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.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

10997 - Will making Aadhaar mandatory help at all? dna India

 DIPSHIKHA GHOSH | Thu, 30 Mar 2017-08:10am , DNA
Policy watchers weigh in on Aadhaar use and abuse

There are dozens of instances of the government (and even private companies) making Aadhaar compulsory, which directly violates the Supreme Court’s orders, which only allow Aadhaar to be used on a voluntary basis for a limited number of government schemes. Apart from contradicting the SC order, Aadhaar has security and privacy problems. Aadhaar Pay is to be launched in April. CIS has shown that multiple UIDAI-approved fingerprint devices that are on the market today allow you to copy people’s fingerprints. This means shopkeepers who collect your fingerprints for Aadhaar Pay can surreptitiously sell your fingerprints and Aadhar number, which is enough to defraud you of money. How will you prove you didn’t authorize a transaction when it was your fingerprint?

We don’t have a privacy law in India, so there is no protection against private companies misusing Aadhaar while collecting personal data about you, and selling that data without your consent. We need a strong privacy law, and we need to stop using biometrics as a “password”.

Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director at the Centre for Internet and Society
Aadhaar would be effective if it was to be made mandatory for voting. That would reduce dependence on voter booths. Those with access to the internet could stay at home and do a simple scan and cast their votes. A big bulk of poll expenses are spent on the polling day itself. Workers and booth organisers, in the case of Odisha at least, need to be around constantly. They work in shifts and are responsible for herding rural voters to the polling booths. What also tends to happen is politicians automatically invest in booth workers from villages who have local support so that they can influence his/her close ones to vote for them. In some cases private enities lik microfinance companies who hold Aadhaar data in rural areas of customers can sell the data for a mere four per cent of the loan they gave. I do not stand with the Bengaluru tech mafias who want to make Aadhaar mandatory.

Tathagata Satpathy, MP, Odisha
Aadhaar comes with immense benefits and this is the reason there has been expansion in its uses. The new Aadhaar Act has no legal constraints for expansion. The biggest advantage is that there will be no leakages or duplication of Aadhaar identities, which seems to be a pervading problem with both PAN and ration cards. It also helps in direct transfer of benefits. Thirdly, it makes it much easier to know who is accessing benefits. Many schemes are spread over different databases. Integrating schemes into one Aadhaar database helps understand who is accessing what benefits and whether there are any overlaps. Any argument against Aadhaar is specious and lacks substance.

GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP spokesperson

As told to Dipshikha Ghosh