[Reader-list] Personal Identity Data and Mass Murder in India

Shashidhar shashidhar at butterfliesindia.org
Tue Jun 1 14:21:39 IST 2010

The circle come around finds itself at the beginning. 

The UID is premised on a notion of identity (U say), It is not it is a
method for identification, more or less dog tagging citizen of India. It has
very little to do with identity and like many have said in the mailers a
card does little to take away or give identity(In the larger sense).

We have spoken about the money bit for a long time, there are a lot of
newspaper reports which you have mentioned, I really doubt their veracity
news is written by people like you and me and there is a lot of room for
error, opinions and understanding, Rs 1,50,000 crore is a stupendous amount
of money much more than the three big companies (Reliance, TATA, Indian
railways), the figures that I have are 180 crore in the first year 1800
crore in the next year and these are from the union budget and not some
projections made by some newspaper. These figures are not estimates they are

Yes money is better spent in development projects, one does not need a UID
to work development, the dilemma is the kind of word we live in where people
are granted benefits and provisions which are out of turn and everyone wants
to get those benefits. If equity and equality can be assured in our country
there is no need for such an exercise. Many countries like you have
mentioned have suspended their processes of citizen dog tagging.

As far as protection of data is concerned, it must be their biggest concern
as well, which is why there is a technocrat on their rolls. As far as my
beliefs go nothing in this nation has changed because of the efforts and
initiatives of the government, the condition of poor remains the same, we
have more number of street kids on the roads, lesser arable land, more
strife and unconquerable apathy amongst the citizen. There is no need to
frame the UID as a failed project we are living in a failed state.

Shashi ( Paid to manage banter)

-----Original Message-----
From: Taha Mehmood [mailto:2tahamehmood at googlemail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 1:01 PM
To: Shashidhar
Cc: Sarai Reader-list
Subject: Re: [Reader-list] Personal Identity Data and Mass Murder in India

Dear Shashidhar,

Although I do not agree with you but I take your word and I apologize if you
have been distressed by it.

Lets take this as an opportunity to look at issue again:

My doubts:

1. UID is premised on a notion of identity.

Identity seems fuzzy.

Does that make UID fuzzy?

( That is a question, a doubt and not my position or my argument)

2. 1,50,000 Crore or more may go towards this exercise.

Should GOI spare so much money to subsidize a failed sector?

If employment seems to be the underlying assumption

Can we think of alternatives? Could this scale of investment result in more
employment in handloom sector for instance?

3. UID seems to be about creating a back-end repository for personal
identities just like a bank is a repository for money.

Isn't it a responsibility of a bank to protect the money others have given
to them as deposits, when we give our identities to UID, the UID does not
even holds itself responsible for safekeeping it, instead it wants to punish
the subcontractors working at its behest.

Isn't it bizzare?

Warm regards


PS:  Regarding your agony:

you called me an apologetic for the UID and some other nasty things..

On Wednesday, 12th May 2010, in a reply to your mail, I wrote-

You seem to me, like an outright apologist for UID, are you? or are you one
of those dudes who are paid to manage banter on virtual forums. You know
frankly, I am not bothered who you are. And I am terribly sorry if that
sounds offensive because I did not intend it to be so.


You see I asked a question. Because to me you seemed like one, you seem like
one to me even now but I am not sure if you are, so will you not please
clear this air.

Like I am doing, I have no hesitation in giving my fingerprints if UID
people come to my place but at the same time I have certain doubts about
some fundamental confusion which this organization has. And I try to make
share it with others and I will continue to do so regardless of anyone
saying anything.

I don't seem to understand why that sounds 'nasty' to you if you agree with
the idea of UID,  What's the harm in being a proud apologist if one were to
totally believe in UID. In the goodness which this organization is bound to
spread. Why should it matter to one, what other people are saying because
one knows and believes that there is something essentially good about this
idea isn't it and one is willing to talk about it to anyone. Why did it hurt
you when someone asked you a question? Now I inquired whether you were an
apologist and begged for your pardon also then and there for this audacity.
Just to put things in perspective.

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