Aadhaar

The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Sunday, August 7, 2016

10271 - Legitimate political funding holds key to stemming generation of black money - Economic Times


July 23, 2016, 5:27 AM IST ET Edit in ET Editorials | Economy, India | ET

The Centre’s reported move to send notices to 7 lakh individuals, spotted as having made high-value transactions without furnishing their permanent account number (PAN), serves more a political purpose than to collect more taxes or stem the generation of black money. The annual information returns, which identify potential taxpayers by examining their spending patterns, are useful to track down high net worth individuals evading taxes. However, audit trails snap when transactions reported via the tax information network lack PAN, as was the case with about 1.4 million transactions. Taxmen should make intelligent use of technology to nab evaders, rather than blunt instruments in law enforcement. This is eminently feasible if every large financial transaction is tagged with a unique identifier — PAN or Aadhaar.

About 250 million PANs have been issued, and four times as many Aadhaar numbers. Furnishing a unique identifier should be mandatory for all high-value financial transactions. Tax evasion is rife in real estate. Property registrars should require a unique identifier for both the seller and the buyer. India should adopt the Torrens system of registering land — wherein the owner’s name for any plot of land is directly entered into a registry, maintained and guaranteed by the government — to check benami land deals. The unorganised sector will come under the net when the goods and services tax is adopted and IT systems get interconnected. Audit trails will make available a unified database of tax potential on direct and indirect taxes. The income-tax base must be widened, given that less than 4% of people file tax returns; and just a few thousand admit to having incomes higher than Rs 1 crore a year. This, of course, must change.

The mother-of-all-reforms is to clean up political funding. Every political party should disclose its spending and sources of financing those expenses. These claims can be contested by other parties and watchdog bodies, with the Election Commission making the final verification. Legitimate political funding holds the key to stemming the generation of black money.


This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Economic Times.