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Tuesday 18 October 2011

Now, Aruna slams UID, says it may aid communal targeting

Now, Aruna slams UID, says it may aid communal targeting

Krish Fernandes, TNN | Oct 17, 2011, 05.40AM IST
PANAJI: A day after slamming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on an RTI remark, National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy termed the Aadhaar unique identity project "an invasive act" and warned the UID data "will facilitate communal targeting of certain communities".
Magsaysay award winner Roy said, "The UID is a dangerous thing. I'm shocked minorities and other communities are not boycotting it." Roy was speaking at an RTI seminar held at the International Centre Goa, Dona Paula.
While the central government and UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani have claimed that the UID will eliminate corruption in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and the public distribution system (PDS), Roy said, "We have doubts about any of these devices (such as UID) will not work (to curb corruption)."
Continuing with her cenure of the UID, Roy wondered: "How can you force the people to give all this information? The real intention of UID was integration with the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). There should be a political debate on whether the state should collect all data about us and store it in a central silo."
Claiming that there was talk about the government thinking of permitting DNA sampling, Roy said "What is the point of giving us various freedoms on one hand and then undermining them (through projects like UID) on the other hand?" She felt the government "is trying to lull us" into believing they are bringing these projects to benefit us.
Krish Fernandes | tnn
Panaji: Hinting at private interests being one reason behind UID, National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy disclosed that many of the MoUs for the Aadhaar unique identity project were signed before the (UID) law. "There is a definite agenda to push (implementation) before legislation," said Roy. She opined that MoUs of many other projects were also being signed in a similar manner, while speaking at a n RTI seminar at Dona Paula.
Nikhil Dey, co-convener of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information, too termed the UID as "an extremely dangerous thing" and felt "we have to be wary of it".
Dey said UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani had assured that the UID would be completely optional. "But now with UID being linked to the NREGA, how is this optional?" he questioned.
Dey observed that through the UID, all the information on citizens was available at the click of a button. "Localised biometric systems may be understandable, but we don't need a central database," Dey noted.
"People are queuing up to get their UID numbers as they feel they won't get access to government schemes and programmes," he concluded.

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