Aadhar…Till The Cows Come Home !

Aadhar-MOO-COW

The writing was on the wall since long. And the Supreme Court’s judgement on June 09, 2017 only confirms that.

The Court has for the moment seemingly given a reprieve to persons not holding the Aadhar Card. They can go ahead and file their IT returns without the need to link/quote their Aadhar Card. But simultaneously, and more importantly, the Court has also validated the Government’s insertion of additional clause in Income Tax (IT) Act necessitating linking/quoting of Aadhar while filing tax returns. And if the Government’s claims are to be taken seriously, there are over 1 billion people out there holding these card. Make that 1 billion “proud” people. The others, it would seem are not so proud. That means that these 1 billion “proud” people will now have to link their cards to the PANs while filing IT returns. For the “not so proud”, “bakre ki amma kab tak khair manayegi…” 😛

All this of course is strictly as per the Supreme Court’s Judgement. The Government always has an option of flouting it and insisting compliance from the “not so proud” people too.

Further, the Court has shown utmost concern for privacy of us citizens and directed the Government to beef up Aadhar related data security to win the confidence of citizens. In a country where the PMO office itself can choose to spam its citizens with unsolicited emails to IDs which arent even registered with any of Government bodies, the lesser said about the Aadhar agents, the better. Probably that just means Mr Nilekani and his agencies will get to earn a few bucks extra in the name of protecting our data.

Funny thing is nobody seems to be bothered about where the money collected as tax, is going. Wonder if the Government can also introduce a “Sudhaar Card” for monitoring how public money is squandered by our politicians and public servants.

With the Government surreptitiously fast-tracking the Aadhar revisions to the IT Act and the Supreme Court delaying its verdict on Aadhar related petitions, between the two of them they have ensured that Aadhar will now be de facto mandatory even if it is not mandated de jure by the Supreme Court’s division Bench on privacy infringement. Remember, the Attorney General has decreed that citizens don’t live in vacuum and don’t have absolute right over their bodies. And that the State can always roger you long as it is in the interests of “national security“. And national security, as we all know encompasses everything including whether you eat beef or khakra. So even if one agency (which I suspect will be EPFO) deems Aadhar mandatory in the interest of “National security”, the “not so proud” herd, or whatever little is left of it, wont have any option but to fall in line.

Supreme Court’s Division Bench hearing on privacy infringement, if and when it happens, is but a matter only of academic interest what with most citizens already having thrown in the towel. Meanwhile, the Cows are a happy with this ruling. A lot of things have been going their way lately. They might even get full fledged citizenship and passports soon 😛 As for the handful of remaining Aadhar protestors, it appears to be all over bar the shouting !

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Musings of a Cynic

I was born with all my limbs intact ! As a child, I never suffered from dumbness neither, though I did speak less as a matter of choice. I never had to walk 25 kilometeres a day to attend school, for academics or otherwise. I never had to study in candle light. Not because there were no powercuts but simply because I never studied at all. I never had to sleep on an empty stomach. Always had 3 square meals a day. When I grew up I never had a hole in my heart or “impressive” diseases like lymphosarcoma of the intestine. It should be no surprise therefore that when I was in my late teens I felt lucky at not having to go through disabilities or “blips” of any kind if you will. Truth be told I never even thought about it.

Chummeswari

Then I became an adult. Just like we ‘become‘ adults. And started watching those TV programmes – Dance India Dance, Nach Baliye, Jhalak Dikhlaja, DID Little Masters, Indian Idol, Saare Re Ga Ma Pa, etc. Every second participant seemed to be suffering from some kinda life threatening disease/disadvantage and all of them invariably had had very trying childhoods. They’d made it to their current station by sheer hard work and persistence. Listening to their stories…. in fact listening to the melodramatic music accompanying their stories, I would get exceedingly disturbed. And touched at what I saw. I would cry my heart out every time.

Years and years of watching these tearjerker programmes and the “Stupendo Fantabulously Fantastical”, “Chummeswari” or “Super Se Bhi Ooper” performances finally took its toll. It had to. My body parts now fail to respond the way they did. And the lachrymal is no exception. Sometimes, the lack of pathos appalls me. Mind you I have been reared on hardcore Nirupa Roy and Dharmendra stuff. I should know a thing or two about being kind hearted, maudlin, compassionate and patriotic (oh yes, I was well up on my Manoj Kumar too).

But NO Sir. Hardly into middle age, I find myself emotionally dead. You could have innocent children wail around me the whole day and I’d still be unmoved. The more I watch these guys the more inadequate and inferior I feel. It appears to me that I’d feel better if one of my limbs was missing. That’s the power of Media ! It can have you believe that Sun rises from the West.

I avoid watching TV anymore. It makes me feel useless and obese.

I don’t go out on the streets. Beggars swarm me in no time. And when they dont, the shopkeepers oblige. My money is no longer in me pocket.

I stopped going to the theaters. I hate having to stand up everytime to prove my patriotism and pay the owners obscene money for a glass of aerated drink or a “tub” of popcorn. Just because I can afford it don’t mean I should.

I have stopped upgrading my mobiles and Operating Systems. Every Mobile/Operating system is better than the last. At smothering user freedom that is.

I don’t read the papers. Cause if I do, I’ll run the risk of believing that the government is trying its best to do me good.

Every dance is better than the last. Every movie is better than the last. And if that is true I’d rather watch people act than VFX.

Reminds me of a joke I once read in the Himalyan Drug Company’s compilation of “Laughter is the Best Medicine“.

A kid in his early teens walks upto a Chemist. Points his finger at one of those polythene packs kept behind the display pane. The Chemist takes out the packet, hands it over to the kid and casually asks him “Whom are you taking it for, your mother ?”. “No”, says the kid, handing over the money.

“It must be your sister then, isn’t it ?”, asks the Chemist again. Again the kid replies in the negative.

The Chemist is curious by now. “Well then my dear lad, who is it for ?”

The Kid looks around, leans forward and whispers to the Chemist – “I am taking it for myself. They show on TV that you can run, skip, cycle, dance and do a whole lot of things after wearing it !”

Ignorance is bliss. Never was it so true as today….