THE AADHAAR CONUNDRUM

While Aadhaar has already become the most significant identity of the citizens in India today, it is quite unfortunate that the controversy refuses to die down especially due to the opposition raking up the issue at every fora including the apex court of the nation where the lawyer cum politician has been coming up with his unique and of course sometimes with absurd explanations taking the refuge of the Right to Privacy claiming that there is a serious threat to the personal information of citizens being stolen and misused, Even the Supreme Court questioned Sibal the other day asking him what was wrong with the ‘one nation, one identity’ idea. The apex court is currently deliberating to decide constitutional validity of this idea, which is considered to be the driving force behind Aadhaar having been made mandatory. It is a fact that Aadhaar has given the corrupt and dishonest sleepless nights due to transparency having become the driving force to clean the nation of corruption. This fact has been ample times been asserted by the Prime Minister Narender Modi and the same found mention even in his address to the Parliament the other day. While the argument forwarded by Sibal in the Supreme Court saying that forcing citizens to get Aadhaar and its linkage to each of their social interactions was to empower the government with the right to information about people and the driving force behind making Aadhaar mandatory, the credibility of such an argument shall be duly determined by the judiciary in due course of time. However the common Indian feels that such allegations by the opposition are quite vague and aimed at only trying to protect the corrupt by not allowing the systems in India fully transparent. It is pertinent to mention here that the government has already denied that Aadhaar data could be compromised. Sibal’s argument that the government cannot deny it or that no one can guarantee data safety in a digital world further adding that no one knows how to keep data 100% secure again seems to be impracticable because it implies that under the fear of leakage of information the nation should abdicate its initiatives towards transparency being made the nation’s hallmark to ultimately achieve the target of corruption free and clean India. Moreover the ace lawyer in Sibal must realize that even in absence of Aadhaar being mandatory the people of this nation have been submitting their significant information in various government and other agencies including Banks which even Sibal must have been doing. What is the guarantee of such information remaining 100% secure and leakage-proof? It was surprising that during his arguments before the Supreme Court Sibal reacted with sarcasm, saying everything is fine with the idea of one nation one identity and at the same time asserted that his statement be not mistaken as his acquiescence. Then he immediately said “Everything is wrong with the idea of one nation, one identity. Let us not get into a debate on that issue in court.” It seems that Sibal has fallen in the habit of making political rather politicized statements even before the judiciary. It needs to be recalled that Sibal had once rubbished the Comptroller General of India’s report in Common Wealth Games scam during an open press conference, while the report contained verified and authenticated facts and figures. What an Irony? The argument that Aadhaar should not be the determining device for proving that they are Indians, is absolutely vague as this has never been demanded by the government nor has the same been mentioned in any law or rules framed with respect to Aadhaar. Moreover even the Apex Court has already made it amply clear that not having enrolled under Aadhaar does not mean that a person is not an Indian or should not be treated as Indian for entitlement of any of the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. After all every citizen of the nation is fiercely Indian irrespective of having or not having Aadhaar and is proud to be Indian.