Tweet to Dr. Kim to “Switch off Tata Mundra”

Dear Friends,

This Earth Hour is going to be special for Dr Jim Kim and The World Bank!

On 29th March 2014, people around the world be Tweeting to The World Bank asking them to withdraw funds from 4000MW coal based Power Plant in

​Mundra Town of Kutch District, ​

Gujarat, India.

So please TWEET to join us this Earth hour and tell Dr Kim to “SWITCH OFF TATA MUNDRA”

​Here are some sample Tweets you can send

.@WorldBank president Dr Kim: This Earth hour dont just switch off a bulb. Switch off @TataPower owned TATA Mundra!

.@WorldBank Jim Kim: this Earth hour, tell Earth that you will save it from impact of @TataPower coal plant in Mundra

#AskJimKim, @WorldBank president to switch off @TataPower owned coal plant to brighten lives of fishers in Mundra Gujarat

#Askjimkim, @WorldBank’s president, to withdraw funds from @TataPower owned coal plant in Mundra Gujarat

​Hope to see hundreds of Tweets on 29th!!

Thanks  ​

Renuka Saroha

South Asia Coal Organizer

www.350.org

Phone- +91-8800661208

Press Release: Sangharsh 2014: Movements & Trade Unions to Corner Modi in Benares

SANGHARSH 2014

Long live the victory of working peoples’ movements!

Press Statement

March 28, 2014

Movements and Trade Unions to Corner Modi in Benares;

Shaheed Diwas gathering declare demands for endorsement by candidates

in Lok Sabha elections across the country

General Elections 2014 poses a plethora of possibilities as well as challenges. While it holds the fortunes of the people of the country with regard to who could become the next Prime Minister and under what rule you might have to spend the next five years of your life, it equally holds forth the threat of a ‘Modi regime’, which could unsettle and dismantle a lot of achievements of progressive politics and movements in the country – and push the country back by several decades, in our battles against global capitalism/ imperialism, feudalism, communalism, caste discrimination, patriarchy, jingoistic nationalism and Brahmanism. This is indeed the most challenging elections for these very reasons for all those progressive forces, which have mobilised people in the country under the Red, Blue and Green flags!

Keeping in mind the artificial ‘Modi factor’ and attempted ‘Rahul factor’, the movements and independent trade unions decided to denounce the pro-corporate parties, whose similar economic policies have led to widespread starvation in rural India, unemployment and increasing impoverishment of the masses. Looking at the increasing caste and communal violence and the attacks on working class across the country by capitalist, feudal and communal forces, it was decided to forge a united front to continue and strengthen the diverse people’s struggles. SANGHARSH 2014 was decided as the common umbrella platform for this political process.

The meeting decided on a three-pronged political strategy programme aimed at the General Elections 2014:

1. People’s Charter-based campaign

2. Support to candidates fighting from people’s movements

3. Benares counter-strategy

Mass movements and Trade Unions, bringing together the diversity of political history, come together under one banner which includes dalits, adivasis, forest working people, agricultural workers, fishworkers, handloom weavers, domestic workers, street vendors and hawkers, women’s groups and organisations that have been working in the country for social and political change.

A meeting of social movements and trade unions was held in Delhi on the 23rd and 24th March, on the occasion of commemorating the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The rally on Shaheed Diwas, attended by close to 3000 people from 12 different states, was followed by a day of political meeting in which 250 people participated from the states Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Ghorkhaland and Delhi.

Through consecutive political strategy meetings in the last few months social movements and trade unions have decided to make key political interventions that will begin now, at the time of the crucial General Elections 2014.

1) A set of concrete justiciable parliamentary demands have been decided on from the community based struggles that have been declared and will be effectively used for direct collective negotiations with political parties and electoral candidates. These demands include:

· Implementation of socio-economic rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India;

· Protection of traditional rights of natural-resource based communities;

· Abolition of contractual labour and effective implementation of labour laws;

· Revise minimum wages to bring it at par with the 7th Pay Commission;

· Equal opportunities and equal access for all to education and healthcare;

· Universal Social Security and allocation of 5% of GDP for creating Social Security Fund;

· Traditional community rights of fishworkers to be legislated by the Parliament;

· Separate Fisheries Ministry and strict implementation of CRZ Notification;

· Effective implementation of community rights as enshrined in the Forest Rights Act ;

· Replacement of Forest Department with a community-based forest governance;

· Moratorium on conversion of irrigated agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes;

