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, April 5, 2016

9744 - UPA started good things like Aadhaar, but we executed it better: Ravi Shankar Prasad - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 5 Apr, 2016, 04.00AM IST

As Aadhaar numbers hit one billion, the BJP government on said UPA did some “good works” like Aadhaar but Modi Government has been better at implementing such initiatives.

NEW DELHI: As Aadhaar numbers hit one billion, the BJP government on Monday said UPA did some "good works" like Aadhaar but the Modi Government has been better at implementing such initiatives of the UPA.

A press conference called by Telecom & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to announce the 'One Billion achievement' had a clear political tinge with figures doled out of the pre-Modi government era and post May 31, 2014, to highlight big jump in Aadhaar saturation levels and surge in authentication transactions in the latter period.

This also marked the BJP acknowledging the UPA's initiative started in 2010 as a game-changer for good governance with Prasad thanking UIDAI's first chairperson Nandan Nilekani and ex-UIDAI DG and the present Trai boss RS Sharma for their contributions.

When asked by ET if Prasad would also like to thank UPA which started the scheme while BJP in the Opposition was bitterly against it, Prasad said the "formality" was not needed as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had already thanked UPA on the floor of the house while presenting the Aadhaar bill.

"But there is one difference — what they (UPA) did with Aadhaar and what we have done — the scale itself is an indication. I always say — they started many works, but we do it better. We never say UPA did not do good works but we execute them better...that is why people have voted us," Prasad said.

Stressing on performance of Modi Government vis-a-vis the UPA, Prasad rattled off figures that 3-4 lakh people were enrolled under Aadhaar under UPA (63.22 Cr people till May 2014) while 5-7 lakh people were enrolled daily by Modi Government. Only 8.82 crore Aadhaar authentication transactions had been carried out under UPA while the number now stood at 150.6 crore —Rs 28363 cr was paid over Aadhaar Payment Bridge in such transactions compared toRs 4474 cr under UPA. 25.48 Cr Aadhaars are now linked to bank accounts compared to just 6.7 crore under the UPA.

Significantly, Prasad made it clear that having an Aadhaar card was "not mandatory" even after a bill had been brought to give it statutory backing. "All benefits will be paid through Aadhaar authentication but if someone does not have Aadhaar, he will not be denied the benefit. The person will be requested to get an Aadhaar number as it will be good for the person," Prasad said. Also, government will go to SC for extending Aadhaar to all schemes.

"We are open to as many public services to be brought under Aadhaar for flawless performance. We will have to take SC permission for more schemes. We have asked our law officers to request for expeditious hearing of the case in SC," Prasad said.