I start my conversation using word “killer” for Aadhar Card as millions of people are being prevented from getting pension including senior citizens from the age of 60 to 90-95 years and also food grains under National Food Security Act of the Government due to this linking of Aadhar Card with everything like bank account, ration and so on. In urban areas, people are still able to afford linking of Aadhar Card with wide range of things but I have been informed that they are also fed up with this instrument of the Government.
Old aged people in urban areas are also the most sufferers as they are finding it difficult for drawing their pension from the banks. Earlier, pension to old, poor, disabled and to B.P.L families was being released by the Government in cash but now it is being released through banks to avoid duplication and fake beneficiaries.
Bank accounts have been linked with Aadhar Card due to which there is a mess in almost all the banks and the sufferers are these beneficiaries including senior citizens from the age group of 60 to 90-95 years. They go to banks and stand there for hours but come back blank hands as their thumb impression does not match. There is sorry state of affairs in the banks after linking of Aadhar Card and poor people are suffering badly on this account.
Under the National Food Security Act, the ration was being supplied to the beneficiaries without Aadhar Card, but later the Government decided to issue Aadhar Card to the head of the family only of the beneficiaries. But when the beneficiary goes now for getting ration, the dealer is insisting for Aadhar Card of each beneficiary in the family, and therefore the ration is being denied to them. As a result of this, the poor people are very disturbed as this Aadhar Card has prevented them from the meals and they are dying from hunger.
In the States such as Bihar, Odhisa, West Bengal and other States also where poor people have died due to denial of the food grains by the dealers in absence of Aadhar Card. Recently, a girl died in Jharkhand due to starvation as her family was denied ration as her ration card was not linked with the Aadhar.
I do not understand that as to what this Aadhar Card is paying to this Government which has made the life of every citizen in the country troublesome and miserable. The biggest impact is on our 70 percent of population which relies on the food subsidies and benefits available to them. One major point of contention over the decision of Aadhar Card is that it contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 which stated that Aadhar can only be a voluntary decision of the individual and that as long as a person is eligible to avail benefits and subsidies, the Government cannot deny them those benefits. Further, the manner in which the Aadhar Act was passed in Parliament by introducing it as a money bill in Lok Sabha so that the Rajya Sabha would not be able to vote on it, also exhibited the intention of the Government which the entire country must have judged.
The other issue with binding so much information of a citizen including their bank accounts to their Aadhar Card is if another country were to hack to Aadhar data base. India deals with frequent cyber attacks from China and Pakistan. I am told that hacking the Aadhar database would be an easy way for other countries to create disruption within India. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Andhra Pradesh Government itself, which showed that 50 percent of respondents cited Aadhar as a reason for missing them out from subsidies and benefits, and yet the Government forced Aadhar cards on every citizen. Aadhar Card is completely against the poor, common man and rather every citizen and security of this country but the present Government is adamant for making Aadhar mandatory for a wide range of things.
Janta Dal (U) leader SHARAD YADAV is member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)