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The right to know

  • Published at 06:53 pm November 6th, 2017
The right to know
In any properly functioning democracy, the right to information is paramount. That is why the government must maintain transparency in everything it does. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune, Chief Information Commissioner of Nepal Krisha Hari Baskota has highlighted how important this right truly is, and how necessary it is to pass legislation which ensures this right. The right to information not only makes sure that the government is held accountable for each step, but also nurtures a more trusting relationship between a nation and its citizens. This is important not merely because it prevents governments from working behind closed doors, but is closely tied in to freedom of the press. In this area, Bangladesh has had trouble before. Time and again, journalists have faced persecution and violence, both on the field and off, and their lives have been at risk. This cannot be the case. As Commissioner Baskota says, it is the absolute backbone of democracy, and is a right that cannot be ignored. Moving forward, what Bangladesh needs is legislation which fortifies this right. It is good to know that Bangladesh is currently working with Nepal to work towards a better understanding of how this can be done. At the end of the day, what this boils down to is understanding how important people are to a democratic government, and keeping power in the hands of the people. Such transparency will create the space for a better democratic process to emerge and, subsequently, a better nation.