uid

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

Special

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

Quotes

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.


Monday, March 21, 2016

9587 - Congress for wider debate on Aadhaar’s Money Bill route - Hindu Businessline


Slams govt for bypassing RS, but insists it respects Speaker’s decision

NEW DELHI, MARCH 18:  
The Aadhaar Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha rejecting amendments recommended by the Rajya Sabha, but the Congress says the debate on whether it can be considered a Money Bill will continue.

Although Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said the party would not question the Speaker’s declaring the legislation a ‘Money Bill’, he did not rule out moving the Supreme Court on the matter.
Ramesh said a case was already pending before a five-judge bench in the apex court on Aadhaar. “The Money Bill debate will continue. There is a petition already before the Supreme Court, which has not yet given its final verdict. So, I am sure, there will be others who will take up this issue, but as far as we are concerned, we go by the Article 110 of the Constitution. The Speaker’s decision is final. The Speaker has declared it a Money Bill, it came as Money Bill, it was discussed as Money Bill, it was recommended as a Money Bill and finally passed as Money Bill and we cannot undo the history,” Ramesh said.

He said Article 110 sets certain “only-if” parameters for the a legislation to be declared a Money Bill. “The Aadhaar Bill had many other provisions…and most Constitutional experts have given the view that the Aadhaar Bill is not a Money Bill but the prerogative of declaring a Money Bill or not is that of the Speaker; and the Speaker’s decision is final; but the recommendation to the Speaker to consider making it a Money Bill is that of the government. It is the government that decides whether it is a Money Bill or not and the Speaker only certifies it as a Money Bill,” he claimed.

‘Govt disregarding RS’

He said top ministers of the NDA government, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, belong to the Rajya Sabha and yet the Centre wanted to bypass the Upper House. “This is against the Constitution and the democratic process,” Ramesh said and added: “This is an assault on the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are two equal wheels of the same chariot of Indian democracy and it is astonishing that this government’s Finance Minister, Defence Minister, Health Minister, Communication Minister, Petroleum Minister, Power Minister, Environment Minister, Human Resource Development Minister, Commerce Minister are all members of the Rajya Sabha. So, without the Rajya Sabha, these people would not be in the Parliament, they would not be Ministers. I think what the government has shown is utter contempt and utter disregard for the Rajya Sabha which derives its powers from the Constitution of India,” he said.


(This article was published on March 18, 2016)