There’s a great story in the NY Times today on the use of the web to protect a whistle-blower in India and how a single person’s blog is helping the fight against corruption.The story chronicles the efforts of a single woman, Ms. Jayashree, who in fear of her husband started a blog to protect him.
She built her Web site, fightcorruption.wikidot.com, with help from her son, a doctoral student in computer science at Delaware State University. On the site, she chronicles her husband’s case and criticizes the government. An aficionado of India’s new right-to-information laws, she has acquired and uploaded reams of documents. She updates the site nearly every day and has received responses from around the world, including many from Indian émigrés who say they left the country because they found it too corrupt. Government officials in predicaments like her husband’s have sought advice.
Arun Duggal, a senior adviser to Transparency International, called the Web site pathbreaking for India.
“For an individual to use the powerful media of the Internet to take a stand against corruption, to expose wrongdoing, to build a campaign and a following, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it,” said Mr. Duggal, who is based in New Delhi.
ARD Inc.’s Anti-Corruption Programme in Sri Lanka is the most web savvy of initiatives to address corruption in Sri Lanka. However, even it has some way to go in the use of new media and social networking to really engender public participation in web driven campaigns to raise public awareness on and against corruption.