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.

Friday, December 23, 2016

10615 - Streetsmart Mumbaikars manage multiple currency exchange despite safeguards - TNN

Somit Sen | TNN | Updated: Nov 18, 2016, 03.15 AM IST

MUMBAI: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday tweeted that the state government had suspended toll collection across the state until the midnight of November 24. Meanwhile as most bank branches await the arrival of indelible ink, several people are making multiple currency exchanges in a day, rotating between private and public sector banks, post offices and ATMs, even using different identity documents, to avoid leaving a trail. 

But several public sector banks claim to have devised a system where they can detect multiple withdrawals and money exchange from other outlets. Allahabad Bank's Andheri (West) branch at SV Road is keeping track of an individual's previous money exchange without the use of ink. "There is a system that automatically detects whether a person using a certain ID has exchanged money in the past few days and therefore restricts further exchange. So if you have exchanged money on basis of your Aadhaar card, it will show up in our records. Exchange in that case is being refused right away. However, if one has withdrawn only up to Rs 4,000 the balance amount is being given within the enhanced exchange limit of Rs 4,500," said branch manager Poonam Mishra. 

However, employees at Karnataka Bank in Manish Nagar, Andheri, say streetsmart Mumbaikars have found ways to circumvent this firewall also. "If they have withdrawn using Aadhaar card before, they use other forms of identification like PAN card or driving licence to evade detection. Indelible ink is the answer to this," said one officer.

On Thursday, the new 500-rupee note became visible at more banks and post offices. S M Srivastava, postmaster at DN Nagar, Andheri, has 40 POs under his jurisdiction. "We received a moderate number of notes in the 500 series and despatched them across branches," he said. 

Refrigerator repairman R Srinivas who waited here in queue said, "First we were told we can exchange Rs 4,000 per day, then Rs 4,500 till November 24 and now just Rs 2,000 a week. This constant change shifts the ground beneath one's feet. We are too scared to buy anything other than basic essentials, wondering what will come next."

Transporters' associations on Thursday met ministry officials in Delhi and proposed an increase in weekly withdrawal limit to Rs 5 lakh. "We also want petrol pumps to accept the old notes till November 30. The finance ministry has asked the transport department in Maharashtra to accept taxes from us (in old currency) till November 24."