it is well known that genuine inner-party democracy hardly exists in our country. Parties are governed by money power and muscle power — which they call ‘finance’ and ‘personnel.’
They should understand that inner-party democracy cannot overshadow the national interest.
Corporates don’t make huge donations to parties for charity. They come with strings and influence official decision-making. Although there is an argument that parties are committed to disclosing their funding details under other laws, the details do not reach the general public. Another argument is that political parties are not public institutions. This excuse is quite technical. Almost all the six parties have ruled the country in alliances and decided the fate of voters through their policies. The voters certainly have a right to know their funding pattern and their modus operandi in selecting candidates.
K.N. Somanathan Pillai,