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Too much dissent on Aadhaar

It’s all that’s real — everything else is an illusion

October 14, 2018 12:02 am | Updated 02:02 pm IST

It really amazes me how some people will never admit that they were wrong. Take, for instance, this whole anti-Aadhaar-wine-and-cheese-loving-paid-urban-Naxal-pro-JNU gang. The Supreme Court has definitively settled the matter in favour of Aadhaar by a thumping majority of 4:1. And yet, these incorrigible, Fabindia-wearing pseudo-jholawalas ignore the four in favour and keep going on and on about the lone dissenting judgment, as if dissent is everything!

Obsessed with Raphael

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me there is too much dissent going on in the country these days, and not only in the judiciary. If it is the farmers who are dissenting one day, it is Dalits the next. If both Dalits and farmers decide to suffer silently, then some anti-nationals start blathering about the painter Raphael, and how the government has struck a corrupt deal to buy his paintings at an inflated price and hang them forcibly at Army headquarters. When these Raphael-obsessed entities pipe down a bit, the Aadhaar-haters pipe up again. The merry-go-round of dissent never ends. To top it all, these ungrateful dissenters, having dissented to their heart’s content, have the audacity to accuse the government of throttling dissent. Seriously, do they think dissent grows on trees? If yes, then they should tell us what that tree is called.

This is what I don’t understand: you are a free citizen, the Constitution of India has given you more rights than you ever asked for, and yet you want to go on abusing democracy by continuously dissenting? I have a suggestion for you: next time you feel like dissenting, why don’t you do 56 push-ups on national television with a demented news anchor of your choice? But I suspect most Indians are too busy enjoying diabetes and blood pressure to even try this.

So in the larger interests of the greater common good of the vast majority who are madly in love with Aadhaar, I shall set down, very briefly, the final word on Aadhaar so that people will stop writing malicious propaganda against it and start using their fingers for the purpose intended for them by god: biometric authentication.

Seriously, why would god give unique fingerprints to every single one of the seven billion humans on the planet if he didn’t want them all to have an Aadhaar card? If you don’t believe in god, no problem. The justification for Aadhaar is even stronger in your case: the evolutionary logic of survival of the fittest. As Darwin has demonstrated, about 600,000 years ago, there were two species of early humans who were fighting for biometric dominance: Homo aadharicus, which had fingerprints, and Homo antinationalicus, which had no fingerprints.

The noble fight

Homo aadharicus used its fingerprints to defeat Homo antinationalicus and subsequently became Homo sapiens. As Darwin observed in his famous letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, “Finger prints evolved over millennia so that each member of a species can have a unique identity via an Aadhaar number, without which no one deserves to get pension, ration card, or admission in Jio Institute.”

Also, a critical aspect of Aadhaar that is not widely known is its deep roots in ancient Indian philosophy. Our sanskari ancestors had established in 40,000 BCE itself that human beings are not real. All that you consider unique about yourself, including your personality, base metabolic rate, and the mole above your left eye brow, is nothing but your ego running amok. And the ego, as Lord Krishna told Arjuna before he started fighting, is nothing but a manifestation of ‘maya’ (no relation to the Maya you had a crush on in Class X).

The human body is to the soul what the Aadhaar card is to the Aadhaar number: just physical matter composed of atoms and molecules. There is nothing unique about any given biological agglomeration of molecules, except for the fingerprints. Therefore, the only way to provide a unique identity to every human body, and the identity-less soul entrapped within it, is by assigning it an Aadhaar number.

Further, for a democracy to function efficiently, it is imperative to maintain dissent at an optimum level. Because of its power to do 360-degree surveillance, Aadhaar is the only tool in the world today that can calibrate dissent by switching people on or off the survival grid, depending on what the government can tolerate at any given point in time.

At the individual level, by helping each one of us discard our attachments to worldly things like human rights, privacy, and bank accounts — all of which are nothing but the alluring dance of maya — Aadhaar would keep us on the straight and narrow path toward enlightenment. The sooner we all attain enlightenment, the better for the economy, for we could all of us then lie back and relax in samadhi while super-smart algorithms run our life for us. This is the simple and noble goal that Aadhaar is intended to achieve. Once everyone sees this clearly, there will be no dissenting opinion on Aadhaar.

G. Sampath is Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

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