Commodore Lokesh Batra
Commodore Lokesh Batra

Meet Commodore Lokesh Batra, the former navy officer on a mission to expose electoral bonds

Since the electoral bond scheme was rolled out in 2018, Commodore Lokesh Batra had filed scores of RTI requests to glean additional information about it which became the backbone of SC petitions.

"Gauri Lankesh was a journalist, she was a Hindu but she was murdered by members of a Hindutva organisation. The reason is because she was a traitor, she was anti-national and anti-Hindu. After her death, will anyone in this country have the courage to write against Modi, RSS or BJP? Whoever writes will not be spared. Along with Muslims, these traitors will also be eliminated." This was the gist of one of the many threats 76-year-old war veteran Commodore Lokesh Batra, now a transparency activist, received for holding power to account through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. His relentless pursuit of the Modi government's electoral bond scheme has raised some serious questions which the government refuses to answer till today.Commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 22, 1967, Commodore Batra served the county for 36 years in various capacities as a hydrographer. At the time of his retirement from service in December 2002, Commodore Batra decided that he would not take up any post-retirement job or join an NGO. "I promised myself that will not take up anything and till today I have stuck to that because I wanted to do what I want to do," Batra added.

Unfazed by threats and intimidation, Commodore Batra says his idea is to bring about reforms through RTI, "In my view, RTI is a process that allows me to participate in governance," he told TNM

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