Aadhaar Mess: 

Hitting out at bureaucrats for using Aadhaar as new tool for harassment, Nirupama Menon Rao, former Foreign Secretary and India‘s Ambassador to the US, China and Sri Lanka (High Commissioner), has called for renaming Indian Administrative Service (IAS) as “Indian Aadhaar Service”

In a tweet, the former Foreign Secretary, said, “In Aadhaar, every tuppenny bureaucrat has discovered a new instrument of harassment. Each of these petty tyrants finds ever expanding applications of Aadhaar. They have the hammer, and they have to use it. ‘Dear Govt,lets rechristen the civil service as the Indian Aadhaar Service.”

Ms Rao was responding to an article written by KC Verma, former head of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency on issues related with Aadhaar.

In an article published by The Wire, Mr Verma says, “This cog in the system is of the view that the Aadhaar, and Aadhaar card, is often demanded by such demanders who have no possible connection with good governance or efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, from the Consolidated Fund of India or otherwise. The demanders also have no means of verifying the information being provided.

“I have come across any number of stupidities, fallacies, misconceptions, notions, whims and fancies regarding Aadhaar. Possibly the only Kafkaesque stipulation I have yet to encounter is the need to have an Aadhaar number in order to apply for an Aadhaar number,” the former chief of RAW added.

“Compelled by my cantankerous nature,” Mr Verma says, “I try to educate sundry imbeciles that the Aadhaar Bill was passed as a Money Bill, and should be related only to issues affecting the Consolidated Fund of India. But does anyone listen to a cog in the system? No, they merely repeat that rules are rules!”
“That is why you have to link your Aadhaar number with your Demat account, your provident fund, your salary, your purchase of a house, your purchase of a car, your life insurance policy, your savings in the post office and for admission of your child in primary school. Next you won’t be able to have a haircut or buy jalebis without quoting your number. And you won’t be allowed to drive on the road without the number. And then you won’t be allowed to breathe without the number!’ he added.

Earlier, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the agency that collects biometric and demographic data of residents, has come out with a series or promotional tweet with a tagline of #AadhaarMythBuster. One of the tweets says, “Aadhaar database does not keep any information about bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, property details, health records, family details, religion, cast, education etc.”

However, this propaganda by UIDAI was refuted by none other than Edward Snowden, the computer security analyst turned whistleblower. Mr Snowden, in his reply to UIDAI, says, “That might be true if banks, landlords, hospitals, schools, telephone & internet companies were prohibited by law from asking for your #Aadhaar number. But any Indian can tell you they’re asked for their number by non-government entities––and those companies have databases too.”

Mr Snowden, earlier responding to the article written by Mr Verma, had said, “Rarely do former intel chiefs and I agree, but the head of India’s RAW writes #Aadhaar is being abused by banks, telcos, and transport not to police entitlements, but as a proxy for identity–an improper gate to service. Such demands must be criminalized.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court, will resume hearing in the Aadhaar cases.