Meghalaya has been at the forefront of the struggle for the Right to Information Act. Story in Meghalaya began much before RTI Act became a law. It was in 2001 when Bah Michael Syiem started talking about a Meghalaya Right to Information Act and in 2002 that Meghalaya Right to Information Movement came into being. MRTIM was a network of various civil society groups like KSU, FKJGP, the freedom project, Bethany Society, Mait Shaphrang and others. MRTIM would also submit its own draft Right to Information Act for Meghlaya. This draft was even introduced in the Meghalaya legislative assembly.
While struggling for a state act, MRTIM also became an active constituent of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). When UPA-1 introduced a weak RTI bill in the parliament to replace weaker Freedom of Information Act as passed by BJP led NDA, MRTIM protested the bill and demanded the bill should be sent back to standing committee of the parliament. Angela Rangad of MRTIM was invited by the standing committee to present MRTIM’s critique of the bill. She spoke against the automatic exemption provided to armed forces in the original bill and also its applicability to just Central govt. bodies. MRTIM made a strong pitch for the act to cover states too.
In December 2004 UPA govt. introduced an amended version of the RTI Act. MRTIM celebrated it in Khyndai Lad. Click an image to enter the gallery