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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

10676 - Parliament panel sceptical of Food Ministry’s claim of ‘100% digitisation’ of ration cards and Aadhaar seeding - Hindu Businessline


States’ financial performance under the scheme ‘far from satisfactory’

Expressing scepticism over digitisation data furnished by the Food Ministry on ration cards, supply chain and Aadhaar seeding, a Parliamentary Standing Committee has urged the department concerned to cross-check with States to establish their authenticity.

In its report tabled in Parliament recently, the committee, headed by JC Divakar Reddy (Telugu Desam Party), while noting the importance of expeditious digitisation of database for better targeting of food subsidies, said it was “sceptical of the 100 per cent achievements shown in respect of FPS (fair price shops), Godown data and Ration Card data furnished to them in respect of many of the States.”

The committee found that “progress of work relating to Aadhaar Card Seeding is almost zero in Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, J&K, Karnataka, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, UP, West Bengal and in Lakshadweep. In big States like Madhya Pradesh, it is as low as 18 per cent whereas in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, it is just only one per cent.”

The report urged the Centre that the “authenticity of the data furnished by States be cross-checked with the ground situation available in the States, especially in respect of States like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat etc.”

The Food Ministry, in a release dated November 3, had said that the beneficiary data base had been digitised in all the 36 States/Union Territories, wherein, information was available right up to beneficiary level and was in the public domain, adding that “online allocation of foodgrains is being done in 28 States/UTs, and the entire foodgrain supply chain has been computerised in 18 States/UTs”. It also said that “100 per cent linkage of Ration Cards with Aadhaar, which is 71 per cent at the moment, will be achieved.”

On computerisation of supply chain management, the Parliamentary committee noted that it had been implemented in only three-four States while some others were progressing slowly, and recommend that the department take up the job in consultation with all State governments/UTs “on top priority with a fixed timeline.”

It also observed financial performance under the scheme as “far from satisfactory.”

While out of the Central share of ₹489.37 crore, so far only ₹261.51 crore had been released to the States during the last three financial years — 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 — including for 2015-16 (up to May 31, 2015), the cumulative expenditure reported for this period was a meagre amount of ₹56.49 crore “implying at the same time that the States have not been able to spend about ₹205.02 crore.”

Though funds were released to 27 States/UTs, 14 States have not shown/reported any expenditure for the above period, said the committee, adding that “this speaks volumes of the performance of this vital scheme aimed to prevent leakages, diversions in supply of foodgrains”.

(This article was published on December 2, 2016)