When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden


Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project


What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

8846 - Aadhaar-based projects failing the poor, says Andhra govt study - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Updated: Oct 07, 2015 15:20 IST

In Andhra Pradesh, half of the beneficiaries in the surveyed areas couldn’t access their ration quota due to glitches, lack of training and mismatches linked to Aadhaar. (HT File Photo)

A government-commissioned sample study to ascertain the efficiency of Aadhaar-based social programmes - in this case subsidised grains - has thrown up some disappointing news: technical hiccups are depriving the poor of their access to food.

In Andhra Pradesh, half of the beneficiaries in the surveyed areas couldn’t access their ration quota due to glitches, lack of training and mismatches linked to Aadhaar. The study was ordered by the state after complaints that disbursal of grains had suddenly dropped for a month this year.

The findings could mask larger problems with the ambitious switch to Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity project every citizen must have for delivery of social benefits, especially in poorly governed states.

In the survey, a majority of beneficiaries reported fingerprint mismatches and fair-price shop owners’ inability to operate point-of-sale (POS) devices correctly as major hurdles. Aadhaar numbers did not match with ration card numbers in many cases.

The NDA government plans to robustly defend the UPA-conceived Aadhaar, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court, mainly on the grounds of privacy. Activists argue that a technology-driven platform like Aadhaar could lead many to fall through the social safety net, especially migrants.

On the other hand, the NDA government’s dossier on Aadhaar, which HT has viewed, says limiting the programme would have a “deleterious” effect on social schemes because it is vital to plugging leakages eating into the government’s finances.

On August 12, the government won a reprieve when the SC, which had earlier ruled against making Aadhaar mandatory, allowed its use for the public distribution system (PDS) and cooking gas.

In the study that focused on about 125 fair price shops, of the 85,589 ration card holders, 50,151 could not procure grains due a reason linked to Aadhaar integration. The scale of the problems is astounding, given that the study covered five PDS outlets in three districts: Prakasam, Nellore and Anantapur.

“It is not clear if the manual distribution of ration was done because the dealer genuinely did not have knowledge of using the POS machine or if the dealer was attempting to discourage people from using POS machines. However, the beneficiaries stated that the dealer did not have good knowledge of using the POS machine,” the study states.