· Implementation of ‘Land to the tiller’ and abolition of absentee landlords;

· Moratorium on displacement of communities;

· Inclusion of Caste Discrimination in the SC / ST Prevention of Atrocities Act;

· 50% reservation for women in all elected and non elected bodies;

· Moratorium on new greenfield mining;

· Nationalisation of electricity generation, distribution and transmission ;

· Revival of PDS system and abandon all cash programmes;

· Banking to be made a fundamental right of all citizens;

· Review of loans to private corporations by Public Sector Financial Institutions and initiate strict measures to recover the unpaid loans from corporations;

· Stop privatisation of public sector undertakings & strengthen public sector institutions;

· Withdraw Public Private Partnership model from all economic activities;

· Abandon civil and military nuclear programmes

[Please find the complete Charter of Demands attached]

Social movements and trade unions will present the demands to political parties and to the candidates in the respective constituencies. Candidates in different constituencies will be asked to be endorse and sign on to the people’s charter of demands. To ensure that this process does not remain symbolic candidates will be required to substantiate their commitment and also provide reasons for disagreement (if any)’. Over the next five years, this endorsement will be used as a base for concrete, structured and consistent monitoring of all steps being taken with regard to these demands.These demands will also be put forth during every parliament session post the General Elections 2014.

2) We declare complete support for those candidates standing in the upcoming elections whose candidature is assigned and endorsed by the various people’s movements that they have been associated with. We believe that these people will be able to take forward the kind of politics that this country truly needs and that the movements have stood for. The candidates we will support in the different Lok Sabha constituencies include:

Kailash Awasiya in Khargaon (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Soni Sori in Bastar, Mayappa in Tirunelveli (Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy-PMANE), Pushparayan in Tuticorin (PMANE), S. P. Udaykumar in Kanyakumari (PMANE), Medha Patkar in North-East Mumbai (Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan & National Alliance of Peoples Movements-NAPM), Alok Agrawal in Khandwa (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Lingaraj Pradhan in Bargarh (Gandhamardan Andolan), Dayamani Barla in Khunti (Adivasi Moolniwaasi Raksha Manch), Babu Mathew in North Bangalore (National Centre for Labour), Santhosh Kumar in Pathanamthitta (Kalanjoor Janakeeya Prathirodha Samiti), Ruth Manorama in South Bangalore (Bangalore Domestic Workers Union, National Federation of Dalit Women), Rachna Dhingra in Bhopal (Bhopal tragedy victims’ organisations), Pankaj Singh in Sidhi Rewa (Mahan Sangharsh Samiti).

Those standing for the Vidhan Sabha Elections in Odisha inclide Lingaraj Azad and Rajkumar from the Gandhamardan People’s Movement.

3) It has been decided that Benares, Uttar Pradesh will be the focus point for a campaign against communal and divisive forces in order to strengthen the secular and democratic foundations that the people of this country need to stand up for.This campaign is primarily being led by the Social Movements and independent Trade Unions with their large base in the ten constituencies surrounding Varanasi- Chandauli, Machlisheher, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Palamu, Sasaram, Varanasi, Robertsganj, Azamgarh, Lalganj.

 We aim at strengthening the roots of new political formations, which will be able to take forward the struggles of the historically oppressed majority.

 The speakers at the 24 March 2014 meeting in New Delhi include Com. D. Thankappan & Gautam Mody [New Trade Union Initiative – NTUI], Ashok Choudhury, Munnilal, Roma, Matadayal, Nabada, Shri Rampal, Behena, Phoolwasi [All India Union of Forest Working People – AIUFWP], T. Peter [National Fishworkers’ Forum – NFF], Anil Sadgopal [All India Forum for Right to Education, Bhopal], Ambarish Rai [Right to Education Forum], Biranchi Bariha [Shramik Adhikar Manch & Zameen Jangal Adhikar Sangharsh Vahini, Bargarh] Prof. Chaman Lal [Political Science Professor], Sanjay Garg [Former Minister, Uttar Pradesh Government], Sadre Alam [Delhi Young Artists Forum – DYAF], Jairam [Adivasi Van Jan Shramjeevi Union] & Ahmed Khaka [Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan MASS].

