The Prime Minister & Parliamentarians of India: STOP AADHAAR PROJECT IN INDIA NOW
Thousands of Crores of Rupees have been wasted on issuing Aadhaar, a Unique Identification Number to 440 million Indians, that does not provide any Government subsidies to India’s poor population benchmarked Below Poverty Lines (BPL). Aadhaar does not identify the Poor in any way.
It is Voluntary but is being made mandatory by service providers, which has been questioned by the Supreme Court of India. Aadhaar invades privacy and will require another 100,000 crores or more for effective authentication, with very diminished cost benefit.
Aadhaar poses a major threat to National Security, for example terrorists from other bordering countries can infiltrate into India and use the weak UID “introducer system” to get an Aadhaar and be recognised as a resident of India. This will facilitate sleepers, who provide logistics and support to terrorism, to move freely the length & breadth of the nation, using their Aadhaar as proof of identification as Indian resident. It dangerously interlinks bank accounts, insurance data, telephone data and health data, posing risks of financial breach and surveillance unprecedented in history.
Mahatma Gandhi said “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”
The fact that over 440 million innocent people have been coerced into registering for Aadhaar, does not make it right. History tells us that Mahatma Gandhi burnt ID Cards with finger prints issued by General Smuts to Indians living in South Africa, yet we are allowing our Indian Government to finger print the entire population, as if we are a nation of criminals.
Mahatma Gandhialso wrote “ I want world sympathy in this matter of might against right”
Time for people of India to fight for your right to privacy and challenge the might of a Government that has refused to pay heed to objections and protests, for four long years.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Time for all well meaning people worldwide to come alive, read and appreciate this petition and not just sign it, but share it with all family and friends, and ask them to endorse it as well.
Shri Manmohan Singh, Respected Prime Minister & Parliamentarians of India
We the undersigned are Indians who are extremely concerned that ‘Aadhaar’ has been issued to over 440 million Indians despite opposition from all quarters. The project seems to be riding on a wave of half-truths and hype, that has led the population to believe that the Government is doing this to serve the poor people in India, solely in order to ensure they receive the subsidies intended for them.
We have listed below what we believe is the truth for every Indian to read, understand and endorse.
- Aadhaar is purely an ID number, and does not in any way guarantee government subsidies. It is no way similar to the US Social security card as is being falsely claimed. The US Social Security Card guarantees the card owner social security benefits, and is not to be used for identification. This is clearly written on the card. Aadhaar is the exact opposite of US Social Security Card.
- UIDAI deliberately spreads the impression that its UID scheme is voluntary. This is neither true, nor an accident. The fact is that the chairman UIDAI also heads an intra-governmental group whose job it is to get other arms of the government to make UID inclusion compulsory, a clear conflict of interest. Cooking gas, driving licenses, marriage licenses, salaries, schooling, bank accounts, insurance – all have become or are becoming unavailable without enrolment for UID. The judiciary has finally, after four long years of knocking at its doors for relief, taken UIDAI to task – but the government is still ploughing blindly ahead.
- Sucheta Dalal, recipient of Padma Shree for her contributions in Journalism, in her ‘MoneyLife’ article writes, “The Supreme Court’s stay order of 23rd September on the implementation of Aadhaar [UID] has provided much needed relief to people who were being forced to avail of this biometric identity due to backdoor government mandates for access to essential facilities and services such as gas cylinders, registration of birth, property and marriages, salaries in municipal schools and even admission to schools.”
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft NIAI Bill 2010 declared in 2011, while returning the Bill to the government from Parliament, declared, inter alia:
- There is no feasibility study of the project.
- The project was approved in haste
- The system has far-reaching consequences for national security
- The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose
- It is built on unreliable and untested technology
- There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project
- The Union Cabinet has approved, reportedly in unseemly haste, a fresh Bill to empower the working of the UIDAI, after the Supreme Court Ruling was made, and with little regard for the recommendations of the Standing Committee of Finance of Parliament in 2011. This is a very undemocratic approach, displaying astonishing disregard for Parliamentary processes.
- The Union Cabinet was reportedly unsure of the status of UIDAI’s UID, whether it was intended to be a card or a number, hardly six months ago. The same Cabinet has now approved a Draft NIAI Bill, reportedly little changed from the Bill of 2010. Multiple government agencies are now treating it as a card and rendering facilities on the basis of production of the printout, without full-fledged authentication of the number by UIDAI. This appears to smack of a partisan reaffirmation of an existing arbitrary decision.
