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, May 31, 2016

10054 - PMO happy as 13 crore people used Aadhaar for IDs and received benefits in March - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 28 May, 2016, 02.02AM IST

“This is the ultimate test of Aadhaar – whether people are actively using it to receive a service or benefit,” a senior government official said.

NEW DELHI: Over 13 crore people , the highest-ever for any month, used their Aadhaar this March to authenticate their identity and receive a government benefit or service, as per latest figures submitted to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) at a meeting chaired by the PM earlier this month. 

"This is the ultimate test of Aadhaar - whether people are actively using it to receive a service or benefit," a senior government official said, adding that PMO was enthused over the response and expects over 150 Cr Aadhaar authenticated transactions in 2016. "The online authentication platform is capable of handling 10 crore transactions daily," UIDAI chief AB Pandey told ET earlier this week. 

As per details with ET, nearly 174 Cr Aadhaar authenticated transactions have been carried out since inception of the facility till May 15 this year by over 42 Cr Aadhaar number holders out of the 101 Cr people with Aadhaar numbers as of today. Only 8.82 Cr Aadhaar authenticated transactions happened under the UPA. Things picked under the Modi government -about 47 Cr Aadhaar authenticated transactions were done in year 2015. 

The UIDAI chief told ET that authentication was also the way of sharing data, when asked about the tussle with Registrar General of India (RGI). "RGI can use our authentication mechanism. If they want to confirm whether the name of a person in the National Population Register is the same person or not, he can put his biometric and Aadhaar number, and his details will appear. So in this way, the data is being shared," Pandey said. 

The UIDAI chief said the system also ensures safety of data and privacy issues. "It is most optimal that data remains at one place and everyone uses the authentication mechanism. RGI may also like to do that. Rather than biometrics lying at 10 different places and everyone worrying about protecting privacy of data, we have said this is how we will authenticate," Pandey said. The Aadhaar Act says core biometric data will not be shared. 

Officials say authentication mechanism of UIDAI ensures any requesting authority obtains consent of Aadhaar number holder before authentication, inform the purpose of authentication and ensure that the collected identity information is used only for submission and no core biometric information is retained by the requesting authority.