Sunday 13 February 2011

Government And UIDAI Are Fooling Indians

The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on Friday grilled UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani and Planning Commission secretary Sudha Pilla. Even the basic level questions were not answered by either of them and Nandan Nilekani evaded the cross examination under the pretense of providing a power point presentation next time.

But we all know that in these circumstances there would not be a “next time” for UIDAI and Aadhar project as they cannot be allowed to operate in these circumstances. It is very surprising how Aadhar project and UIDAI survived so long?

Neither Aadhar project nor UIDAI are supported by any legal framework. They symbolize the growing trend of executive dictatorship in India. Aadhar project and UIDAI are brainchild of Planning Commission that most strikingly lacks the basic level planning.

There are no procedural safeguards against the most obvious civil liberty violations in the Aadhar project. In the absence of privacy laws and data protection law, Aadhar project is a sure case of civil liberties violation landmine.

The truth is that Indian government in general and Planning Commission and UIDAI in particular are fooling Indian citizens with a project that is not at all worth considering. While UK and US have abolished similar projects, India is merrily adopting the same.

Aadhar project is supported by Indian government for just two reasons. First is that it empower the government, though unconstitutionally and illegally, with endemic e-surveillance powers. The second reason is that Aadhar project is one of the “cash cows” that Indian government has gifted to private companies.

While our prime minister’s office (PMO) is looking helplessly, crores of public money has already been wasted by the Aadhar project. Repeated requests to suspend the Aadhar project till it is ready to be rolled out have not been heeded to by our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Only God can save us from India that has now undoubtedly become a “banana republic”.