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.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

9755 - Aadhaar Made Wages Easier, But Jobs Harder To Get Without It In Jharkhand

All India | Written by Alok Pandey | Updated: April 06, 2016 11:02 IST

Six years after the first Aadhaar card was issued, a billion people in India have a unique number allotted to them.

KHUNTI, JHARKHAND:  For many of Jharkhand's poor, who depend on the Centre's rural jobs scheme or NREGA for 100 days of work every year, an Aadhaar card has been the ticket to hassle free wage payments.

Six years after the first Aadhaar card was issued, a billion people in India have a unique number allotted to them. Over 93 per cent adults have a smart card, which not only provides them with an identity, but is also used to ensure that government subsidies go directly to the correct beneficiary.

45-year-old Rajkumar Lohara, from Soso village in Khunti district, about 45 kilometres from state capital Ranchi, says the government's unique identity number, now linked to his NREGA job card, has meant doorstep payments from his bank, using his fingerprint on the Aadhaar card as identification.

"I managed to open a bank account using Aadhaar. Now my job card has been linked to Aadhaar too. I can take out money when I want. Earlier the payments were less and not on time. Also I had to go all the way to my bank," says Mr Lohara.

In 2011, Jharkhand was the first state to experiment with linking Aadhaar to payments for the rural jobs scheme. The government says that on the ground, Aadhaar's biometric identification means payments reach the intended person. But activists in Jharkhand point to a 2015 Supreme Court ruling, saying that Aadhaar based payments would be voluntary, alleging that Aadhaar is being imposed on the poor by the government in the state, brushing aside serious privacy concerns.

"If you don't have an Aadhaar card, you don't get work here. The Supreme Court has said it is not mandatory but here in Jharkhand it has been made so. People are pressurised that an Aadhaar card is a must," says Shivnandan Vishwakarma, a social worker in Khunti.

"When we did not have an Aadhaar card, we never got work. When we used to go ask for work, we were never given any," says 35-year-old Shila Devi, also from Soso, corroborating the allegations by activists.

The Jharkhand government says it hasn't made Aadhaar compulsory for wages, but hopes that more and more people will opt to receive payments the Aadhaar way.

Story First Published: April 06, 2016 01:55 IST