Skip to main content

Unsign aadhaar MoU, set example for other states: Plea to West Bengal chief minister

By Our Representative
In a representation to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, a senior civil rights defender has said that the state home department's MoU with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) dated July 1, 2010 is "outdated" and it "imperils the autonomy of the state and the citizens", asking her to "unsign" the MoU.
Dr Gopal Krisha of the Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties asserted in his representation, "Your considered intervention will pave the way for other states to act on this MoU, which is facilitating unlimited and indiscriminate mass surveillance and mass spying at the behest of World Bank's eTransform Initiative and it's partners since 2010."
The West Bengal MoU was signed by AG Ghosh, OSD and ex-officio special secretary on behalf of the home department, West Bengal government, with Shri Nirmal Kumar Sinha, deputy director-general, UIDAI, Planning Commission.
Welcoming Banerjee's letter to the Prime Minister which said that "Aadhaar is becoming inactive", Krishna said, "I wish to inform you that in the aftermath of Aadhaar Act, 2016 (as amended in 2019), Hon'ble Supreme Court's verdict of September 26,2018, and November 13, 2019, there is a logical and legal compulsion for states to unsign their MoUs with UIDAI."
He added, these MoUs were signed in the pre-Aadhaar Act era and continue to operate in the era when "unconstitutional Sections like Section 57 of Aadhaar Act was recognised and declared as unconstitutional and illegitimate by our Hon'ble Supreme Court's verdict of September 26, 2018 and by the deletion of Section 57 by the amendment of 2019 in Aadhaar Act."
Claiming that the verdict of November 13, 2019 "recognised that the entire Act is unconstitutional", Krishna said, "A 7-judge Constitution Bench has been constituted to declare it to be so in order to adhere to judicial discipline", underlining, "No sane person will wait for formal announcement of poison to desist from consuming poison."
Calling Aadhaar Act "a poisonous" and "a black law akin to the colonial law which was bitterly resisted by Mahatma Gandhi's first satyagraha", he added, "Our Hon'ble Chief Justice of India has declared this law to be a fraud on the Constitution of India in his order dated September 26, 2018. He has reiterated it on at least two more occasions."
"In this backdrop", Krishna noted, "Constitutional, legal, judicial and political imagination creates a logical compulsion to resist this law which creates an architecture of unlimited government based on 360 degree surveillance. It is eroding the constitutionally mandated autonomy of states beyond repair."



What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.