Monday, August 20, 2012

Assange, Facts, America and India


I have come to this conclusion long ago. The Julian Assange episode only proves the point again. Facts are the most potent weapon against the politicians and bureaucrats or any other form of practising unscrupulousness. 

They just can't deal with facts when it stares on their face. It makes them shudder. The more is the quantum of facts in public domain the lesser is their ability to bluff people at large. Facts making way in public domain sets in a fear psychosis in them. They have to do a face-saving act but there is no fact-saving. They react. And since they can't dispute the facts. They attack the messenger. In this case it is Assange who is caught in the firing line. My thoughts go to hundreds of RTI (Right to Information) activists killed in India. 


Assange is confined in a room of the Ecuadorian embassy in London because he made a lot of damaging facts pubic. The managers of, still the most powerful nation, the US, were abash.

Facts have the power to hold the most powerful accountable. Invincible media baron Ropert Murdoch seemed so helpless when confronted with this one potent fact: his reputed publication, erstwhile News of the World, with one of the highest English language circulations in the world, indulged in phone tapping and bribing cops to do 'exclusive' stories. 

Facts have opened many exit 'gates' like Watergate..( for the unscrupulous. 

The power-mongers of the US were embarrassed because they were seen doing things that they publicly condemn. Double speak is not something that is only peculiar to the Americans, the Indian politicians too have mastered the art, often bite the bullet thanks to revelations of unsavoury facts. Some have spend time writing poetry in the jail. 

The insensitive bureaucracy in India to me is the illegitimate child of the British Raj. While the colonial dispensation has fortified its place in the history books, India--the welfare state, is still run by a bureaucracy that remains as haughty and opaque as ever, relive the Raj, where they are the privileged, have the profound duty to guide destinies of the millions of masses. 

There is a complete mismatch between the powers endowed to them and the accountability mechanism that holds them responsible for their actions in exercise of these superlative powers.  

They operate like institutionalised goons. Their influence stems from another 'fact' that they are the sole custodian of critical information. They hide crucial facts inside cryptic files. 

RTI has a great potential to disseminate facts in public interest--a bureaucrats' nightmare. The government is actively working to blunt the edges of this knife-edged legislation.

I like to see my carrier of a journalist as a mission to bring facts in public domain in pubic interest. Good for me. 
Is there a factual answer to this? How can Assange escape London?  Or will he have to wait for the stone-eyed American politicians to blink?

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