While taking the example of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, activist-writer Harsh Mander today said people need to "fashion new instruments" to fight "the government that fosters and legitimises hatred".
Speaking at the launch of a book, 'The RTI Story' by activist Aruna Roy, Mander noted that while the RTI Act allowed people to question those who govern us, "new instruments are needed in the second coming".
"It (the RTI) is a movement and it is a law that allows us to question those who govern us and hold them accountable. And it has taken us so far. But what do we do with the government that we see today? And I think, we have to fashion new instruments to be able to hold governments accountable for the rape of that young girl in Jammu, for instance.
"It is the cynicism with which hatred is being fostered across this country and we are just watching helplessly," the former IAS officer said.
Mander, who recently returned from West Bengal, said the recent communal riots in Asansol was "a classic (example of) manufactured riot".
"They never had Ramnavami celebration. They never had such processions. You create processions, brandishing swords and slogans against Muslims and you insist on walking down the road where Muslim settlements are there, mosques are there. A riot is going to happen, the administration allows it to happen... Those who govern us foster and legitimise hatred," Mander said.
Published by Roli Books, Roy's book 'The RTI Story: Power to the People' tells the story of RTI campaign, starting from the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan's protest demanding Right to Information in Beawar, Rajasthan in 1996.
"This book is also important to bring out the narrative that might actually be the basis of forming opinions about democracy and of taking all kinds of movements further or not further. It will be critiqued, it will be changed. But there is a framework which can be looked at," Roy said.
The Hindi edition of the book will be launched on May 1.
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