[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]That hypocrisy is second nature to politicians is a truism. The case of P. Chidambaram, however, is infinitely worse: he is hypocrisy personified. His new-found doubts about Aadhaar are a testimony to the senior Congress leader’s duplicity and doublespeak.
The issue of privacy is being raised by the politician who allegedly snooped on his own Cabinet colleague, Pranab Mukherjee!
In an article in The Indian Express (April 23), he wrote, “Implementing an idea as far reaching as Aadhaar requires careful design, pilot projects, testing and validation, and robust security features. Absent these limiting factors, yet implementing Aadhaar on a mandatory basis, will give the government the instrument and the power to build a mass surveillance system and take one step toward an Orwellian State.”
Such homilies and pieties from the man who was a most important minister of the government, the UPA government, that introduced the idea of Aadhaar in the first place! The issue of privacy is being raised by the politician who allegedly snooped on his own Cabinet colleague, Pranab Mukherjee! The guy whose government compromised national defence is talking about the robust security features of Aadhaar! The home minister of a government that gave us the notorious Section 66A is scaring us with the horrors of Orwellian State! Seldom was hypocrisy so transparently brazen.
This is not to say that the concerns about Aadhaar are not genuine. In a country where official agencies regularly tap phones—and sometimes the long conversations are leaked to the media with impunity as happened in the case of Niira Radia tapes while Chidambaram was minister—privacy is indeed a big issue.
But the point is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi finds Aadhaar useful. In fact, he seems to have got his mojo in it; he is determined to base the welfare measures of his government on Aadhaar.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]ibertarians like me were enthused by the small government posture adopted by him before 2014—Maximum Governance, Minimum Government; the business of government is not business; and so on. Prime Minister Modi, however, was entirely different from candidate Modi; instead of effecting a paradigm shift in statecraft and dumping Nehruvian socialism, he embraced the Congress’ legacy, wrapped it in a saffron covering, and sold it with pomp and circumstance.
Its vehicle, Aadhaar, is little better. But this is how it is; we, the people of India, are condemned to suffer such perversities.
What has stood him in good stead is the efficiency that he brought to the old welfare schemes. Further, he has ensured that there is no corruption. An illustration: crores of gas cylinder connections have been given, and there is no sharp practice reported so far. Modi is not just a saffron Nehru but also an efficient Nehru.
Efficient welfarism has yielded good political dividends, as evident from Modi’s victories in UP, Uttarakhand, and other states. He will stick to welfarism and its prerequisite mechanism, Aadhaar.
Welfarism is a perverse doctrine; it makes serfs out of free citizens who perennially look askance at their almighty lord, government. Its vehicle, Aadhaar, is little better. But this is how it is; we, the people of India, are condemned to suffer such perversities. And it is for this reason Chidambaram’s fulminations sound so revolting: his party birthed the abominations like welfarism and Aadhaar; while somebody else is feeding the abominations, he is screaming against the perversity of what is his own party’s agenda. What is even worse is that his party will thrust the same abomination on the country if it ever comes to power.
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2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.