Beating around the RTI bush

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
16 October 2013 13:52 IST

The recent notification as regards the RTI Act, that requires, every person seeking information under RTI to provide an affidavit that he/she is a citizen of India, duly notarised, has triggered off a proverbial storm in Goa’s otherwise inclement political weather.

Whatever the legal arguments (and there’ll be tones of them), this notification is not only absurd and ill conceived, It is downright counterproductive and another shot fired, willingly, into the foot of the present ruling dispensation.

It is alleged (and perhaps rightly so) that Goa’s most vocal and active activist, Bab Aires Rodrigues (still my good friend) may not be a citizen of India and hence this notification to corner him.

Love him or Hate him but you certainly cannot ignore Aires, and despite me being in disagreement with a lot of his tactics and politics, he is one activist who has doggedly dug out muck from under the carpet of this administration than any other. And you can’t help but be awed by his sheer tenacity (even if appalled by his theatrics and below the belt antics).


Therefore in order to get at Aires, to target and harass hundreds of hardworking, sincere activists, at the forefront of fighting corruption and making Goa a better place for us to live in, is so kneejerk and short sighted that it is a brilliant lesson in brazen and reckless stupidity.

In one stroke, the Government has unwillingly floated the perception that it will not hesitate to create impediments in RTI implementation and then in the same breath, go to town, claiming zero tolerance to corruption. The duplicity and hypocrisy in its actions is now at such alarming levels that even diehard supporters of the Government are ducking for cover and looking for the first mining pit to bury their heads into.

The old Konkani adage “Undrachea ragan ghorak lailo uzo” is apt here. And oh yes, even if you prove Aires Rodrigues is from Jupiter, he will dig out  his information, to embarrass this Government, even if his ultimate end game is not known.

In the interest, of this Government’s own shrinking credibility as regards the battle against corruption, this absurd notification must go ---  RIGHT NOW!

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Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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Previous Comments

Aires is as indispensible as a citizen of Goa as Mr Manohar Parrikar was as oposition leader. Both are unparalleled.

- Kalidas Sawkar, Panaji Goa | 16 th October 2013 23:54


Interesting article!

It's strange to what heights Parrikar will go to protect himself and his corrupt motives!

But how come Aires has a foreign citizenship? He shouldn't be allowed to practice then.

- Jen Souza, Dubai | 16 th October 2013 20:04


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