"I am a living proof of not having Aadhaar," Sudeep J Salim, a journalist, wrote on his Facebook page. "There are 100s in Kerala who have not taken the card so how did such news find its place in the front pages of a newspaper if it was not put out to help the Aadhaar lobby. "
Thiruvallam Bhasi wrote that he is not part of the 'baseless' claims, but he is an Indian citizen. Another scribe invoking the recent Times Now report that called Kerala 'thundery Pakistan' says: "Read it carefully. Isn't it Kerala? We all live in Pakistan, right?" This list goes on.
The source of the netizens' ire is a recent report in a leading Malayalam daily that claims that Kerala has attained 100 percent Aadhaar saturation. While some netizens have come out openly to declare that they have not registered for Aadhaar card, others have demanded an apology from the daily for what they believe is unfounded figures.
So, what is the truth? Are these figures from a government agency justifiable?
The figures that have cast doubt on the implementation of Aadhaar come after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) released the figures. In the report carried by Malayala Manorama, Kerala is amongst the states that have achieved 100 percent Aadhaar saturation. What this means is that the entire population has got their Aadhaar cards and will be expected to link the unique identification 12-digit number to their PAN cards when filing their tax returns.
The figures indicate that Kerala has assigned 35,288,511 Aadhaar cards in a projected population of 35,315,493. Elsewhere, Delhi topped the list with 'Aadhaar assigned' to 21,113,102 people in a projected population of 17,720,573.
Aadhaar is a biometric identifier scheme put in place by the Central government, but has been mired in controversy. Many have been left wondering whether Aadhaar is compulsory or if its linkage to banking and other services will leave one's account and privacy details vulnerable to misuse.
While the government has not addressed concerns over security and privacy issues, the Narendra Modi government is adamant on making the Aadhaar card mandatory for filing income tax returns as well as applying for a PAN card. The matter is still pending in the Supreme Court. Aadhaar card at present is being used to authenticate loans, pensions and money transfers across the country. If the trend continues, the unique 12-digit number in your Aadhaar card could soon become a 'one point source' for all government related tasks.