Street vendors reject proposal of Identification through Biometric Aadhaar number & National Population Register (NPR)
Call for rejection of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Aadhaar, NPR and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
Kolkata/New Delhi: On the concluding day of the 3 day workshop on Impact of Globalization and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) on Hawkers and various sectors, the leaders of street vendors from across the country expressed their strong disapproval of the biometric identification of street vendors through initiatives like Aadhaar/Unique Identification (UID) Number and National Population Register (NPR). Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development has been misled by some NGO owners into expressing support for anti-citizen and ant-vendor biometric identification which has been deemed illegal, unethical and contemptuous of Parliament by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in its report to the Parliament on December 11, 2011.
The participants at the workshop disapproved of NGO owners who support biometric identification through initiatives like Aadhaar/Unique Identification (UID) Number and NPR. The following Public Statement was endorsed and issued in Kolkata on April 5, 2013:
Why all Freedom Loving Citizens should oppose National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), UID/ Aadhaar, National Population Register (NPR) and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)?
1. It is a threat to privacy, civil liberties, federalism, national security, sovereignty, decentralization and constitution
2. It facilitates emergence of a Surveillance State based on Database, Global Information Architecture for Convergence, Property based Democracy to advances corporate fascism by ‘commercial czars’ and ‘private territorial armies’
3. It is fraught with dangers of genocide and communal crisis through tracking and profiling akin to misuse of census data in Germany in 1930s
4. It is guided by undemocratic international financial institutions and defence policies of other nuclear weapon holding countries
5. The collection of biometric data is a violation of fundamental rights as it turns citizens into subjects and treats them worse than prisoners
6. It is anti-poor and anti-citizen as it dismantles existing social service entitlements and is a tool for exclusion
7. It promotes outsourcing of governmental functions
8. There is an imminent danger from surveillance and identification technology companies – which are beyond national and international legal control- indiscriminately collecting biometric data like fingerprints, iris scan, voice print, DNA etc
9. It compromises citizens’ rights of present and future generations
10. It is an unnecessary and wasteful project for citizens as it transfers public money to private parties
11. It is without democratic, parliamentary, legal and constitutional sanction
The 57 signatories of the public statement included Shaktiman Ghosh of National Hawkers Federation, Kolkata, Ravi Shankar Dwivedi, Azad Hawker Street Vendor Union, Allahabad, Kshetri Tama Devi, Manipur, Ramu Bhai, Bokaro, Raj Kumar Shahin, All Punjab Rehri Union, Sunil Ghatale, Amravati, Maharashtra, Dhananjay Kumar, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Shirish, Nagpur, R B Singh Rajpoot, Delhi, Arun Kumar Khuntia, Samblpur, Odisha, Subhash Chand, Palwal, Haryana, Brajbandhu Pradhan, Puri, Odisha, S Babu, Bangalore, Dhanpat Kumar, Bodhgaya, Bihar, R Sevvilam Paridhi, Coimbatore, A D Ameer, Vizag, Alka Senger, Allahabad, Rekha Marik, Marjina Ansari, A Jayamma, Sirisala Venkat Mohan and other leaders of street hawkers and vendors.
They rejected the recommendation “The Aadhar card may be linked towards identification of street vendors” as dehumanizing. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development has failed in its report to fathom the grave genocidal ramifications in its submitted to the Parliament on March 13, 2013.
The report was the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 6, 2012 was referred to this Committee on 10th September, 2012. It failed to recognize the illegality of collection of biometric data.
Gopal Krishna of Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL) addressed the workshop on the ramifications of biometric profiling being pursued by Home Ministry and the Planning Commission. He underlined that it is being undertaken at the behest of World Bank’s eTransform Initiative and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to secure safe havens for commercial czars and private territorial armies through convergence of private sector, public sector and citizens sector. He expressed dismay at the ignorance of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development which does not know the difference between a 12 digit biometric identifier located in Centralized Identity Data Registry (CIDR) and NPR and pre-existing at least 15 identity proofs which give legitimacy to the Parliament and the governments.
For Details: Shaktiman Ghosh, National Hawkers Federation, Kolkata, Mb: 08442803665
Gopal Krishna, Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL), New Delhi Mb: 9818089660
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