Rajiv Gandhi, the most liberal leader of the Nehru-Gandhi clan had indeed engaged in few not so liberal activities during his rule. But before getting into that, let us first visit the ongoing debate about “Aadhar” and Concerns surrounding an Individuals’ Privacy.
It is common to fill many forms where our mobile numbers and email-IDs and addresses are shared to several organisations for various reasons. If not from there, how do we get so many unsolicited messages and calls informing us about various offers? Never once, we felt our privacy was violated. From train reservations to bookings, many would use their identities and make public even PAN numbers. To book a room any hotel, a copy of identity proof is given. Even if the proof is the simple driving license, we let others to know our residential address. Well, we don’t normally expect any of them to use the information, except for spamming us with messages and mails.
But, some of us have a problem in using the Aadhar card because it violates our privacy.
I really wonder, whether it would be violating privacy more than posting a seductive selfie on Facebook. Maybe I belong to the category of people who consider the first thing that differentiates humans from animals is – dress.
Now, one hacker accessed the data from UIDAI server and developed ‘Aadhar eKYC’ app after he started something that is in vogue – a “startup”. He is an IIT graduate and did it through illegal means and even sold his start up to Ola! Well, he is now behind bars and his app is no more active. Similarly, many cyber criminals would hack our data. So, shall we stop digital transactions? Did humans ever stop amassing wealth fearing robbers? Well, the answer is NO.
In any case, why linking bank account numbers, PAN numbers to Aadhar card should be a problem? In fact, unlike PAN number or any other identity, Aadhar is the one that is really difficult to copy and manipulate – as in many transactions there is a need to physically validate by confirming the impressions of iris and thumb/finger. In fact, the reason why Chidambaram pursued the project Aadhar was to use the personal database to track the movement of criminals.
Aadhar already became a part of our life from JIO to house registration. Strangely, now there is a case in Supreme Court that it violates individual privacies. And, this move came after the government made it mandatory to link Aadhar with PAN card. As a person who doesn’t get any subsidy from the government, for me Aadhar is redundant – except it serves as a universal identification nowadays. For those who receive subsidy and earn more but don’t pay taxes, I too see a problem, if the government wish to enquire into their wealth.
The otherwise in inert state Congress party leaders have started sort of a national debate and became active. They claim the fascist Modi government is trying to violate privacy of Indian citizens. As the Congress ignores its own ignominious past deeds and engages itself in double speak, it is very much necessary to invite some ghosts from the past.
Now Back to the Story about Rajiv Gandhi, that has Ex-President Giani Zial Singh in a very Important Role. The Story Dates back to 1986, the year, Rajiv Gandhi, the most liberal leader of the Nehru-Gandhi attempted to amend the Indian Postal Bill in 1986. Till then the age old Postal Bill of 1898 was in effect and so there was a natural requirement to update the law to suit to present needs of the day. However, a vicious authoritarian streak runs in the psyche of the family. So, to reflect the despotic mind set of the attitude that controls the Congress even today, a clause was inserted in the amendment.
Clause 16 of the bill empowers officers authorised by both central and state governments to intercept and/or detain personal mail. The said bill would have become an act if not for the arrogance and immaturity of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The arrogant son of Indira Gandhi was notorious for the way he dealt with various Congress leaders, even while he was just an ordinary MP. As if to punish Zail Singh for being faithful to the family, Rajiv Gandhi ignored the then President Zail Singh for nearly three years. Practically, the relation between the Head of the State and the Head of Government was almost nil except the President was expected to obey the PM and sign the bills as recommended by the Parliament.
After suffering many humiliations, Zail Singh thought of asserting the position of his august office and started functioning like “The President”. It was an incident of luck for Indians that the said Postal Bill amendment was sent to the President after he entered into the collision mode. Even before it reached Rashtrapati Bhavan, the bill was condemned by one and all, but was passed in both houses of Parliament due to the brute majority Congress enjoyed. Invoking his powers and using ‘pocket veto’, Zail Singh refused his assent to the bill. Not only him but even his successor R. Venkataraman did not give assent. When VP Singh was Prime Minister, he requested Venkataraman to return the bill and he agreed. Finally, it was during Vajpayee’s government Pramod Mahajan, the then Communications minister moved the parliament to withdraw the bill so a new bill could be introduced.
It is an irony that Honourable Sri Rajiv Gandhi, who was the Head of the Government that proposed to create a post of ‘Pahlaj Nihalani’ in every post office is now hailed as a ‘liberal’ and ‘forward-thinking’ leader. It is time Rahul Gandhi learn how his ancestors have ruled India and know how scant regard his family has for rights of civilians. This is the reason people stopped responding to insinuations against BJP despite being proper, just because it is someone from Congress that is raising them.