 For more details contact 9958797409 | 8527830687

All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP); New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI); National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF); National Hawkers’ Federation (NHF); National Handloom Weavers’ Federation; Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam;Adivasi Van Jan Shramjeevi Union, Gujarat; All India Tribal Youth Movement, Gujarat; Voices of Youth, Gujarat; Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG); Delhi Young Artists Forum; All India Forum for Right to Education, Bhopal; Right to Education Forum; Dalit Shakti Sangathan, Bihar; Shramik Adhikar Manch, Odisha; Zameen Jangal Adhikar Sangharsh Vahini, Odisha; All India Kabaadi Mazdoor Mahasangh.

Arrest of farmer-leader of anti-DSIR struggle

Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
A-302, Sharan Residency-1, Near Lohana Chhatralaya, Vasna, Ahmedabad

Date: 27th March 2014

DSIR: Arrest of farmer-leader of anti-DSIR struggle: Political pressure to suppress a non-political movement

As you are aware, the farmers of Dholera area have been agitating against the SIR. Shri Rajbha Chudasma has been a prominent leader of this agitation. In a complete non-issue (described in the box below) the police has acted to arrest him. Since the matter was resolved and he was arrested after this on false charges, we are led to believe that this is being done at the behest of political masters who are threatened by the agitation. We are of the firm conviction that this is being done to threaten the movement and the farmers before the sammelan of the 29th, proving that the claims of the government are hollow and that a mere gathering of the farmers and dissenters can throw the government off-balance and scared.

We have sent the following letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat Ms. Anita Karwal demanding an independent inquiry into the incident to ascertain the truth of the matter. We request you or your organisation to do as well which will help to lend added pressure for the inquiry.

Pradhyumansinh Chudasma Sagar Rabari
9426454698 9409307693
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)

To,
Ms. Anita Karwal,
Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat,
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat State,
General Administration Department,
Block No. 7, Second Floor, Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar

Re.: Arrest of farmer-leader of anti-DSIR struggle: Political pressure to suppress a non-political movement

Dear Ms. Karwal,

We the leaders of JAAG wish to bring to your attention a serious electoral malpractice. Shri Rajbha Chudasma is a farmer-leader spearheading the farmers’ struggle against the Dholera SIR. On 25th March 2014 there was a minor altercation following a misunderstanding between two or three local communities. Shri Rajbha Chudasma, being a respected leader of the area, intervened in the matter and effected a compromise and the matter was amicably resolved. However, on the morning of 26th March 2014, around 3 a.m. the police arrived at this house and arrested him on false charges and took him to the Dhandhuka Police Station. He has since been kept there.

This is a non-political struggle that Shri Chudasma is part of and we suspect that he has been implicated by the police who is acting on orders of some political leaders. Otherwise there was no reason to arrest him at all. We suspect this to be a political ploy to intimidate and threaten Shri Chudasma and the farmers of the area and to suppress the farmers’ movement.

We are writing this to you to acquaint you of the matter and demand an independent inquiry into the incident and to find out where, why and from whom the orders for the arrest were given.

We request your urgent attention in this matter. Looking forward to your prompt action,

Yours sincerely,

Pradhyumansinh Chudasma Sagar Rabari
9426454698 9409307693
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)

CC.:

Shri Ashwini Kumar (IAS)
Special Chief Electoral Officer
ashwinikumariasoffice@gmail.com

Shri. A. H. Manek
Additional Chief Electoral Officer
ashokmanekoffice@gmail.com

Shri. Lalit Padalia (IAS)
Additional Chief Electoral Officer
lalitpadaliaoffice@gmail.com

Smt. Ardra Agrawal (IAS)
Joint Chief Electoral Officer
ardraoffice@gmail.com

Shri. Jaydeep Dvivedi
Joint Chief Electoral Officer
jtceo-guj@nic.in

Shri. M Goriya
Deputy Secretary
mgoriyaoffice@gmail.com

Shri N.D.Acharya
Under Secretary
dyceo-guj@nic.in

Shri. Ronak Mehta
Under Secretary
usceo-guj@nic.in

Shri. Hashmukh Thakker
Under Secretary
hmthakkeroffice@gmail.com

Shri. Himanshu Parekh
Deputy Collector
Fax: 079-23250324

Shri.R M Pandya
Deputy Collector
Fax: 079-23250324

US Congress Fails to Pass IMF Reform, Again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, March 26, 2014

US Congress Fails to Pass IMF Reform, Again

Major Blow for Global Economic Governance and Credibility of US Leadership

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that the US Senate will remove the IMF reform legislation from its Ukraine assistance bill. This is a major setback for global economic governance and the credibility of US leadership. In 2010, the United States – in cooperation with emerging economies –spearheaded the IMF reforms. Since then, every country has ratified the reforms except for the US, whose approval is required in order for the reforms to become effective. Congress has had several opportunities to approve the IMF reforms, including January of this year.