- Australians have outright rejected the Australia card, a concept closely parallel to what UID is in practice, despite exaggerated claims to the contrary. The British National ID Card programme, used to justify the launch of the UIDAI enrolment initiative, was scrapped after spending about 695 million pounds sterling. The cost of scrubbing the illegal enrolments off record was a further 100 million pounds, while UIDAI has failed to even define the process of removing anyone from the database, should the enrolee decide voluntarily to be deleted, and the cost of scrubbing cannot be estimated. The Malaysian MyKad, also compulsory, is often reportedly used by Malaysian police to harass ordinary people, especially the minority population Indians and Chinese. Comparisons with the Singapore ID card should be objectionable to supporters of freedom and a representational democracy.
- The Executive Order passed by the Government in 2009, has still not been endorsed by Parliament, as customarily required for any executive decision involving rights of citizens. The decisions of the UIDAI Chairman, Mr Nandan Nilekani, are effectively independent of the Cabinet (which has constituted a special Group of Ministers that has simply endorsed them, to the extent of further going beyond existing law in terms of the Citizenship Act, 2003), and the Parliament. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” Mr Nilekani is on record as declaring that, “In terms of implementing policies that are good for you, whether you like it or not, autocratic regimes are better than democracies.”
- Mr Nilekani has been appointed to chair and contribute to a series of Task Forces and Committees where his continuing contribution is to recommend implementation of either UID-linked or similar tagging exercises that will comprehensively enable the detailed tracking of every person and transaction in the country, constituting a degree of surveillance unimagined in any democratic nation, much more severe than anything in history attributed to totalitarian regimes.
- The Registrar General of India (RGI) has questioned the reliability of biometrics collected en masse by UIDAI, given the wealth of reports of irregularities in the work done by third party contractors. The same number is to link usual residents of the country as part of the National Population Register, in which registration is mandatory, making a mockery of UIDAI’s claim to be pursuing voluntary registration only.
- Former Home Minister P. Chidambaram was reported to be concerned about the authenticity of details furnished by people to UIDAI, and further, of the reliability of “introducers” appointed by UIDAI, mandated to endorse people who claimed not to have any kind of Government-recognised identification documentation. Reports of widespread misuse of the facility, from which introducers are indemnified, has thrown the process into doubt.
- The issue of UID numbers is unconstitutional and undemocratic in implementation. It lacks broad consultation, has no cost benefit analysis, is intrusive, violates privacy, and breaches national security, as expressed by Home Minister Chidambaram. Deduplication is being carried out by foreign multinationals such as Morpho/Safran (with two separate contracts, through the US-registered L-1 Identity Solutions and the Indian multinational Tech Mahindra), meaning they have access to people’s biometric and other personally identifiable information. This leads to the creation of a database on the entire population which can be misused by people who have access, for which Indian citizens lack legal redress in the absence of a comprehensive privacy law, yet Aadhaar is virtually useless until the Government is able to ensure reliable Internet connectivity anywhere in the country, functioning electricity and several million fingerprint and/or iris scanners.
- We are concerned that Aadhaar has prepared the Ground for a ‘Big Brother State’, compromising National Security and Sovereignty. The collection of biometrics is not within the mandate of the Citizenship Act 1955 and its attendant Rules. The UID number allotted is designed to be random, bearing no attribute or identity data relating to the holder (ref. Clause 4 (2) of the draft NIAI Bill 2010) thereby not differentiating between a citizen or any other person.
- The UIDAI as an entity has zero responsibility or liability when it comes to loss of data or theft of data, yet no legally actionable mechanism has been created to provide relief for citizens to claim compensation for misuse of the data collected, either directly by UIDAI, or put in harm’s way by use of the number at insecure locations.
- Last but not least is the cost of this Aadhaar Project, which stands at Rs 3,490 crores for enrolling 440 million Indians at this point of time (total estimated cost of Rs 12,400 crores for enrolment alone). It may eventually cost as much as 1,00,000 crores to establish an authentication system, requiring broadband connectivity almost everywhere in the country. In addition, hundreds of thousands of crores worth of biometric scanners and related hardware have to be imported from overseas not to mention cost of training operators and maintenance of scanners, will be incurred on a continual basis going forward. These costs are proposed to be recovered by assigning ownership of personally identifiable information of all enrolled persons to the UIDAI, with unlimited rights of monetisation.
We the undersigned, strongly believe the UPA II Coalition Government has been sold a dud. It is time to stop UIDAI enrolment immediately, in the interests of the nation.
