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.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

11035 - Spotlight on identity - Deccan Herald

Surupasree Sarmmah, April 12, 2017, Deccan Herald News Service

need of the hour Some Bengalureans feel that there are still hurdles while applying for the Aadhaar card. 

I didn’t feel the necessity for an Aadhaar card till now since I have my passport, driving licence and voter ID card bearing the same details. But now I think I will have to get one due to it being made mandatory for driving licence renewal and a host of other purposes,” says Ashok Agarwal, a businessman. 

With the Aadhaar card being made compulsory for various government welfare schemes like the Midday Meal Scheme and booking of railway tickets, many like Ashok are gearing up to get their card in place. It has also been made a must for filing income tax returns from July 1. 

“The government is trying to make it compulsory for various databases, perhaps because most people possessing documents like the PAN card and voter ID card got them made almost 20 years back. And most of these documents have incorrect or incomplete information, especially like wrong date of birth or name misspelt,” adds Ashok. 

He says that since the Aadhaar card involves a biometric scan, no one can duplicate or fake the details. He understands the importance of this card, which is the only reason the government is pushing people to get one. 

However, Sherly Mathew, a professional, says that though she has made an attempt to enrol for the Aadhaar card, various issues like lack of valid documents (address proof being one of them) have posed a problem for her. 

She says, “First of all, there are only limited tokens — around 30 — issued per day at enrolment centres. If you miss it one day, you will have to revisit the centre the  next day, which again is an uncertainty. Holding a regular job, it is difficult for me to take leave every other day. They must increase the number of tokens so that more people can enrol for it.”

“I was told that the proof of address for the enrolment has to have the permanent address, which has to be somewhere in Bengaluru. Since I don’t have one and my passport also has a different address, I am in a fix now,” she laments. 

So what can an individual do if similar issues arise? “There are 35 different categories of documents using which one can enrol for their Aadhaar card. Incase none of these documents are available, an individual can also take help of the ‘Introducers’ available at the enrolment centre. He or she is a known person authorised by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or by a registrar, to introduce individuals with insufficient documentation for enrolment,” says a UIDAI official. 

He says that there are many benefits attached to the Aadhaar card. “The Aadhaar card makes it one step easier for people to avail certain government benefits. It is now an essential and verifiable document for identity,” adds the official.