AADHAR - Unique Identification Number
I feel quite lost in this controversy on #Aadhar.
So far, from the conversations in social media and MSM, I had thought the concerns were about the loss of ‘privacy’ of citizens. Over the weekend there was outrage on Twitter about why one should need Aadhar for getting a new Mobile phone connection?
However, since yesterday’s Supreme Court order stating that Aadhar cannot be made mandatory for availing social welfare schemes the discourse seems to have shifted. There is rejoicing in some quarters over stopping the government on its track.
It is common knowledge that there are huge leakages in all public welfare schemes. For example, in the case of mid-day meal alone it is estimated that there are over 4.4 lakh ghost kids enrolled. Surely, there cannot be concerns about loss of privacy there.
Therefore, what could be the anxiety of the enlightened civil society to prevent any measure to plug misuse of tax payers’ money, is not clear.
Political parties taking bi-polar position in opposing the government on all issues is understandable. But, what intrigues me is the intelligentsia flaying every move of the government and willing to condone issues such as corruption, black-money, pilferage of state funds, illegal immigration etc that they have been agitating on for years. This not only smacks of bias but also, if one may say, some degree of intellectual dishonesty.
If indeed the intellectuals claim superior wisdom, it should also be their responsibility to suggest alternative solutions or means of tackling the issues, rather than clamour for status quo ante.
It is also somewhat odd that, they should object to Aadhar being used for Social Security schemes such as Pension disbursement. Whereas say for example in the US, a country the liberals love, UID numbers are called Social Security Number.
Finally, apart from not placing any injunction on the government for using #Aadhar to tag transactional matters, the Supreme Court has observed that the matter has to be heard by a larger 7 Member Bench, which cannot be constituted right now. This can be interpreted, as an indication of the court not viewing it as such a huge threat to the fundamental rights of the citizens as sections of the media and intellectuals are making out to be.
So for now, it is at best a moment of Pyrrhic Victory for the habitual critics of the government.
Listen to what Nandan Nilekani the father of Aadhar had to say - click here