Oil marketing companies are a law unto themselves (“Compulsion by stealth”, Feb. 3) and this is visible in the way gas agencies pressured consumers of LPG to acquire Aadhaar numbers. It is a mystery as to why, when it drags its feet on effecting most policy reforms the government is exhibiting such a hurry, in this case to enforce the implementation of the Aadhaar scheme before March this year — more so when the jury is still out on the matter. It is time the OMCs are reined in. A tool that was, in theory, meant to improve the lot of the consumer, is being misused by stealth. Reforms, in the Centre’s parlance, seem to imply adding to the woes of the common man.
It is symptomatic of a neoliberal state that words like ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ are used to benefit those in power rather than the aam aadmi. The government’s silence in the face of the consistent criticism of the biometric system in itself substantiates the accusations and objections raised against it. Biometric tagging is humiliating, if nothing else, and seems to treat the citizen as a potential criminal. Firoz Ahmad,
Will most Indians, settled in the rural areas, who do not possess a bank account, be denied subsidised LPG cylinders? The attempt to push this misbegotten scheme through in a hurry is foolhardy. The demand for mass-scale personal data like fingerprints is against the right to privacy. Section 43A of the IT Act necessitates the implementation of reasonable security practices with regard to collection of sensitive data.