However, the story does not end there. He was told that for a Delhi licence he needed to get a government-recognised proof of residence in the capital. After a few phone calls to ‘significant people in power’, another Aadhaar card was generated.
Given our 1.3 billion people, electronic data is not entirely reliable. The dream of going digital appears moot, whether it is our banks, our UID or EVMs. All the fancy machines in the world cannot replace good old ‘babudom’—in other words, the great Indian paper trail.
The recent upheaval over the EVMs is just a single case in point. According to news reports over the latest developments in the EVM skirmish, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty to write to the State Election Commissioner asking him to hold the upcoming municipal elections through ballot papers.
For the sake of argument, let us say that the objections to the EVMs raised by Mayawati and Kejriwal are slightly biased, given that both their parties had a poor show in the Assembly elections. Let us consider the neutral comments of Poorvi L Vora, professor of computer science at George Washington University: “Generally speaking, in any computer software or hardware, there is the possibility of the individual modules being changed without detection, or being erroneous.” Computer chips may be replaced without detection and can be tampered with. This is seen as a problem not just in India, but even abroad.