Panel discussion on Aadhaar turns sour

Panel discussion on Aadhaar turns sour

Once hailed as the most efficient scheme to put an end to rampant corruption—UIDAI or Aadhaar is now in the eye of storm.

At a panel discussion on ‘Aadhaar - Blow to India’s Sovereignty,’ organised here on Wednesday by Youth Against Corruption, Rajya Sabha member and former justice M Rama Jois said, “Proceedings should be initiated against the ruling Congress party for wasting vast sums of public money on issuing Aadhaar numbers illegally.”

Columnist Swapan Dasgupta said “Initially they said it was meant only for direct transfer of money to the accounts of the beneficiaries of the welfare scheme. But, in their eagerness to garner electoral gains they converted it into a valid identification card for the people of this country. A British citizen could get an Aadhaar card and it is being issued to many Bangladeshi immigrants who are legalising their stay in the country. They also claim benefits of the welfare schemes at the cost of poor Indians. Moreover, the Aadhaar data is stored in some foreign country which poses a great threat to the sovereignty of the country.”

During the question answer session Asish Jina, a person from the audience, asked the panelist not to mislead the people by telling lies. He claimed that only Rs 3,800 crore was spent on the Aadhaar till date and the data collected while issuing the cards is safely stored in India and not in a foreign country as claimed by the panelists.

“Enough laws are made to punish those who misuse or abuse the data,” Jina claimed. Some of the volunteers entered into an altercation with Jina and said they were concerned about the illegality and not about the amount. 

Upamanyu Hazarika, a senior supreme court advocate, said, “The NDA government had passed a bill to issue citizenship cards to the legal Indian citizens in 2004. Instead of issuing citizenship cards to the citizens of this country they started issuing Aadhaar cards to all the residents of India.

There are around 50 lakh Bangladeshis in Assam alone and over 2.5 crore of them are staying in the country. As anything can be bought in India these illegal immigrants are buying Aadhaar cards like you buy things across the counter and are causing problems to the local people.”