"We as citizens of India are empowered by the RTI Act demand that it should not be amended," the protesters said in a letter memorandum submitted to the Embassy which was addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
    
"The Act has enabled the making of informed choices and strengthened participatory democracy by enabling the citizens of India to monitor and access services throughout the country" said the letter.
    
"Any amendment to the RTI Act would undermine and weaken the process of realizing various constitutional promises," it added.
    
The protestors asked the Indian Government to hold wide ranging public discussions before they think of amending the law in any way.
    
"With scams at dime a dozen, there is a serious credibility crisis in India, this well-researched and well-thought-out ruling by the Central Information Commission, a full bench no less, was one of the few shining lights," said Arun Gopalan, one of the organizers of this campaign and a volunteer with Association for India's Development.
    
"Now this retrogressive move by the Cabinet will kill any hope of reestablishing credibility" he said.
    
"We have to continue pushing for ever greater transparency to ensure the evolution of India's democracy" adding that the UPA government let go of a historic opportunity to set an example for political accountability. "We hope that protests like these will encourage them re-engage civil society, whose role was pivotal in establishing the landmark RTI Act in the first place," said Rohit Tripathi, founder of Young India Inc.

(Agencies)

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