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Re: [issuesonline_worldwide] FW: URGENT REQUEST

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  • Mukesh Varma
    Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd) has made an excellent representation to the President of India. This case of compelling people to have UID as the only credible
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2013
      Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd) has made an excellent representation to the President of India. This case of compelling people to have UID as the only credible identity should be taken up seriously by all citizens and organizations like India Against Corruption (IAC). 

      -- Mukesh Varma

      --- On Mon, 28/1/13, Sukla Sen <sukla.sen@...> wrote:

      From: Sukla Sen <sukla.sen@...>
      Subject: [issuesonline_worldwide] FW: URGENT REQUEST
      To: "IHRO" <ihro@yahoogroups.com>, "issueonline" <issuesonline_worldwide@yahoogroups.com>, "indiathinkersnet" <indiathinkersnet@yahoogroups.com>, "Moderates Google's Group.210811 joined on invitation.." <the-moderates@...>, bharat-chintan@..., arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com, "Janshakti" <Janshakti@yahoogroups.com>, "Indian" <indianfirst@yahoogroups.com>, "bahujan" <Bahujan@yahoogroups.com>, "mahajanapada" <Mahajanapada@yahoogroups.com>, "sacred-illusions" <sacred-illusions@...>
      Date: Monday, 28 January, 2013, 4:11 PM

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: sudhir vombatkere <sg9kere@...>
      Date: 28 January 2013 15:38
      Subject: FW: URGENT REQUEST
      To: "editor@..." <editor@...>


      The Deccan Herald of 24 Sep 2012 has been quoted extensively in the letter
      below, addressed to President of India, Prime Minister of India, Governor
      of Karnataka and Chief Minister of Karnataka.

      With best wishes,

      Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)



      January 28, 2013


      Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere, VSM (Retd)

      475, 7th Main Road

      Vijayanagar 1st Stage


      Tel:0821-2515187; E-mail:<*sg9kere@...*>


      *Advance copy by E-mail*


      The President of India <*presidentofindia@...*>; <*

      Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi-110001.

      The Prime Minister of India <*pmosb@...*>; <*pmindia@...*>

      7 Race Course Road, New Delhi-110001.

      The Governor of Karnataka <*rbblr@...*>

      Raj Bhavan, Bangalore-560001.

      The Chief Minister of Karnataka <*cm@...*>

      Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore-560001.


      Respected Sirs,

      1. *The cause for this letter*

      1.1 I am a pensioner, having retired in 1996, living in Mysore, Karnataka.
      Mysore is one of the districts chosen for the first phase of implementation
      of the UID Aadhaar project, under which, according to Deccan Herald,
      Bangalore, newspaper dated September 24, 2012, UIDAI claims that about 95%
      of the population has enrolled into the scheme. The same newspaper report
      states that “*the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGS)
      and the Rajiv Gandhi Awaz Yojana, the Ashraya housing scheme, Bhagyalakshmi
      and the social security and pension scheme*“ will be implemented as a pilot
      project in Mysore district commencing January 1, 2013.

      1.2 I have been informally advised that I should enrol myself into the UID
      Aadhaar scheme to get myself a UID Aadhaar card and number, since I may be
      unable to draw my pension without it. However, I understand and believe
      that my pension is protected by extant law, and Article 21 of the
      Constitution of India which protects my personal liberty, and hence my
      pension cannot be denied to me on the basis of not enrolling myself into
      the UID Aadhaar scheme.

      1.3 The reasons I object to enrolment in the UID Aadhaar scheme are that:

      *1.3.1* Even though enrolment is stated to be “not mandatory”, provision of
      civic services like LPG supply, and now disbursement of pension, are
      unfairly and coercively being made contingent upon enrolment in the UID
      Aadhaar scheme, in violation of my rights, and

      *1.3.2* My right to privacy will be compromised by providing my biometrics
      and other personal details to the UID system, whose data security is in

      1.4 I apprehend that I will personally be confronted by this unethical,
      devious manner of forceful enrolment into the not-mandatory UID Aadhaar
      scheme, and be denied my pension. I am presenting my detailed arguments
      below, which I request you to peruse.

