Citizens' Issues
Even Mahatma Gandhi was against ID cards

About a century ago, Gandhiji started the world famous 'Satyagraha' in order to oppose the identification scheme of the government in South Africa. Hundred years later, India is repeating a similar programme under the pretext of unique ID numbers

As the old saying goes, 'Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it'. It seems that both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and ultimately the Indian government have overlooked history and even the Mahatma's views while going ahead with the ambitious and expensive unique identification number (UIDN) programme.

Mahatma Gandhi or the erstwhile Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had started his historic 'Satyagraha' in South Africa by opposing the identification programme in that country.

On 22 August 1906, the South African government published a draft Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance. The Ordinance required all Indians in the Transvaal region of South Africa, eight years and above, to report to the Registrar of Asiatics and obtain, upon the submission of a complete set of fingerprints, a certificate which would then have to be produced upon demand.

The move proposed stiff penalties, including deportation, for Indians who failed to comply with the terms of the Ordinance.

Since the late nineteenth century, fingerprint identification methods have been used by police agencies around the world to identify suspected criminals as well as the victims of crime. Knowing the impact of the Ordinance and effective criminalisation of the entire community, Gandhi then decided to challenge it. Calling the Ordinance a 'Black Act' he mobilised around 3,000 Indians in Johannesburg who took an oath not to submit to a degrading and discriminatory piece of legislation. This was the first time the world witnessed 'Satyagraha' or a non-resistance movement that later become a phenomenon in India's freedom struggle.

(Watch the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNmJqRV7LOA).

Cut to 2010, when the Indian government has launched an identification programme, without even passing a Bill for the same. Even the draft National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill approved by the Cabinet is not without some serious issues. Most notably the UIDN would not be issued only to Indian citizens; instead, it would be issued to all residents. In other words, the bill may aid illegal migrants from neighbouring countries to become citizens.

This will help legitimise illegal immigrants. Already corrupt 'babus' happily provide any document from a ration card (public distribution card) to electricity and telephone bills to these illegal immigrants.

Also registrars like insurance companies and banks, would feed their data into the UIDAI database and so on. There are even some media reports which say that online service provider eBay is interested in collaborating with the UIDAI. If these reports are true, then the day is not far off when ordinary citizens will be bombarded with targeted marketing campaigns. The bigger threat is caste- and religion-based profiling.

Some state governments have announced that they plan to add their own parameters to the UIDN. The Orissa government has decided to include at least a dozen-odd specifications to the UID number, like ration card number, BPL/APL number (below poverty line/above poverty line), NREGS data (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), driving license number, PAN number, photo I-card number, passport number, Kissan and credit card number, LPG consumer number, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana number (National Health Insurance Scheme), pension ID number and passbook number. This takes the UID dangerously beyond its stated scope.

This would leave the UIDAI database vulnerable to modification, alterations and so on. The huge cost of the UIDAI project, categorisation of people and particularly identity theft are some of the big issues. Even in the NREGA programme, the problem is not about issuing an identity for daily workers. It is the attendance at the end of the day marked by the supervisor that provides the workers their wages. Similarly, in PDS shops, it is not the problem of identification of the end-user. Most leakages in the PDS do not take place at the last mile as hypothesised by UIDAI; instead, it is the big corrupt babus and middlemen who are involved in siphoning grains before they reach the ration shop itself.

All the examples mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg - the non-sustainability of UIDN, but neither the Union government nor the highly qualified techies at UIDAI have time to take cognisance of these issues. Therefore, the old adage is correct in saying that if we forget history we are doomed to repeat it. Does this also mean that we need to go for another Satyagraha in order to save us, common citizens, from the identification ordeal?

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COMMENTS

joemike

7 years ago

If anyone disagrees with UID than I would request those to give up their passport as it is also a identity document.

REPLY

RNandakumar

In Reply to joemike 7 years ago

Please do not miss the main point ofthis article as well as views. The objection raised for UID becoming another electoral id card. UID is lofted ideal was to identify each every INDIAN CITIZEN and NOT the refugees and illegal migrants who using our corrupt beaurocracy could get it. The objection is based on the fact that future govt goodies are going to doled out on the basis of these cards and every tax payer would be footing the bill.
It is an open secret India that each and every welfare scheme benefits the targeted mass only by 10% at the most and the rest goes to the ruling elites.That is why these cloloumns insist on accountability of the netas before and after election.

RNandakumar

7 years ago

Those who read the factual summary called Freedom at Midnight would not agree with your accolades on Mahatma. But credit does go to him in atleast unifying India as a single country from the monarchy of kings. But the suffering masses of to-day would be asking the question what difference. Kings have become netas and democracy is becoming a mobocracy. Aadhar should first start with our MPS where they have to provide details of his wealth and his family including the ones in Swiss banks. Unless corruption is weeded out Aadhar will only enrich our Netas with more wealth and more power.

