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.

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

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.


Monday, August 7, 2017

11728 - Caste and Aadhar: "How Will a Manual Scavenger Leave His Past Behind?" - The Citizen Bureau

THE CITIZEN BUREAU

Caste and Aadhar: "How Will a Manual Scavenger Leave His Past Behind?"

Saturday, August 05,2017


NEW DELHI: “How can we accept a system that does not allow us to shed that identity and move on? How can a number that links up databases be good for us,” is the pertinent question raised by Safai Karamchari Andolan leader, Bezwada Wilson who has been working tirelessly against manual scavenging for details. A question that the government of India has shied away from answering, even as it moves ruthlessly to implement the UID/Aadhar project despite the Supreme Court rulings, and the stiff opposition to this ‘invasion of privacy’ by large sections of the populace.

Wilson said, and has just been confirmed by the government that the UID number will haunt even the dead. And the information about the inividual will be held to that number. And as he pointed out, “changing an identity will become impossible. We are working for an eradication of the practice of manual scavening, for rehabilitation of those who have been engaged in this, and then leaving behind that tag of the manual scavenger. How can we accept a system that does not allow us to shed that identity and move on?” How indeed?

The UID Number will keep an Indian permanently enclosed in his/her caste identity, is a fear being voiced by many and as Wilson said make it impossible for the individual kept at the bottom rung of the ladder will find it even more difficult to transgress the ID trapped in his ‘number’.

A reputed anti-Aadhar activist and member of the Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties Dr Gopal Krishna has taken the issue to the President of India through a letter where he has reminded at some length of the dual position taken by BJP FInance Minister Arun Jaitley. As Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha not so long ago Jaitley wrote,, “Firstly, every citizen in India has a right to privacy. His right to pirivacy is an inherent aspect of his personal liberty. Interference in the right to privacy is an interference in his personal liberty by a process which is not fair, just or reasonable. A person’s Call Detail Records can throw up details of several transactions. In the case of an average citizen it can reflect on his relationships. In the case of a professional or a business person it can reflect on his financial transactions. In the case of a journalist it can reveal the identity of his sources. In the case of a politician it can reveal the identity of the person with whom he has regular access. Every person has ‘a right to be left alone’.”
Jaitley who has now ensured the passage of this controversial legislation as a Money Bill, trying to push past the petitions being heard in the Supreme Court had also said as Opposition leader, “We are now entering the era of the Adhaar number. The Government (Manmohan Singh) has recently made the existence of the Adhaar number as a condition precedent for undertaking several activities; from registering marriages to execution of property documents. Will those who encroach upon the affairs of others be able to get access to bank accounts and other important details by breaking into the system? If this ever becomes possible the consequences would be far messier.”
On 8th April, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted before the elections , "On Aadhaar, neither the Team that I met nor PM could answer my Qs (questions) on security threat it can pose. There is no vision, only political gimmick.”

Interestingly, as the letter to the President points out, even a colonial law Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, ordered that measurements, finger impressions, footprints and photographs of persons convicted, or arrested should all be destroyed at the time of his/her acquittal. This was to ensure the acquitted prisoner a clean start in life, quite against the UID/Aadhar project that stores the biometric data forever. “This makes present and future citizens worse than prisoners” Dr Gopal Krishna contends in the letter to the President.

None of the issues being raised have been answered by the government that is far more aggressive in pushing the scheme forward, than the Congress government that had introduced the proposal as a key initiative.