Arya UR

The curious cases of citizens sans Aadhaar
It seems that Aadhaar has become the most important social identification document with the government insisting on it for availing of not just welfare schemes but also every crucial service. Aadhaar linkage has now been demanded for bank accounts, ration cards, death certification and filing income tax returns, and the Centre is also pushing to even link it with driving licences.

With the Supreme Court expressing concerns last month about Aadhaar impacting the Right to Privacy of the citizens, the deadline for many social welfare schemes have been pushed to December 31, offering respite to many who are yet to apply for Aadhaar. The Centre though seems to be in no mood to cow down when it comes to making Aadhaar compulsory. So, we caught up with those who don’t have one yet, to know if they have had any difficulty leading a normal life sans the 12-digit unique identification number:

Filing tax returns without Aadhaar is troublesome

Liji George, an NGO worker from Thiruvananthapuram

My family, including husband and two children, do not possess Aadhaar cards. Initially, we didn’t face any hassles. However, last month my husband was forced to apply for Aadhaar card as he had trouble receiving his salary and PF-related contributions. His company requested him to submit Aadhaar details to avoid transaction failures. I failed to file the tax returns this year as PAN card and Aadhaar was supposed to be linked to be able to do so. I think, this way, people are being forced to apply for Aadhaar card.

Aadhaar has become necessary for employment

Anaswara Korattyswaroopam, Techie from Thrissur

I was asked for my Aadhaar details while joining my job at Technopark last year. As I didn’t have one, they said to submit it later to complete the verification procedures and for seamless salary transactions. However, till now I haven’t faced any difficulty without it. The deadline extension for Aadhaar has come as a relief for people like me. As the apex court has set the next hearing for Aadhaar-related issues in November, we will all finally get an answer on whether Aadhaar is mandatory. Meanwhile, a prominent telecom service provider disabled my number as I failed to submit the Aadhaar number to continue their services.

From availing of bank loans to porting phone connection, they are thrusting Aadhaar on us

Harish Vasudevan, HC lawyer and environmental activist from Kochi

I haven’t taken an Aadhaar and have no plans either. I think making it mandatory for every financial and other welfare services is like pressurising us to apply for it, leaving no other option. I have faced various issues by not having one. When I approached a nationalised bank for opening a new account, they told me I needed an Aadhaar card to do so. I had to argue with them and tell them that the date for availing Aadhaar has been extended and that it’s within my rights to receive the service without the card. Those who are not aware of this are forced to take Aadhaar quickly as bank loans are emergency financial aids for a common man. I also haven’t filed my tax returns and failed to port my mobile connection.

I was denied loan even though SC has extended the deadline for Aadhaar

Sudeep J Salim,

Freelance media professional from Thiruvananthapuram

I don’t have any plans to take Aadhaar as it intrudes our privacy and violates our fundamental rights. Also, I don’t understand why the officials force us to have Aadhaar when it is not yet formally made a mandatory document. A few weeks ago, I had to apply for a loan from a nationalised bank and the first thing they asked me was Aadhaar card number. When I said I don’t have one, they denied the loan, quoting that it is mandatory. I had to inform the bank manager about Supreme Court’s privacy concerns and that Aadhar is not yet mandatory. Later, they informed me they were unaware of the court’s ruling and were told by their ‘higher officials’ to give financial assistance to customers only after receiving Aadhaar details. It is sad that they are not even aware of what’s happening and compel people to submit Aadhaar.