“We are astonished that Congress failed, again, to pass the 2010 IMF reforms. This not only undermines the credibility of the US as a trusted leader and partner, it fragments global economic governance. US inaction weakens the prospects for international cooperation, especially with emerging powers. While these reforms are not perfect, they are a step toward bringing emerging powers to the table, instead of isolating and pushing them away” said Jo Marie Griesgraber, Executive Director of New Rules for Global Finance.

There was disagreement in Congress about the relevance of the IMF reforms to providing financial assistance to Ukraine, as well as misunderstanding of the IMF and the changes that the 2010 reforms would impose. The IMF reforms –which would provide a modest increase in voting power to emerging economies and reduce overrepresentation of European countries – would not require any new financial commitments from the US.

“This was a win-win for members of Congress who would like to strengthen US global leadership, specifically its position on Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia, without additional costs to US taxpayers” stated Ms. Griesgraber. “It is disheartening that political brinkmanship has spoiled another opportunity to approve the 2010 IMF reforms.

We stand with former Cabinet members and government officials from both parties, as well as policy experts and civil society, who agree that the US Congress cannot wait any longer to approve the 2010 IMF reforms.”

New Rules for Global Finance is a 501(3)c non-profit organization that promotes reforms in the rules and institutions that govern international finance; in order to support just, inclusive and sustainable economic development.

For more information, please visit www.new-rules.org.

Contact:

Nathan Coplin
ncoplin@new-rules.org
810-348-3165


Nathan CoplinDeputy DirectorNew Rules for Global Finance2000 M St NW Suite 720 Washington DC, 20036Phone: (810) 348-3165Email: ncoplin@new-rules.org Website: www.new-rules.org

Gurgaon Workers News Magazine – March 2014

GurgaonWorkersNews no.62 – March 2014

(Full version: www.gurgaonworkersnews.wordpress.com)

Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young proletarianised middle class people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers up-rooted by the rural crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam. And the rat-race will not stop; on the outskirts of Gurgaon, new industrial zones turn soil into over-capacities. The following newsletter documents some of the developments in and around this miserable boom region. It aims at an exchange of workers’ collectives to forge trajectories beyond state and capital. If you want to know more about working and struggling in Gurgaon, if you want more info about or even contribute to this project, please do so via:

gurgaon_workers_news@yahoo.co.uk

SIR Act hatao, Narmada na neer lavo! (Remove the SIR Act, bring the Narmada waters)

Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
A-302, Sharan Residency-1, Near Lohana Chhatralaya, Vasna, Ahmedabad

26th March 2014

INVITATION

DSIR: SIR Act hatao, Narmada na neer lavo! (Remove the SIR Act, bring the Narmada waters)

The people of 22 villages falling in the Dholera SIR area have been agitating against the SIR for some time now. They have made detailed representations to various administration officers and agencies as to their demands and objections to the present project. For the last 2 months they have undertaken an intense awareness drive in all the 22 villages of the SIR area and made people aware of the SIR Act and the provisions therein, what the SIR Act mandates and what the administration has been telling them and the situation that many farmers, who gave up their lands, are facing today.

They are now planning a massive sammelan in order to show the powers-that-be that they are firm and united in their protest against the SIR. Their demands are:
SIR Act hatao, Narmada na neer lavo!
(Remove the SIR Act, bring the Narmada waters)

Date: Saturday, 29th March 2014
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Venue: Behind Shree Bhavani Hotel, Bhavnagar Highway, Dholera

We request you all to remain present in large numbers in order to show solidarity with the agitating farmers.

Pradhyumansinh Chudasma Rajbha Chudasma Sagar Rabari
9426454698 9925226217 9409307693
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)

35 Tribal women arrested for protesting against hydro project

Action Alert!!!

