Why is Meghalaya delaying Aadhaar enrolment when India has accepted it?
The Aadhaar scheme was launched in 2009 to give a universal identity to every resident Indian. It is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number serves as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India.
Direct transfer of LPG subsidy will very soon be made applicable only to those having the 12 digit individual identification number on the Aadhaar card. The Aadhaar card UIDAI number has been linked to the voter ID to eliminate non existent voters. All pensioners must also register their Aadhaar card number to their respective departments in order to receive monthly pension.
While almost all states have successfully embraced the Aadhaar as a means of elevation of the poor since the scheme is meant to facilitate the transfer of subsidies directly to the bank account of the Aadhaar Card holders who are also the BPL category, it is unclear as to why Meghalaya has been lagging behind in Aadhaar enrolment.
A deeper analysis of the situation will lead us to believe that no Aadhaar means no elevation of the poorer sections. Various oppossition groups have been voicing against the implementation of the Aadhaar scheme on the basis of them losing their identity.
Meghalaya stands at the bottom in terms of availing Aadhaar cards.
As per the official record on March 8 last year, the percentage of Aadhaar cards released in Meghalaya is 0.7 percent (total 21,313 persons).
Earlier, KSU held the view that linking the Aadhaar number with NPR will have an impact on the minority communities in the State and further stated that Aadhaar will have an impact on the privacy of a person as well.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli recently informed that Meghalaya has only 3.2 per cent Aadhaar penetration. Despite the fact that the scheme was introduced by the UPA government, Meghalaya, despite being a Congress ruled state had drsatically failed to implement it.
It may also be mentioned that various NGOs and civil society stood against the move on the grounds that mass mobilization on the same was required.
Again, it may be broought to light that Meghalaya People's Committee on Aadhaar (MPCA) had earlier petitioned Chief Minister Mukul Sangma not to make Aadhaar mandatory for citizens of the State and reminded him of the Supreme Court interim order on Aadhaar which did not make the implementation of the system mandatory.
If we compare Meghalaya's ranking with the rest of the Northeast region in terms of Aadhaar card scheme acceptability, the state has the least penetration as seen under:
AADHAAR PENETRATION AS ON MARCH 8, 2015:
Meghalaya: 0.7% (21,313 persons)
Assam: 0.08% (242,655 persons)
Arunachal: 12.2 %( 168,460 persons)
Mizoram: 26.2% (286,146)
Manipur: 41.2% (1,120,649)
Nagaland: 43.2% (856,374)
Tripura: 90.2% (3,317,808).
Sikkim: 92.4% (562,562)
Whatever may be the case, the non implementation of this scheme might not affect the middle class or others, but it is the poor people whose rights are being openly denied based on various grounds which might or might not be legitimate. An NGO or a civil society cannot be taken as a collective voice of the entire mass unless it is the poor and the affected who voice their own interests.