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


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.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

9611- MP writes to PM Modi: Bring in new Legislation that gives privacy rights to all Indians - Indian Express


In the letter, the MP stated that that a multi-stakeholder consultation be initiated so that the views of various stakeholders, including security agencies, are taken into account while this legislation is being conceived.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:March 18, 2016 10:09 pm - See more at: 


A member of parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitching for privacy rights for all Indians and urged him to proactively explore the possibility of a new Privacy Legislation or review the existing IT Act, Sec 43 A and other sections.

In the letter, the MP stated that that a multi-stakeholder consultation be initiated so that the views of various stakeholders, including security agencies, are taken into account while this legislation is being conceived.

Chandrashekar noted that while the NDA’s Aadhaar Bill significantly expanded the rights to privacy and protection of information, there was a need for a new overarching privacy legislation given that there are many other databases, like Jan Dhan Yojana, BPL, LPG etc. that are out of the purview of the Aadhaar Bill, but are significant parts of the subsidy delivery mechanism of the Government.

Here is the full letter: 

Respected Prime Minister,
Sub: Privacy Rights for All Indians

At the outset, I thank and congratulate the Government for recognizing that privacy is a fundamental right – a significant departure from the position that the UPA Government had taken all these years.

While I welcome the significantly expanded rights to privacy and protection of information in the NDA’s new Aadhaar Bill, I had, during the debate in Parliament on this Bill, suggested that there is a need for an overarching privacy legislation – given that there are many other databases, like Jan Dhan Yojana, BPL, LPG etc. that are out of the purview of the Aadhaar Bill, but are significant parts of the subsidy delivery mechanism of the Government that also need to be covered under the Citizens’ Rights to Privacy and Protection of Information.

As you are aware, I have been consistently pursuing the need for recognition of Privacy as a fundamental right for several years, starting with the Aadhaar effort, during the UPA Government. I had raised the issue of privacy on several occasions with the UPA Government, and consequent to the lack of sensitivity and response, the matter of UID/privacy ended up being heard in front of the Constitutional Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, where I am also an impleading petitioner.

You will agree that it is, therefore, ironic and amusing to read and hear about the belated awakening of the Congress party and the architects of Aadhaar, to this real issue of privacy and the need for protection of information.

As you are aware, I have spoken extensively about this in Parliament and written to you after the NDA Government was formed (copies of my letters and Parliamentary Question are enclosed herewith).

The Hon’ble Finance Minister was gracious enough to respond to me in Parliament, and with a promise that the Government would look into this need for privacy legislation after the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision. However, I would urge that the Government proactively explore the possibility of either a new Privacy legislation, or review and amend the existing IT Act, Section 43 A and other applicable sections at the earliest. I would also recommend that a multi-stakeholder consultation be initiated so that the views of various stakeholders, including security agencies, are taken into account while this legislation is being conceived and architected.

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