      2. *Arguments*

      2.1 *UID Aadhaar scheme is not mandatory*.

      2.1.1 UIDAI has announced that enrolment in the UID Aadhaar scheme is not
      mandatory, but it also mentions that it will be difficult for people to
      access public services in the absence of enrolment. Far from offering
      inclusion, the UID Aadhaar scheme *threatens exclusion* from rights,
      benefits and services. Thus, obviously based upon instructions issued by
      functionaries of the central and state governments, citizens' rights or
      government benefits and services are being linked to the UID Aadhaar

      2.1.2 The following few examples suffice to show the links over a variety
      of instances connected with the not-mandatory UID Aadhaar enrolment: Registering a marriage at the Kapashera Sub-Magistrate's Office was
      not permitted without an Aadhaar number, even when other documents of
      identification were made available [“*To register marriage, get Aadhaar
      first*”; Indian Express, New Delhi, January 23, 2013; <*
      *>]. The Employees Provident Fund scheme has become Aadhaar-linked
      fund to be Aadhaar-based now*“; Times of India, Nagpur; January 23, 2013].
      This has been objected to, by trade unions and others. Aadhaar number has been linked to jobs, housing and MNREGA in
      Karnataka [“*Aadhaar to be linked to jobs, housing, pension schemes*”;
      Deccan Herald, Bangalore, September 24, 2012], and people are protesting
      against the UID Aadhaar scheme. The Deccan Herald report goes on to state, “
      *Despite wide protests against UID, the official believes its second phase
      will generate interest when it starts enrolments from October 20*”, and “'*Had
      it not been for large-scale protests, the UID project would have covered at
      least 85 percent of the population across the State,' he said”*. The Times of India, Ranchi, August 28, 2012, reported: “*Several
      months after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) started
      its project for enrolment and distribution of Aadhaar cards to citizens in
      Jharkhand, the state government has now decided to make it mandatory for
      payment of salary and pension to state employees. The move seems to have
      given the necessary impetus to the enrolment process which was, otherwise,
      slow during the second phase*”. Teachers in Thane, Maharashtra, were denied salaries in the absence
      of Aadhaar number [“*No UID, no salary, Thane teachers told“*; Times of
      India, Mumbai, August 26, 2011].

      2.1.3 The foregoing few representative examples demonstrate how government
      functionaries or officials are using the threat of exclusion from
      authorized benefits and services, or actually denying the rights of salary
      or pension, to force enrolment. This appears to be a ploy to give impetus
      to the not-mandatory UID Aadhaar scheme which would otherwise not attract
      people. Indeed, after using such devious coercive means, UIDAI has
      announced that the UID Aadhaar scheme is popular among people because the
      enrolment is high. But since enrolment into the UID Aadhaar scheme is not
      mandatory, as a citizen of a democratic nation, I am opposed to being
      forced into it by such extra-legal, unethical, coercive methods.

      2.2 *Biometrics, data security and privacy*.

      2.2.1 It remains unclear, even doubtful, whether biometry-information
      technology – the technological cornerstone of the project – is capable of
      the gigantic task of de-duplication in a billion-plus population. This is
      true in view of UIDAI's Biometrics Standards Committee itself having noted
      that retaining biometric efficiency for a database of more than one billion
      persons “*has not been adequately analysed*” and the problem of fingerprint
      quality in India “*has not been studied in depth*”. Further, it is well
      established that fingerprints of people who do manual work are often worn
      out or even missing, as with rural agricultural workers or urban domestic
      workers. These people, who are in enormous numbers and declared
      beneficiaries of the UID Aadhaar scheme, will not be able to receive social
      and other benefits even if they succeed in enrolling into the UID Aadhaar

      2.2.2 The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (PSCF) had expressed
      concern on biometrics, stating that collection of biometric information and
      linking it with personal information is not within the ambit of the
      Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 2003, and hence “*needs to be
      examined in detail by Parliament*”. The PSCF urged government to “*reconsider
      and review the UID scheme as also the proposals contained in the Bill in
      all its ramifications and bring forth a fresh legislation before Parliament*”.
      Further, the PSCF has opined that the UID Aadhaar scheme is “*full of
      uncertainty in technology as the complex scheme is built upon untested,
      unreliable technology and several assumptions*”. Indeed, the PSCF found the
      UID Aadhaar project to be “*conceptualized with no clarity*” and “*
      directionless*”. The reference is to biometrics technology, which has been
      found to be unreliable in several scientific studies. To neglect the
      opinion of Parliament and not even review the UID project amounts to
      contempt of Parliament, the supreme organ of our democracy. It is incumbent
      upon government to reveal the steps taken to protect the privacy of
      citizens before acquiring biometric information.