Anivar Arvind[Your name]
Gopal Krishna – Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
Kalyani Menon Sen – Feminist Activist and Researcher
Kamayani Bali Mahabal – Feminist and Human Rights Activist
Col. Mathew Thomas -Citizens Action Forum
Mukesh Anjaria – IIT Kanpur Alumnus
Nagarjuna G. IIT Kanpur Alumnus
Qaneez Sukhrani – Social and Civic Activist Pune
Raghu Venkat Narayanan – IIT Madras Alumnus
Brig. Rajender Kukreja
Ram Krishnaswamy – IIT Madras Alumnus
Ramdas Keshavamurthy – IIT Kanpur Alumnus
Rebecca Kurian – Socially Conscious Indian
Samir Kelekar – IIT Bombay Alumnus
Selvaraj Israel – IIT Madras Alumnus
Dr. S.G. Sudhir Vombatkere – IIT Madras Alumnus
Sreemay Basu – IIT Kgp Alumnus
Sukla Sen – Social Activist – Mumbai
Sunil Abraham – Exe. Director – Centre for Internet and Society
Varun Arya – IIT Delhi & IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus
Vickram Crishna – IIT Delhi Alumnus
Wilfred Dcosta – Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Yogesh Pawar – Journalist
Latest Signatures 163 Rajendra K Nishad Ranchi My freedom of at risk Jun 19, 2017 162 Balasankar C Kochi May 30, 2015 161 Felly Jahau Bangalore To bring awareness to my people in Mizoram about the consequences UID/AADHAAR could bring. Dec 23, 2014 160 Mahesh Naik bombay Sep 08, 2014 159 Loy de Mello Mumbai Sep 07, 2014 158 Lalthlamuanpuia Chinzah Aizawl Mar 14, 2014 157 Prasad Subramaniam Mumbai It is draconian in every sense and the intention is not serve the people of our country but to keep the vested interests of corporations and business houses. Feb 26, 2014 156 Dr.Angela L. Renthlei Aizawl It intrudes our privacy Jan 04, 2014 155 muhammed jaseem kozhikode data should be store gov no privet company Nov 19, 2013 154 Sanjeet D New Delhi Nov 14, 2013 153 Dr Arif Ali Syed Mumbai Nov 11, 2013 152 Selvaraj Israel Trivandrum AADHAAR will lead to a police state Nov 10, 2013 151 Shaukat Premjee Pune Nov 09, 2013 150 BlaiseM Crowly Kochi It invades privacy and its use is not regulated well enough Nov 09, 2013 149 Vivek Cherian Nov 08, 2013 148 suneesh t r thrissur Nov 07, 2013 147 Charanjeet Singh Bharaj Mumbai Nov 06, 2013 146 Nina Kedar Nov 05, 2013 145 Muthu Krishnan Tirunelveli This does not appear to be a social security card. Nov 03, 2013 144 Anand Halve Mumbai Nov 03, 2013 143 अफलातून समाजवादी जनपरिषद बनारस Nov 03, 2013 142 Yogesh Wankhede Mumbai Nov 03, 2013 141 Tanushree Roy kolkata Nov 02, 2013 140 vivek ruparel mumbai Nov 02, 2013 139 Dr Arif Ali Syed Mumbai Nov 02, 2013 138 Raghavendra Mohan Kandkur Bangalore Nov 02, 2013 137 vijai mathur Lucknaow National&personal Security Nov 02, 2013 136 Jason Chris Nov 02, 2013 135 Dilip Desai Belgaum The legality of the scheme must first be unquestionably be establiushed and the scope be clearly defined Nov 02, 2013 134 Pritika M Nov 02, 2013 133 Uday Mohalanobish Bangalore Nov 02, 2013 132 Jesse Francis Palakkad Nov 02, 2013 131 Yashwant Nathur Lucknow Nov 01, 2013 130 Sayantani Adhikary Nov 01, 2013 129 sujata alluri mumbai constitutional rights & protections should not be violated. Nov 01, 2013 128 KARAN SINGH JAMMU Seen on TV Channel that fake Aadhaar cards including Bangladeshi's and some Pakistanie personals have been made by a team of individuals working for the Company assigned the contract for the Nation to make Aadhaar cards. Shame.... Nov 01, 2013 127 Subhash Malik Pune Nov 01, 2013 126 ANUPAM PRADHAN haldia Oct 31, 2013 125 VENKITASUBRAHMANIAN KS Mulagunnathukavu, Thrissur Oct 31, 2013 124 VENKATARAMAN .R RAJAGOPALANrv BANGALORE Oct 31, 2013 123 NILKANTH KORANNE THANE Already Ration Card, Pan Card etc then why one addition Oct 31, 2013 122 PM Rao Hyderabad Oct 31, 2013 121 doraiswamy ganesh chennai Oct 31, 2013 120 Amit Chirania Toronto Oct 31, 2013 119 Jaymin Panchal Mumbai Threat to Privacy of INDIANS and can b Misused Oct 31, 2013 118 Anil Kohli Thane Oct 31, 2013 117 JOHN FERNANDES Navi Mumbai I consider "Right to privacy" as paramount. Oct 31, 2013 116 SHANMUGHAM T.M CHENNAI Oct 31, 2013 115 Ashok Gupta Oct 31, 2013 114 BURNAD FATHIMA NATESAN CHENNAI no need to have ID Oct 31, 2013 < >