35 tribal women in Holi village, Chamba arrested for

protest against hydro-project and asserting forests rights

25th March 2014

This evening (25th March 2014), the Chamba Police arrested 35 tribal women of Holi village, Chamba District at the power house site of the GMR promoted 180 MW Bajoli Holi Hydroelectricity Project. The women have been peacefully protesting for the past two years against the construction of the project which has been granted Forest Clearance without the consent of the local Gram Sabhas, in violation of the Forest Rights Act 2006. Holi village is going to be impacted by the project resulting in deforestation, drying up of water sources and forced displacement due to blasting and leakage from the yet to be built tunnel and surge shaft of the project. The move is reflective of the high-handed behaviour of the Chamba District Administration at a time when the election code of conduct is in place. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had granted forest clearance to the project merely on the basis of a certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Chamba stating that there were no forest rights to be settled on the 75 hectare forest land to be diverted for the project. The original survey of the project conducted by the HP State Electricity Board had located the 15 Km long tunnel and power house of the project on the uninhabited right bank of the Ravi River, which the project proponent shifted to the left bank having dense forests and population of 4 Gram Panchayats of the area. The Himachal Pradesh High court had ruled in favour of the project proponent in a petition filed by some locals, in complete disregard of the violation of Forest Rights Act. The decision of the High Court has been challenged by the local petitioners.

We appeal to all concerned individuals/organisations to lend solidarity to the local movement by

a. Calling the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police Chamba at phone numbers pasted below and asking them to release the women immediately and unconditionally.

b. Joining the dharna/demonstration that has been planned at Chamba town (where the women have been lodged) starting morning of the 27th March.

 Phone Numbers to call for demanding release:

Deputy Commissioner, District Chamba: 01899-225380(R), 01899-224847(O), 0941803998

Superintendent of Police Chamba: 01899-222741(R), 01899-222242(O)

For More details contact:

Mangni Ram: 08628871069

Rahul Saxena: 09816025246

Press Release: The Illegality of Biometric aadhaar, NPR and PII

 Press Release

Supreme Court’s order exposes illegality of Biometric aadhaar, NPR and PII

Now opposition parties should promise destruction of database of biometric features created so far

Promoters of Biometric aadhaar and NPR emerged as killers of privacy unlike heroes like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning

March 24, 2014 New Delhi: Hearing the Special Leave to Appeal (Criminal) No(s).2524/2014, which has been linked with the previous case Writ Petition (Civil) 494 of 2012, the Supreme Court bench of Dr. Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar passed an order that exposes the illegality of the unscientific exercise of indiscriminate biometric data collection by Planning Commission’s UIDAI, Home Ministry’s Registrar General of India for Aadhaar number and National Population Register (NPR) and other government and private agencies.

Supreme Court has passed this order asking Government of India to delink all programs from biometric aadhaar. Non-Congress political parties have denounced biometric aadhaar as a case of fraud and a national betrayal. The same holds true for NPR.

Welcoming the order, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) demands that the opposition parties should promise that new government after the Lok Sabha elections will destroy the illegal and illegitimate database of biometric features as has been done in UK and other countries.

 Notably, even as data thieves and brokers are feeding memory of online companies, the dictum “Internet never forgets” faces challenge from legislatures in USA which are grappling with Do Not Track Me Online Act and European General Data Protection Regulation that includes right to be forgotten. The European Parliament passed the regulation on March 12, 2014. In the absence of any regulatory resistance, data mining mafia is on the prowl in India through aadhaar and NPR. The marriage of internet with biometric data consequents in the death of privacy and democratic rights.

Biometric data itself has scientifically been proven to be ‘inherently fallible’ especially because of constant decay of biological material in human body. Global experience demonstrates that the trust in junk science of biometrics is misplaced. The stolen biometric passport of a passenger in the missing Malaysian airliner has exposed its claims for good.

The incident of two of the 239 passengers who were on the Malaysian airliner that disappeared on March 8, 2014 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing having used stolen European passports based on biometric data including electronically stored fingerprints and facial images merits attention. It is this very biometric technology which is the basis of biometric unique identification (UID)/aadhaar number and National Population Register (NPR).

In post-independent India, except for the Emergency period never was privacy under such unprecedented assault.

In the light of these developments there is a compelling need to explore the following questions:

1. What is the technological basis of 12 digit unique identification (UID)/aadhaar number and NPR?

2. What is the basis of the editorial claims like “privacy issues can be take care of once supporting legislation is in place” be considered defensible. Is this what is called putting the cart before the horse?

Is there a biological material in the human body that constitutes biometric data immortal, ageless and permanent? Besides working conditions, humidity, temperature and lighting conditions also impact the quality of biological material used for generating biometric data. Both aadhaar and NPR are based on the unscientific and questionable assumption that there are parts of human body likes fingerprint, iris, voice etc” that does not age, wither and decay with the passage of time.