REPLY

Shadi Katyal

In Reply to RNandakumar 7 years ago

It is unfortunate that we have been so brain washed with Gandhi and his sacrifice to get partition of India bnot freedom but decapitation of India and you call it uniting the nation?
I would request all of you who wish to know real Gandhi to read Gandhi Churchill by Arthur Herman.
India was already united under Indian National congress hen Gandhi arrived and his first goal was to get Jinnah out and decapitate the nation while making fools of people that he was for unity.He was able to get Jinnah out and when defeated by Subhas Bose, he saw to it that congress committee does not work with him. History is there to read and learn but somehow we in India has only selective memories.
Regarding remarks about uniting India,what about division of India on linguistic basis which Gandhi accepted in 1927 to stay in power.Freedom at Midnight also has missed lot of Gandhi's misdeeds.
Except salt march did he take part in any so called Satyagrahas and where common man died. He was a very cunning and clever man.

Roopsingh

In Reply to Shadi Katyal 7 years ago

Partition was demanded by Jinnah for seprate nation for muslims and for achiving his goal he gave orders of last level like killing of Hindus in muslim majority areas-what is wrong if Gandhiji opposed Jinnah-gandhiji has done fast unto death in KOLKATA to stop massacre of both communities-has any indian leader gone to fast unto death for stopping these riots-discrediting Gandhiji by people like you is not going to make any harm to you-becasue we are in just a half decade away from reality-and people like you try to divert realities and bend them to untruth-and i personally feel gandhiji has done good for Hindus by accepting partition -beacsue it has allowed Hindus to be in power who were crushed by Muslim rulers in past history-and Muslims are reaping fruits of seprate nation in form of pakistan in their own way which the world calls as a failed nation-
i admire gandhiji for whatever he has done and anything spelt against him shows just reservedness of the person who is trying to call himalayas as a tiny hill-

Ashok Sharma

7 years ago

Based on my own experience of living a life like a keen observer, for over 30 years now i have acquired a fairly good understanding of How our Systems workand why the systems are so finely and cleverly corrupted, I hold a firm opinion that UID project shall be proven as one of the Biggest SCAM that any Government may seathly push forward to achieve its undefined ulterior and grey motives !

The most effective and most unchallenged form of control of the masses is when the population can not see through the hidden game. Now when people do not have a clue of what any whjy all this, then who is going to rebel about not being free
When they think they are !! To perfect thier corrupt Seats of Deception UID is being attempted to create an illusionthat people have free choice and this is the Biggest Catch here ! Once people Realise they really have no choice in the force and Agenda promoted under a banner of better Governance of our 80% happless poor society, the curtain shall close to enact sebsequebnt acts of the Drama pre conceived and already scripted..

The real objective of this scam project named Aadhaar UID is to exert a better control syswtem which So called largest Democracy has since long been perfecting to maintain its pre-eminemce under the facade of free choice better governance !
Ashok

Vishnu

7 years ago

Reason for historical Africa id was on racial ground and was sure against Hindusthanis. Current UID is similar to social security number. As a proud Hindusthani I will be happy if such criticizing topics are not floated to attract attention of those majority of citizens who go with the mob. Study the reason why this move has started and share with all.

MD

7 years ago

Let's stop criticizing anything and everything happening in this country. Just by providing UID to all residents, everyone will not become citizens. US gives Social Security numbers to all resident workers (L1,H1 visa included), that doesn't make everyone citizen of that country

REPLY

shadi katyal

In Reply to MD 7 years ago

Why are we afraid to tell the TRUTH. Did you read the corruption for CGW? Do you wish the corruption to become of the biggest industry by not criticising.
A nation which is afraid to see the truth cannot progress. We need accountability.
Yes USA has very stringent Laws and nation is run on those LAWS but do we have any???
We dont beleive in it as taught by Gandhi and thus Bundhs,strikes,Nakabundi is the norm of life.
Progress can be made with open disussion by learning from each other and not facing the truth

Gajanan Mamidwar

7 years ago

Preventing theft of data will be the biggest target.Personal data accessible to anybody will open a can of worms.

Bibek Kumar Anand

7 years ago

Can't the money which is being misused in UIDIA be used in promoting mutual trust ?

Think in SAMPADAITE fashion !

SAMPATTIST attitude will make the world a suspecting place !

Suspicion is simply making this world a horrible place !

Bibek Kumar Anand
Convener "SAMPADA"

liju philip

7 years ago

looks like moneylife is on a personal crusade against the UID. Using Gandhi's name to opposing the UID is a new low. We are reaping the crappy fruits of what we did by following Gandhi's swadeshi economic policies.

