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.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

10877 - Centre, SC may lock horns over making Aadhaar mandatory for govt schemes - Hindustan Times

INDIA Updated: Mar 05, 2017 01:46 Ist

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The government says over 1.13 billion people – or more than 90% of the eligible population – are registered under the Aadhaar programme.(PTI file photo)

The central government’s decision to make enrolment in the biometric-based Aadhaar programme mandatory for availment of all government schemes from the next financial year has put it on a collision course with the Supreme Court.

The government’s move appears to be in contravention of the apex court’s orders that Aadhaar should be a “voluntary” requirement for citizens to derive welfare benefits. The judicial body had formed a constitution bench to examine its validity, and announced earlier this week that it would pronounce its judgment on the matter soon.

Although the government claimed that the Aadhaar law enacted in September 2016 gave it the authority to make the 12-digit unique number mandatory for administering schemes, it was told by the court a few days later to continue implementing the social security system as a “voluntary and not mandatory” measure.

“We make it clear that the Aadhaar card scheme is (to be implemented) purely on a voluntary basis, and not mandatory, until the matter is finally decided by the court one way or the other,” it had said in September 2016.

Now, the Centre has decided that Aadhaar would be made mandatory to establish “one’s identity” for availing benefits under government schemes from the financial year 2017-18. The benefits would be provided only after authentication of the claimant through sim-card based hand-held machines.

In the last few weeks, ministries have issued similarly worded notifications – making Aadhaar mandatory for almost everything from education scholarships to scheduled caste/tribe schemes and agricultural subsidies.

The government has already made Aadhaar mandatory for two of its biggest schemes: enrollment to MGNREGS and acquisition of subsidised ration under the public distribution system. Many states, especially those ruled by the BJP, provide benefits under these schemes only to those enrolled under the Unique Identification Authority of India.

“These notifications are in violation of the Supreme Court orders, which categorically state that Aadhaar remains voluntary,” said Reetika Khera, a development economist with the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi. She accused the government of going back on its promise to keep the identification number optional for availing benefits.

An Information Technology ministry official said Aadhaar was initially kept voluntary because enrolment was very low. However, things have now changed with over 1.13 billion people – or more than 90% of the eligible population – being registered under the social security scheme.

“The remaining will be covered in the next three months, with the help of state governments,” he said.

The erstwhile UPA government had launched the Aadhaar programme, which involved issuing a unique identification number to every Indian, under the leadership of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. The NDA government decided to continue with it after Nilekani made a presentation in this regard before Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2014.
However, concerns were raised that the collection of biometric information from individuals could amount to the invasion of a citizen’s right to privacy.