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, January 8, 2016

9219 - No welfare pension this festival too - The Hindu

ANTHAPURAM, December 27, 2015


Beneficiaries visiting government offices hoping for pension disbursal

Around festival seasons, during Onam and Christmas, the city Corporation office here witnesses a rush of beneficiaries of various welfare pensions.

In the past years, it was during this season that the perpetually delayed pensions were disbursed by the local body.
But, since last Christmas, those expecting the benefits have all gone back in disappointment. This Christmas has been no different, with pension payments pending from as far back as November 2014. Except the pension for agricultural labourers, disbursal of all the other welfare pensions have been stalled, as the required funds are yet to come from the government.
The government had promised to distribute Rs.700 crore as welfare pensions before last Onam. But due to issues at the Postal Department, the amount has not been disbursed.
According to the officials here, some of the beneficiaries visit the offices several times a week, in hope of the pension being disbursed.

No pension for 14 months
“There are several people who have not got pensions for the past 14 months. We have been told that the government will disburse the amount after Christmas,” says Welfare Committee Chairperson Geetha Gopal.

The issue of delay in welfare pensions had caused some major ruckus at a meeting towards the fag end of the last council’s term.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) councillors had then blamed the CPI (M), the ruling party of the Corporation, for the delay.
The ruling party has maintained that the undue delay has been due to the shift to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system from the old money order system for pension disbursal.
Out of the total of 48,700 people who are being provided pensions by the Corporation, 32,000 have registered for pensions through DBT with their Aadhaar numbers. Among the rest, many are bedridden and hence do not have Aadhaar cards.

Money Order system
The Corporation had then asked the government to facilitate pension distribution through the money order system so that people do not miss out.

The shift to DBT has but helped the local body to identify those who are drawing more than one welfare pension.

Those who want to continue with the money order system should provide a medical certificate proving that they are bedridden and are not in a position to apply for Aadhaar cards. Also, they have to get a recommendation letter from the respective councillor.

Despite government claims of Aadhaar not being mandatory, the above condition effectively makes it so for beneficiaries who are hale and healthy.

The welfare pensions consist of those for widows, old age, differently abled persons, agricultural labourers, and unmarried persons above 50 years.

Pension payments pending from November 2014
Funds for disbursal yet to come from government