Bus Porters’ Petition for Aadhaar – A Political Analysis: Tarangini Sriraman
Barely six years into its introduction, the Aadhaar project, otherwise known as the Unique Identification (UID) project has been studied and critiqued extensively – its promises to strengthen welfare delivery, curb corruption, exorcise ghost beneficiaries from government databases, initiate financial inclusion and enhance intra-governmental coordination have been enthusiastically received in certain corporate and technocratic circles and skeptically, if not scathingly viewed in other academic and journalistic quarters. The liberties this far-advanced project has taken with individuals’ privacy and its failure to acquire a statutory basis (even as enrollment drives continue unabated) have justly attracted severe censure. And until recently, the surreptitiously mandatory nature of the project – where welfare entitlements were linked to the possession of numbers – was cause for alarm. The Supreme Court judgment in 2013 challenging this mandatory linkage between Aadhaar and subsidies/entitlements may have slowed down processes of the number’s proliferation as an exclusive proof….