The Central government has forced the Aadhaar Bill through Parliament in a week. Aadhaar has had an invasive and controversial presence well before the government’s attempt to legitimise it. It has been challenged before the Supreme Court, and in defending it, our Attorney General (funded by our taxes) has argued that we have no right to privacy. In this context, any version of the Aadhaar Bill would have been subject to close scrutiny. When the Bill is sprung in Parliament with little warning and mislabelled as a money bill to avoid Rajya Sabha scrutiny, it will naturally be treated with even more suspicion than usual.
There are extensive threats to privacy contained within this legislation, which seeks to institutionalise an extensive, pervasive database that links multiple other databases containing our personal information. It is unconscionable for the government to pass the Aadhaar Bill with no public consultation about the sort of privacy safeguards that are necessary for such a database.