      2.2.3 The security of biometric data and other information acquired by
      UIDAI is in question for the following reasons: The UID Aadhaar system can provide the link between various data
      bases and it will inevitably be at the core of a system which will enable
      profiling and tracking any citizen, to serve the clandestine purposes of
      India's security or intelligence agencies, or to corporate business
      interests. UIDAI and UID Aadhaar promoters claim that access to its data base
      will not be permitted to any agency, and will be secure from intelligence
      agencies. However, this claim is hollow, because the Aadhaar project is
      contracted to receive technical support from L-1 Identity Solutions Inc., a
      US-based intelligence and surveillance corporation whose top executives are
      acknowledged experts in the US intelligence community, as revealed in the
      corporation's website. According to the UIDAI website, among other
      companies awarded contracts for collaboration in the Aadhaar project, are
      Accenture Services Pvt Ltd., which works with US Homeland Security, and
      Ernst & Young (which will set up UIDAI's Central ID Data Repository
      (CIDR)). Further, it is well known that US law requires all agencies to
      provide any information demanded of them to the US Homeland Security
      Agency, when asked. Thus, it is arguably impossible to ensure the security
      of sensitive national information when the technical provider or consultant
      is not a government body *but a business corporation with strong
      connections to the intelligence organization of another country*, and which
      may, according to law, be constrained to part with information that it may
      have legally or illegally acquired when it worked as UIDAI's contractor.

      2.2.4 If biometric data and other information of people falls into the
      hands of unauthorized agencies, personal privacy is unequivocally
      compromised. The fact that UIDAI has no answer to the security hazards
      pointed out to it, and is silent or evasive on the subject, does not
      inspire confidence in the capability of UIDAI or the UID Aadhaar system to
      maintain personal privacy rights. This is quite apart from the plethora of
      scientific data available that shows how fingerprints are not reliable
      indicators of unique identity. In view of all the foregoing, I fear for
      violation of my personal right to privacy by enrolling into the UID Aadhaar

      3. *My earnest, urgent requests*

      3.1 I have argued above that the UID Aadhaar project is technically
      deficient (biometrics unproven), a security risk, and invasive of privacy,
      besides directly going against the advice of the Parliamentary Standing
      Committee on Finance (PSCF), which has people's representatives from all
      political parties. *Though the UID Aadhaar project is said to be “not
      mandatory”, it appears to be aimed squarely at being made non-optional, and
      is **being forced on the public by using threat of exclusion from availing
      benefits and services, and threat of denial of rights like salary or
      pension, amounting to devious coercion unbecoming of a democratically
      elected government*.

      3.2 Further, *the UID Aadhaar project is unsupported by law*. You would be
      aware that when the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010
      was presented to Parliament, the PSCF did not merely reject the Bill, but
      also stated that the UID Aadhaar project itself should be returned to the
      drawing board.

      3.3 In view of the foregoing arguments, and since my pension is likely to
      be denied to me because of my not having an Aadhaar number, I urgently and
      earnestly request you to

      *3.3.1* Issue immediate, unambiguous orders to the concerned union
      ministries and state governments, that *making UID Aadhaar enrolment
      necessary* for receiving rightful entitlements like pension and salary, and
      food-and-water, health, education, civil supplies and other welfare
      benefits, *be stopped with immediate effect*.

      *3.3.2* *Widely publicize the orders* at central government and state
      government levels, so that people may make a personal choice whether or not
      to enrol into the UID Aadhaar scheme to obtain a UID Aadhaar number.

      *3.3.3* *Monitor the implementation of these orders* in the best interests
      of the freedom of Indian citizens.

      Yours faithfully,

      (Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd))


      Peace Is Doable

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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