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, November 18, 2015

9038 - Concerns over Aadhaar security ‘misinformation campaign’: Nilekani - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, November 7, 2015

Concerns over Aadhaar security ‘misinformation campaign’: Nilekani

Only the Unique Identification Authority of India can read the encrypted data and that too only in the system.

Terming concerns over security of data collected for Aadhaar enrollement as “targeted misinformation campaign”, Nandan Nilekani who was the chief architect for rolling out the initiative said the system is completely secure.

“It is targeted misinformation campaign…There are no grounds for it. It is pure misinformation. For Aadhaar, the data is encrypted at source. When you enroll, the data is encrypted and stored in a disk…operator has no control over that,” Mr. Nilekani, who is also the former CEO of Infosys, explained during an interview with The Hindu.

He further added that only the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) can read the encrypted data and that too only in the system. “No human can read it. The data is encrypted at the highest 2048 bit encryption, which takes 1000s of years to crack and it is what the government notifies it as minimum security standard.”

Mr. Nilekani also talked about other questions raised in the Supreme Court such as whether or not individuals are making an informed choice when they are giving out information about themselves, including biometrics.

“When you choose to go for Aadhaar and give biometrics of course it is an informed choice,” Mr. Nikelani said.

He reasoned when a person travels to America, for example, they give their biometrics. When one uses an iPad, information about them, including biometrics, goes to the Apple system. Similar is the case with Gmail, they have access to all mails.
“So person makes a conscious choice that while I understand that these things are there, I am still doing it because it is beneficial. Aadhaar is like that, you are getting a number which ultimately benefits you in many ways,” he added.

In a new book titled ‘Rebooting India’, which he has co-authored along with his UIDAI colleague Viral Shah, the two make a pitch for using technology to help realize the dreams of a billion people. The books suggest that the government should have 10 startups with headed by domain experts to redesign the system.

According to Mr.Nilekani and Mr.Shah, if ideas given by them in the book are implemented, each will lead to a saving of minimum of Rs.10,000 crore a year.


“It is fundamentally it is saying that if India has to meet its challenges, if a billion people's aspiration have to be met, business as usual will not deliver. Billion people are demanding something everyday... they want better life, better jobs, better education.

If you don't satisfy that you will have all sorts of distortions and in some sense all these issues of caste, religion and reservation is because there is not enough opportunities as the system is not delivering,” Mr.Nilekani said.

He added that the only way is to really dramatically re-engineer the system and that can only be done by innovative startups.