Tuesday, March 8, 2011

261 - Prof. B. M. Hegde, MD, FRCP, FRCPE, FRCPG, FRCPI, FACC, FAMS.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, October 5, 2010 –

The famous Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) votary wishes that the government had debated before implementing the pilot project.

Renowned social activist Medha Patkar has termed the newly launched pilot scheme Aadhaar or Unique Identity (UID) as an encroachment on the privacy of the people.
Speaking to this correspondent on the phone from Gorakhpur in UP, Patkar said, “All the private information of people will be recorded. And this can be misused to harass them.”

She went on to suggest that the migrants in particular would be at the receiving end of the scheme. “Before launching Aadhar the government did not have any parliamentary debate over it. A separate debate in the Lok Sabha should have been held,” said the NBA veteran.

Expressing her reservations about whether the scheme will benefit the slum-habitants, pavement dwellers and the downtrodden, the NBA activist claimed that even the much hyped, fool proof UID has chances of being faked. “We have precedents where ration cards and other documents of identity have already been forged.” While criticizing the way the UID was being implemented, Patkar said that the poor have to undergo a tortuous experience before they acquire the facility.

Apart from that, Patkar asked, against such a colossal amount of Rs.45,000 crore, what is the government handing out? “Only an identity?” she questioned. The government should have focused on the upliftment of the poor and the downtrodden, she added.

According to her, a few countries like the Philippines and the United Kingdom have shunned similar schemes. “In the Philippines, the courts intervened after a few cases of privacy infringement occurred,” said Patkar who believes that the government should generate more employment for the poor.

“Then only can the government stop the migration,” she said while catching a train.

By Ashfaque Ismail