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


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.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

11461 - Linking PAN to Aadhaar Cards: Who am I? - TNN

May 22, 2017, 7:26 PM IST V Raghunathan in Outraged | India | TOI

It was an innocuous news at first. Little did one know what the pronouncement held in store for a common man, especially if one turned out to be a south-Indian in general, and a Tamilian in particular. Yes, I am referring to the pronouncement that from this year on, the PAN Card and Aadhaar Card had to be linked. Now I can say I am a proud Indian, with all my cards in place: My PAN Card, My Aadhaar Card, My election Card, my Passport, my driving licence, my gas-card, my electricity bill, my bank account details, my matriculation certificate – you name it and I can produce it. Most of them have my antecedents: my name, my late father’s name, my address, my date of birth, et al. So pardon my naiveté if I thought this linking of Aadhaar with PAN was going to be a picnic.

TOI photo)
Expectedly, it has been anything but. It would be a reasonable postulate that the living addresses one provides for any of these documents would be of the dwelling one held at the time of applying for or becoming entitled to the document concerned. After all, even the Government of India or its Income Tax Department, in their infinite wisdom, will not hypothesize that the address once given is unchangeable, or that their clerks are beyond committing errors. Besides, for a variety of purposes one’s existential proof, be it one’s address or ration card or whatever, keep getting confirmed and reconfirmed time and again by one or the other government agency, putting the already hard-pressed constabulary to even more work. So where is the rub?
It is not my fault that I was named Raghunathan and it is not my fault that down South, among Tamilians, it is the sociological norm to put the initial of the father’s name as one’s own initial. My late father was A.M. Viswanathan. So my name, throughout my schooling, my matriculation, my college, and eventually in most official documents remained V. Raghunathan. It never struck me that some clerks ahd revised my name as V Raghunathan (without the dot). After all when you live in India, you can hardly afford to be fussy about whether all the I’s are dotted and all the T’s are crossed. You simply learn to count your blessings that you got added identity to your existence, name misspelt or not. Foolish would be the soul that sends a card back to the authorities because some fatuous clerk did not insert a space or a dot in a name.
Those were non-computerized times and the world was a simpler place. My name appeared variously as V. Raghunathan (with the dot in My matriculation Certificate, my Driving Licence, my bank accounts etc.), V Raghunathan (without the dot but with a space, in the current Adhar Card, a BOD Card, etc.) or VRaghunathan (without a space or a dot, as in my PAN Card), depending on the legal requirements, technological constraints (cannot accept a dot in a name; first name cannot be a single digit like V, etc.) or diligence or lack of it of the clerks concerned.
Life went on good and smooth until I hit that point in my life, some four decades ago, when I needed a passport. When I tried to put my usual name in the application form, I was peremptorily required to expand the initial. So my name had to be put down as Viswanathan Raghunathan. So I had another variant added to the plethora of alternatives already existing. Ergo, that’s how I came to be known as in my passport and hence in international air-tickets; and many have been the times when I missed an announcement meant for me because the public address system was hollering for a Mr. R. Viswanathan, because they quite reasonably thought Viswanathan which appeared first was my first name, when my name was…well you know it! Once, I was told I had no reservation on an international flight, because when I gave my name as Raghunathan, the lady at the check-in desk was in fact looking at Viswanathan R. But I fought these little battles gallantly and did not cave in from the challenges of living in my good country.
Only now, when my Chartered Accountant called me to link my Pan Card to my Adhar Card that new revelations came my way. I was told that my name in the PAN Card was VRaghunathan (without a space between V and R) while the name in the Adahar Card was Viswanathan Raghunathan (because they wanted the name as it appeared in the passport). Hence the two would not link! I had to change the name in one of the two documents to match the other! Since the name on the Adhar card was more easily changeable online, I had the name in the Adhar Card changed to V Raghunathan. I thought my travails were over, when my Chartered Accountant brought the absence of space between V and R in the PAN Card to my notice, while in the Adhar Card it appeared with the due space. But since I did not wish to put an incorrect name, VRaghuanthan, on my Adhar Card, I set upon changing it on my PAN Card. It should be a straight forward job, you would think. Right? Of course, you would be wrong.
This had to be handled through a certain Integrated India Data Solutions, who were expected to find solution to my problem. When I asked for putting a space between V and R – a simple enough request – I was told that the name of my father in the PAN Card was AMViswanathan (no fault of mine, mind you) and the address given was obviously not my current one, having moved quite a few times since my PAN Card was created. OK, So I should be able to ask for a simple correction of the name and seek change of address, with a suitable address proof, right? Wrong again.
The address proof that I furnish must have my name as V Raghunathan (and not as V. Raghunathan) and my father’s name must appear in that document as AMViswanathan, and not A.M. Viswanathan, his correct name. That’s not all either. I must also furnish proof that the V in my name corresponds to Viswanathan and that Viswanathan is indeed my father! How do I prove it? I was advised to get a Gazetted Officer testify to that effect. But how do I prove it to the Gazetted Officer that the V and Viswanathan are the same souls and are indeed my father, when my good father left for his heavenly abode nearly four decades ago? “We don’t know sir, but those are the rules!”
And believe me, I have not even shared with you the trauma that I have suffered over the years when some worthies chose to ‘correct’ my father’s name by inserting an ‘H’ in the Vishwa, instead of the Tamilian “Viswa”…

I would mind none of it, had at least a small fraction of the tax money paid by me over several decades worked a wee bit in my favour. But as I inch close to my retirement, what I have got from the Government of I is a serious identity crisis. Who am I? V. Raghunathan, V Raghunathan or VRaghunathan or Viswanathan Raghunathan? Who is my father? A.M. Viswanathan, A M Viswanathan AMViswanathan or A M Vishwanathan? My head is in a spin.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.