Aadhaar Through the Ages Summarised in One Twitter Thread
(This piece was originally a Twitter post by Meghnad S. It has been republished with permission.)
This piece traces the journey Aadhaar through the ages…
Nandan Nilekani: “Let there be an ID that is voluntary in nature and would prove to be an empowerment tool for millions!”
UPA: Cool. Like a citizenship ID?
Nilekani: “Nope. Just an ID. No rights will be granted... But eventually... all citizen rights will be dependent on it! Get it?”
Activists: Umm...I think you need to create a law. This is kinda big. YUGE project. YUGE!
UPA: Let there be an ID which will be created by a random attached office in the planning commission!
Activists: Wait. What?
UPA: Oh hey, the Planning Commission is doing a lot of PLANNING for this, OKAY?
Modi & Friends: Atrocious this! Illegal! Such security issues, much wow! Met PM, didn't get answers! #Outrage! #UPASucks #AadharIsASux! Will scrap if we come to power!
UPA (2014): OK bye! It’s your thing now! BYEEE!
Modi & Friends: Uhh...This Aadhaar is not THAT bad also...
Modi Government: Let there be a law that gives legal status to this lovely surveilla...I mean... Subsidy Delivery Mechanism.
Babu: But saar, we don't have majority in Rajya Sabha. They will block it only. We have already enrolled so many sheep...I mean citizens.
Modi Government: Hm. Wait.
Activists: Hey man, you can't just pass this as a Money Bill, ignore Rajya Sabha and expect us to be cool with it.
Government: Yes, we can.
Activists: Seriously? UPA screwed us and you are also doing the same thing?
Government: Pretty much.
Activists: Sigh. See you in court.
Government: MAKE AADHAAR MANDATORY FOR EVERYTHING!
Government: Don't care. Didn't you hear me? MANDATORY FOR EVERYTHING!!!
Government: Look at all these sheep...I mean...citizens enrolling for Aadhaar! It’s beautiful!
Activists: That's because you have made it mandatory for EVERYTHING! WTF!
Government: No it's because they see the benefits.
Government: Look at these savings we’re doing!
Activists: Where are you getting these figures from?
Government: Look at the corruption we are eradicating!
Activists: What is your methodology?
Government: Look at these kids saying awesome things about Aadhaar!
Activists: Aadhaar violates the Right to Privacy.
Government: Hey, Indian citizens don’t have a right to privacy only!
Supreme Court: Actually...we set up a giant bench to decide this and turns out...they do.
Government: Hey, we always said Indians had right to privacy! #EpicWin for us!
Government: Aadhaar is voluntary but mandatory!
Activists: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!?
Government: Meaning, it’s mandatory but voluntary!
Government: Look at these savings...
Activists: PEOPLE ARE DYING YOU MORONS! STFU!? Yo Supreme Court! Decide please. What the heck is happening!
Media: You can get access to the entire Aadhaar database in 500 bucks!
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI): Aadhaar data is safe. There is NO BREACH!
Media: Another case of data leakage...
UIDAI: NO BREACH!
Media: Biometrics copied in Gujarat. Aadhaar based scam happ...
UIDAI: NO BREACH! NO BREACH! NOOO!
UIDAI: Don't share your Aadhaar number publicly.
R S Sharma: Hey Twitter, I just logged in, this is crazy, here's my number, hack me maybe!
Twitter: Thanks! Here's your janam kundali! Enjoy.
R S Sharma: No harm has come to me!
UIDAI: NO BREACH. But don't share your number publicly.
Twitter: Wait. How did the UIDAI number get into my phone? I don't even have an Aadhaar.
UIDAI: NO BREACH! And that's the old number. Meh.
Google: That's my bad actually. Sorry.
UIDAI: Their fault. Also, NOT BREACH NO BREACH! AADHAAR DATA IS SAFE! NO BREACH!
Activists: People are getting excluded. Their fingerprints aren’t matching.
UIDAI: NO BREACH. Also, we will conduct secret camps to correct errors.
Activists: How many errors are there?
UIDAI: Who knows these things! We'll find out when these sheep come to us for corrections!
Activists: But...but...you said biometrics are foolproof and all!
UIDAI: Yes. NO BREACH, BTW. But take another layer of security: We shall make face recognition necessary for authentication. Did we say NO BREACH?
Activists: What if the photo is wrong...
UIDAI: Our job here is done! Goodbye.
(Meghnad S is a public policy professional. When not watching sessions, he dabbles with writing on subjects related to the Greatest Place on Earth: The Indian Parliament. He can be contacted on Twitter: @memeghnad)
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