In a RTI reply dated October 25, 2013, UIDAI shared its contract agreement with Ernst & Young states in a most startling disclosure from the contract agreement is its admission that “biometric systems are not 100 % accurate”. It admits that “uniqueness of the biometrics is still a postulate.” In an admission that pulverizes the very edifice on which UID/aadhaar and the NPR rests, it writes, “The loss in information due to limitations of the capture setup or physical conditions of the body, and due (to) the feature representation, there is a non-zero probability that two finger prints or IRIS prints coming from different individuals can be called a match.”

This is underlined in bold letters in the contract agreement. In simple words, “non-zero probability that two finger prints or IRIS prints” turning out to be a match means that there is a probability that biometric data of two different individuals can be identical.

The contract agreement states, “the Unique ID will be a random 12-digit number with the basis for establishing uniqueness of identity being biometrics”. The agreement further states, “we will provide a Unique Identity to over 113.9 crore people.” This is evidently a fraudulent claim because UIDAI with which the agreement has been signed has mandate to provide Unique Identity to only 60 crore residents of India and not to 113.9 crore people.

A report “Biometrics: The Difference Engine: Dubious security” published by The Economist in its 1 October 2010 issue observed “Biometric identification can even invite violence. A motorist in Germany had a finger chopped off by thieves seeking to steal his exotic car, which used a fingerprint reader instead of a conventional door lock.” This reveals the frightening ramifications of using biometrics as a basis for identification.

Another report “Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities” concluded that the current state of biometrics is ‘inherently fallible’. That is one of the findings of a five-year study was jointly commissioned by the CIA, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

As to privacy, in the contract agreement between the President of India for UIDAI, as purchaser and L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company, and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd accessed through RTI at clause 15.1 it is stated, “By virtue of this Contract, M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd/Team of M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd may have access to personal information of the Purchaser and/or a third party or any resident of India, any other person covered within the ambit of any legislation as may be applicable.” The purchaser is President of India through UIDAI. The clause 15.3 of the agreements reads, “The Data shall be retained by Accenture Services Pvt Ltd not more than a period of 7 years as per Retention Policy of Government of India or any other policy that UIDAI may adopt in future.” This clearly implies that all the biometric data of Indians which has been collected so far is now available to US Government and French Government.

In “Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the surprising failure of Anonymisation”, a 77 page long study by Paul Ohm Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School illustrates how central identity databases facilitate the reverse audit trail of personal information. This paper underlines that the assumption of robust anonymization of electronic identity has been blown up, “casting serious doubt on the power of anonymization, proving its theoretical limits…”

Sam Pitroda’s public information infrastructure (PII) is tagging people, tagging places, tagging programmes etc to connect 2.50 lakh Panchayats all over the country. UID/aadhaar and NPR of Chandramouli are subsets of this program. Ever wondered as to why the votaries of privatization of every imaginable natural resource ‘for public welfare’ have become advocates of centralization of biological information of Indians ‘for public welfare.’ The rationale for the stateization of personal sensitive information of Indian residents and citizens appears dubious.

Not surprisingly, Government’s own Draft Discussion Paper on Privacy Bill stated, “Data privacy and the need to protect personal information is almost never a concern when data is stored in a decentralized manner” unlike UIDAI, NPR and PII.

Human body came under assault as a result of forced vasectomy of thousands of men under the notorious family planning initiative of Sanjay Gandhi. Nilekani and his ilk have acted worse than Sanjay Gandhi in putting Indians’ body under the assault of biometric surveillance.

Earlier it appeared strange as to how the aadhaar cases namely, Writ Petition (Civil) 494 of 2012 W.P(C) NO. 829 of 2013, W.P (C) NO. 932 of 2013, T.C.(C) NO. 152 of 2013, T.C. (C) NO. 151 of 2013, W.P (C) NO. 833 of 2013 and CONMT.PET. (C) NO.144/2014 IN W.P.(C) NO.494/2012 which were listed for hearing on 4th March, 2014 got knocked out from the priority list of hearing, after passing 14 orders and ongoing hearing in the case ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

While whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning have joined the ranks of hall fame as the defenders of privacy as a basic human right, likes of Nandan Nilekani, C Chandramouli and Sam Pitroda have joined the hall of infamy with entities like National Security Agency as killers of privacy. The latter are admittedly in the business of ‘cloudifying’ databases that has the potential to turn governments into puppets at least as far as control over database is concerned.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), Mb: 9818089660, E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com