Public Lecture on Democratic Culture and the Right to Information

  1. Description

2012-02-20 - 2012-02-20

Grande Ball Room, The Everest Hotel, New Baneshwor

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“Democratic Culture and the Right to Information”

delivered by
1:00 pm, 20 February, 2012, Grande Ball Room, The Everest Hotel, New Baneshwor

Open Invitation and Seating is on First Come Basis

At a time when the present Government of Nepal has attempted to limit the reach of the Right to Information Act (2064/2008), this public lecture is being organised to enhance the understanding of RTI for the sake of participatory democracy and transparent governance in Nepal. The ASD-Himal Southasian Lecture Series is collaboration between Himal Southasian magazine and the Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD) to raise issues of democracy and governance that have relevance throughout Southasia.
Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey are part of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a grassroots people's organisation based in Devdungri village in Rajasthan. It was the Sangathan which propelled the Right to Information (RTI) campaign in India, which is helping change the face of Indian democracy from the grassroots on up. The MKSS started work in the 1990s to ensure the public's right to scrutinise official records, using the tool of public hearings (jana-sunuwai) for democratic participation. Started in Rajasthan, RTI is now a part of national legislation in India and influencing multiple levels of governance.
The MKSS considers itself part of the 'non-party political process', and has also been instrumental in shaping India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which was adopted in 2005. In the context of the vigorous public debate on corruption issues in India over the last year, Roy and Dey are founder members of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), which prepared its own formulation for anti-corruption and accountability legislation.

Aruna Roy is a social and political activist who is a Magasaysay Award recipient, declared one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2011. Nikhil Dey has been involved in popular efforts at formulating legislation for justice since the 1980s, focusing on poor people's struggles for land, the right to work and minimum wage.
 For more background on the work of Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and MKSS, go to: Here