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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

9602 - We played constructive role to pass bills: Congress - Asian Age

Taking full credit for the passage of several bills in the first part of the Budget Session of Parliament due to its “constructive role”, the main Opposition Congress on Thursday cautioned the government not to weaken the Rajya Sabha mainly because the NDA lacks a majority in the Upper House.

While thanking the CPI, CPI(M) and JD(U) for voting on its amendments to the Aadhaar Bill in the Upper House, it asked why the Prime Minister does not speak in Parliament about his foreign visits. This has never happened in the past, it said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily raised these issues and the Congress’ performance in the two Houses of Parliament at a joint press conference here.

Cautioning the government not to bypass or ignore the RS in the passage of bills simple because the BJP-led front lacks majority, Mr Azad said even the Congress did not have a majority in the RS during the tenure of Indira Gandhi but it did not bypass the Upper House. Weakening the RS is anti-democratic, he said.

Seeking to take credit for the passage of several bills, Mr Moily said, “RS functioned at 129 per cent of the scheduled time and Lok Sabha at 120 per cent. This is in contrast to the performance of the Opposition led by the BJP during UPA-2, when the House wasn’t allowed to function.”

Mr Azad said it was on the insistence of the Congress, and not the government, that there were extra sittings of Parliament. “Without the cooperation of Congress, no legislation would have been passed in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Mr Azad insisted that the amendments passed in the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address and the Aadhaar Bill had sent a “strong message” to the government to “not take the Rajya Sabha lightly”.

He claimed the PM had refused to answer “any of the issues” raised by the Opposition, including the Pathankot terror attack, farmers suffering due to unseasonal rains, black money, and the Vijay Mallya issue. “Sadly, the Prime Minister did not respond to any of these questions.”

Attacking the government on its claim of streamlining defence purchases, Mr Azad said, “The government didn’t streamline defence procurement but ended it.” Citing an example, he said that when the UPA was in power it was decided to go in for 126 Rafale fighter jets with the deal including transfer of technology from France. “We were to receive 18 jets and 108 jets were to be manufactured by HAL. This was Make in India. But the PM and his new government scrapped the deal. Instead they decided to buy 36 ready-made jets,” he said.

Noting that this deal was set to be signed during the Republic Day visit of French President Francois Hollande, he said it has been three months and there is still “no deal”.