Let the man lie in peace.

Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

One wonders why we even write such innate articles.Gandhi ID card reasons were not as of today's climate.
Beside he did make fool of the people and we still continue to remember it. Read his real trick about this and how he signed and got out pf jail and how a Pathan beat him to almost death.
There is a lot which our leaders are not willing us to know about the man whoes hand are full o9f blood of millions and is the true Father of Pakistan Nation. He landed in India not for independence but to .decapitate India.
Secondly this notion that he got us freedom is another mistake. British did not leave because of him but because of their own bankruptcy.
His Quit India movement was failure as 2-3 million Indians joined the armed forces and industry earned more than 3-5 Billion pounds.
British owed India 2 billion Pounds at end of war and the real cause of her departure and not Gandhi's satyagraha movement in which he never took part and let others dies or go to jail.

REPLY

Roopsingh

In Reply to Shadi Katyal 7 years ago

Looks like you being a ISI trained man who specialises in disinformation agenda-and telling white day lies-and creating a dark in broad day light-you really deserve NISAN E PAkisstan award

shadi katyal

In Reply to Roopsingh 7 years ago

Mr. singh, your writing makes no sense. Is the denial of the facts so deeply buried that you fail to accept the facts of history. This is our biggest problem that we are so brain washed with lies that we start calling names.
No for your guidance I like the millions of families sacrificed for the nation.
It is best to learn and do some research for TRUTH

Roopsingh

7 years ago

UIDAI project is so much centralised that any alteration by hackers or officers in control can make bigger harm then present model-after all we indians are highest corrupt people -so no doubt few people will use it as MINT for printing money by altering data because they will have centralised control-which is not possible in prsent model of states involved in issuing ration card or election card-this is biggest threat seems to me of this expensive project-and people sitting in power will black mail after access to this entire data-this is a threat to privacy of every citizen and MASS CRIMINALiSATION TREATMENT for every honest citizen and undue harrassment-

B V KRISHNAN

7 years ago

I like your frank and fearless approach to issues. But I fail to understand why you are opposing UDAI. The only problem with this, as I can see, is that it is going to be issued to all people without verifying whether they are legal citizens of the country. Please focus on this problem and try to get it rectified. But instead of that, you are targeting this programme by citing Mahatma Gandhi. This is absurd.

REPLY

Sanjay Karanth

In Reply to B V KRISHNAN 7 years ago

Well said, Mr. Krishnan. Let's have a balanced analysis of Aadhaar, its pros and cons. And lets not bring Mahatma Gandhi into this!

Govt wants telecom towers to run on solar power, sets up panel

New Delhi: With diesel generators that power three lakh telecom towers in the country guzzling fuel worth over Rs6,400 crore every year, the government has set up a panel to promote renewable energy particularly solar in the sector to slash cost as well hazardous carbon emissions, reports PTI.

To be headed by Ajay Bhattacharya of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of the telecom ministry, the five-member panel has recently been asked to submit a set of guidelines to suggest ways to promote renewable energy options in the sector within the next three months.

The panel, which has members from environment and renewable energy ministry besides telecom, also has the mandate to develop the strategy for implementation of the guidelines.

"It is estimated that currently annual cost of diesel incurred in running around three lakh telecom towers set up across the country is Rs6,400 crore and they emit around 5.3 million tonnes of carbon," a senior official from environment ministry said.

Given the rising demand for mobile phones in the country, the number of telecom towers is also set to increase.

More usage of renewable resources of energy will have multi-benefits including cutting down the operational expenditure by providing a viable alternative to fossil fuels whose prices are rising and ensuring a greener environment with zero emissions.

The setting up of the panel for solar power promotion is part of the government's National Mission on Solar Energy aimed at shifting the fossil-fuel based economy to renewable sources of energy as such solar and wind in view of the threat of climate change, the official pointed out.

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Tata Motors increases QIP size to $750 million


New Delhi: Tata Motors today said it has increased the size of its institutional share sale to $750 million (over Rs3,300 crore) from $525 million (over Rs2,300 crore), reports PTI.

The company has raised the amount to be raised through qualified institutional placement (QIP) due to the good response to the offer, Tata Motors said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Earlier, the company had planned to raise $325 million through the issue of ordinary shares, with an option to increase the size of the QIP issue to $400 million.

"In the view of the response received, the committee of directors today authorised that the size of the offering of 'A' ordinary shares be increased from $400 million to $550 million," the filing said.

The total size of the QIP now stands at $750 million, the company added.

The company intends to use the proceeds primarily for reducing debt, capital expenditure and long-term capital requirements, among other things.

The shares are proposed to be listed on both the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

Citigroup Global Markets India Private Limited and Credit Suisse Securities (India) Private Limited are the Book Running Lead Managers to the offer.

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