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Can Get Naked For US Visa, But Problem With Aadhaar: KJ Alphons

KJ Alphons said that while people had no qualms in “getting naked” for a US visa, they cry about privacy for Aadhaar

Published
India
2 min read
Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons. File photo.
i

Central minister from Kerala Alphons Kannanthanam cannot stay away from controversy for too long it seems. After his controversial remarks on beef, he has landed in yet another row, this time over Aadhaar.

Scoffing at reports of Aadhaar data breach, Alphons, who is the Minister of State (MoS) for IT, Culture and Tourism, said that while people had no qualms in "getting naked" before the white man for a US visa, they cry foul about privacy when it comes to Aadhaar.

We have absolutely no problems going and putting our fingerprints and the iris and getting your whole body naked before the white man at all. We have no problem. But when the government of India, which is your government, asks you your name and your address, nothing more, there’s a massive revolution in the country saying it’s an intrusion into the privacy of the individual.
Alphons Kannanthanam, MoS for IT, Culture and Tourism

“I mean, how far can we go? Let the Supreme Court decide,” Alphons had said on Friday, 23 March, during a session at the Future Global Digital Summit in Kerala's Kochi.

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In his address, Alphons said that he had to fill up 10 pages to apply for a US visa and the questions ranged from where his grandfather was born, to where he went on honeymoon.

"Ten pages of data which you have never even confessed to your wife or husband ever, that is passed on to the white man. We have no problem," he said.

The issue snowballed into a controversy on Sunday, 25 March, when the minister stuck to his remark when asked for a clarification in Thiruvananthapuram.

And soon, citizens decided to tell the minister that there was a difference between the two scenarios that he had decided to compare: The difference between "coercion" and "consent."

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(This story was originally published on The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)

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