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.

Friday, October 9, 2015

8885 - Over 34 crore voter IDs to be de-linked from Aadhaar after SC decision; Maharashtra completes process - dna

Friday, 9 October 2015 - 8:00am IST | Agency: dna | From the print edition

Kanchan Srivastava

The apex poll body, which has put mammoth efforts in encouraging 34 crore voters across India to link their Aadhaar (Unique Identification) with the Election Photo Identification Card (EPIC) from March to mid-August this year, will now have to initiate the de-linking exercise.

Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday — that Aadhaar card can be used only for availing subsidies under the public distribution system and buying kerosene and cooking gas, and that too voluntarily — has jolted the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The apex poll body, which has put mammoth efforts in encouraging 34 crore voters across India to link their Aadhaar (Unique Identification) with the Election Photo Identification Card (EPIC) from March to mid-August this year, will now have to initiate the de-linking exercise.

Maharashtra's chief electoral office said they completed the exercise last month as per the direction of the ECI. "Over 1.8 crore voters in the state had furnished their Aadhaar numbers for seeding with EPIC between March and August. We had started the exercise following the interim SC order on August 11," said a top official.

Under the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP), the ECI had launched massive campaigns and newspaper ads across the country for six months, requesting voters to link the two identities.

Over 34 crore voters across the country took the pains and followed the ECI's directives. They are now fuming. "Such haphazard implementation of the scheme frustrates all those who took efforts to follow government directives. Those who ignored are happier now," said Brajesh Sharan, a Mumbai-based banker.

The ECI had hoped to complete linking of voters' ID details with their Aadhaar data by August 15, enabling an error-free electoral roll. It was also looking at a more realistic deadline of 2015-end, while also ruling out 100% coverage.

After a slew of blows to the unique identity or UID programme, the Centre, Reserve Bank of India, stock market watchdog SEBI, telecom regulator TRAI, and a number of states moved the SC for extending the voluntary use of Aadhaar card to other services.

The government's ambitious UID scheme has been challenged in court over privacy concerns because it uses biometric data — fingerprint and iris scans.

Is this the end for Aadhaar for other schemes?

Unlikely. Though the BJP government had opposed the Aadhaar scheme until it was in opposition, the Narendra Modi government has given it a new push since coming to power last year. "For now, the ruling will remain, until a Constitution bench hears the case. The Centre is likely to move court to seek hearing from the larger bench," said a law professor of Mumbai university.