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

9756 - Aadhaar biometrics for population register: Home Ministry may seek Attorney General’s help - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 6 Apr, 2016, 04.57AM IST
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RGI needs biometrics of nearly 70 crore people – which have been captured by the UIDAI for Aadhaar – to prepare the NPR.

NEW DELHI: Home ministry has been asked by the cabinet secretary to approach Attorney General (AG) to find a way out from the prospect facing the Registrar General of India (RGI) of taking fresh biometrics of nearly 70 crore people as the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is not sharing it with the RGI. 

This has raised the prospect of another tussle between the RGI and the UIDAI. A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha has asked the home ministry to seek the AG's opinion on the issue of sourcing of biometric data from UIDAI for preparing the mandatory National Population Register (NPR). This came after home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi complained to the CoS that if UIDAI would not part with biometric information for RGI's NPR, the "statutory mandate of preparing the NPR will be obstructed". 

Mehrishi has also pointed out before the CoS that it had been previously decided by cabinet, while allotting states for biometric enrolment to the UIDAI and RGI in 2012 under the UPA rule, that both the organisations would "mutually share" the information. 

RGI needs biometrics of nearly 70 cr people - which have been captured by the UIDAI for Aadhaar - to prepare the NPR. RGI has shared biometrics captured by it of nearly 28 crore persons with UIDAI for generation of Aadhaars but the latter is citing its recently passed Act to say core biometric data cannot be shared with any government or private agency except individual cases on grounds of national security. 

"RGI hence faces the prospect of taking biometrics of 70 crore people again for preparing NPR...any such exercise will be a huge financial burden," a top government official told ET. Also, while RGI captures enrolment data under 15 parameters while UIDAI does it under only 5 heads. "Hence, UIDAI enrolment data can anyways not co-relate to RGI and NPR requirements," the official said.A Home Ministry spokesperson did not comment when asked on the stage of the process of seeking the AG's opinion but pointed out that NPR and Aadhaar "came under different acts" - the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the recently passed UIDAI Act respectively. 

"The law will decide," the home ministry spokesperson said. A source said the Home Ministry will pitch for an amendment to the recently passed UIDAI Act or a provision in the still-to-be-enacted rules of the Act to mandate the UIDAI to share the data with RGI. However, a senior government official said that the ministry case was weak until the Cabinet approves the long-pending MHA's proposal of Resident Identity Cards planned to be issued to all residents over 18 years - the final step in the NPR process.