uid

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

Special

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

Quotes

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, January 20, 2017

10723 - At Labour Chowk, a futile wait for work - TNN

TNN | Dec 14, 2016, 04.10 AM IST

GURUGRAM: Early in the morning on Tuesday, questions fly thick and fast as TOI joins the group of daily wagers who, like every other day, had converged upon Labour Chowk near Bristol Hotel in Sikandeprur. How can we exchange our old notes? Can we open a bank account here in Gurgaon? Is the Aadhaar card enough for opening an account? What about the subsidised food the government had promised for us? What benefit will come from demonetisation? How will it curb black money? 

Their bewilderment and ignorance shed an unflattering light on the Centre's tall claims about a cashless, digital economy, and its campaign to open bank accounts, Aadhaar cards, etc. Financial literacy? Nobody here had ever heard of Paytm. "I started working as a mechanic when I was eight years old. I attended school upto Class IV. How would I know all this?" said Manoj, 35, a labourer from West Bengal. In fact, bank accounts and e-wallets are far from the minds of these people, who are scraping for work and food. 

A majority of the around thousand men and women who gather at this junction every morning looking for work, don't have Jan Dhan accounts. Everyone appears to have Aadhaar cards though. When asked if any government representatives have visited them yet to assist them in opening bank accounts, they said no. The few who had managed to get work on odd days, said they received payments in the demonetised notes. Without bank accounts, they had no option but to exchange them for change by paying a commission.

"When they hire us, they promise to pay in new currency. But once our work ends, they give us the old notes. Some even give us a Rs 500 note and ask us to return them Rs 200 change," said Muktesh, from Jaipur in Rajasthan. He added that some labourers have got thrashed for protesting such behaviour. 

Latest Comment
it is high time Govt. accepts that implementation of demonetisation, actually issuing of new cash has gone horribly wrong.
Hat Hum Aap Aur Hum

For the city's daily wagers, not only has exploitation increased since demonetisation, but work has also been hard to come by. "In the last 30 days, I've got work on five days. How can I run my family on this?" asked Haseena, a daily wager from Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh.

Though voices of support for the Modi government could still be heard, the overwhelming feeling was of anger and worry. "Note badlega toh desh badlega. Is desh mein jab garib marega tabhi to amir badhega (The country will change when currency changes. In this country, the rich grow richer at the cost of the poor)," said Ravindra Yadav, a labourer from Allahabad district. 

Though initially reluctant, they eventually said in one voice they won't ever vote for Modi, who must return to Gujarat. "Modi can do what he wants in the next 2.5 years, as that's all the time he has in power," said Birju Ram from Gaya in Bihar, referring to the next General Elections.