The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Friday, June 22, 2018

13703 - Speaking Truth to Power: My Alternative by P. Chidambaram- Review - Free Press Journal

— By Jatin Desai  | Jun 17, 2018 08:21 am

Speaking truth to power: My alternative view is a collection of former Union Minister for Home and Finance P Chidambaram’s incisive essays published last year as a weekly column in The Indian Express. The articles covered a range of subjects like demonetisation, economy, politics, foreign policy, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and nation at large.

Chidambaram is known for his analysis and he expresses his opinion irrespective of whether it is a politically correct or not. His style is simple and even common people can understand economics and politics from his writing. It is also a reason why he is one of the most popular columnists in India. He gives a different perspective. 

In a democracy, citizens wish to hear the voice of an articulate opposition that can offer reasoned criticism of government and suggest alternative policy solutions to challenges faced by the nation. The hallmark of the book is unbiased criticism based on sound logic. Former President Pranab Mukherjee, in his foreword, writes, “Speaking Truth to Power is a collection of well-argued, thought-provoking articles on the gamut of issues facing the nation and provides a counter-narrative to India’s political, economic and social discourse, with style and substance.”

In one article he narrates the history of Aadhaar. He says the idea of Aadhaar was born in 2009, it faced fierce opposition. Yashwant Sinha, then chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, led the charge against Aadhaar. 

Chidambaram writes, “From the pronouncements of prominent BJP leaders at that time (Narendra Modi, Prakash Javadekar, Ananth Kumar) it was evident that Mr Sinha had the support of a powerful section of his party.” It shows the sad reality of Indian politics. Once opposition comes to power they follow the same policies which they opposed earlier.

The author also talks about the issue of privacy. He says, “While a unique identity mark is necessary, it cannot become a potential device to spy on people’s lives or gather private information that has no relevance to good governance. We must remember we do not yet have a comprehensive law on data protection or privacy.” Supreme Court’s nine-judge bench ruled last year that right to privacy is a fundamental right.

He expresses concern over rising prices of petrol and diesel in an article Gujarat after 22 years of BJP rules. He writes, “The obvious solution is to bring petroleum products under GST.” He also talks about water scarcity in Gujarat. The water from Sardar Sarovar Dam cannot be distributed to water-starved Saurashtra and other districts including Kutch, because the bulk of the canal network (30,000 km)  has not been built in the last 22 years.

The author is consistently expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The sad thing is one central minister charged him as ‘anti-national’ for his opinion on Jammu and Kashmir. The prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir should be a matter of concern for everyone. 

He writes, “The writing on the wall is clear. The alienation of the people of the Kashmir valley is nearly complete. We are on the brink of losing Kashmir. We cannot retrieve the situation through a ‘muscular’ policy – tough talk by ministers, dire warnings from the Army Chief, deploying more troops and killing more protesters.” He suggests few steps to retrieve the situation. 

Chidambaram says the central government must begin a dialogue with all the stakeholders, reduce the presence of Army and paramilitary forces and hand over the responsibility of maintaining law and order to Jammu and Kashmir police, defend the border with Pakistan by all means, etc. 

The author writes, “If the current medicine of tough talk and together action has not worked in Jammu and Kashmir, why is it not opportune to try an alternate cure?” The country needs to think out of the box in bringing enduring peace in the valley. The scenario cannot be changed unless Indian state wins the heart of the people of the valley. The policy should be developed keeping in mind people at the centre. It needs the courage to question ‘muscular’ policy and Chidambaram has proved that he has that courage.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar emphasised on the annihilation of the caste system. His undelivered speech was later published as a book. Now many people talk of the irrelevance of caste system. But, shockingly one observes caste system is getting strengthened in the last few years. The caste is getting more importance in the present political scenario and it should worry right-thinking people. The author correctly says, “In my view, caste is a curse that diminishes the potential of India and the Indian people. The annihilation of caste is nowhere in sight.” The book presents an alternate view to the existing policies and for rational and objective thinking it is a must read.