MSM Fake News Monitor: Express on Aadhaar

Fake News, Indian Express, PAN Card, Aadhaar Act, MGNREGA, Ravi Shankar Prasad
Aadhaar Card has been a game-changer for India

If you believe that under the preceding UPA government:

(a) lakhs of crores spent on subsidies and MGNREGA wages for the poor in this country were siphoned off;

(b) tens of thousands of fake PAN cards were in circulation;

(c) these fake identities helped the monster of drug-trafficking and terrorism;

(d) that Aadhaar’s non-implementation during UPA’s rule of 2009-2014—itself best known for scams—could have aided it;

Then the Fake News of the Indian Express on Thursday, “Aadhaar officials part of private firms that use Aadhar services for profit” is just for you.

Indian Express cites the example of three persons who were earlier part of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and now are with Khosla Labs who are offering Aadhaar-related services to clients such as Hero Motors, Samsung, Ola, Hinduja Leyland Finance among others.

The premise of this 1000-word Front Page diarrhea--which incidentally has more words than those spoken by the Prime Minister of this country on Indian economy—isn’t clear. But by inference it’s seen as a “clash of interest” and that these three gentlemen, by virtue of their position, could have influenced the decision-making of UIDAI in their favour.

(i) Now, how could there be a “clash of interest” if these persons have either left or are on a sabbatical from UIDAI till 2018?

(ii) How could these gentlemen influence the UIDAI decision when the Information and Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already stated that the section 19(5) of the Aadhaar Act 2016 reads: “If any member, who is a director of a company and who as such director, has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any manner coming up for consideration at a meeting of the authority, he shall, as soon as possible after relevant circumstances have come to his knowledge, disclose the nature of his interest at such meeting and such disclosure shall be recorded in the proceedings of the authority, and the member shall not take part in any deliberation or decision of the authority with respect to the matter.”

The clarification by one of these three gentlemen to Indian Express that the Khosla Labs “went through the due process of applying for a licence with the UIDAI like all applicants” still didn’t deter the newspaper from going ahead with the Fake News.

The linking of Aadhaar with PAN cards and with banks and Income Tax returns etc. has hugely upset the corrupt ecosystem of the past which thrived on sucking the country hollow of all its vitality. Now endangered because Modi’s government thrust on transparency, these louts are making a last-gasp stand to keep the gravy train rolling.  The presstitutes are a willing ally for reasons which get you no prize from me for guessing.

(Facebook has set out 10 tools to check Fake News. A few give-aways are headlines, source, evidence and photos. Indian Express on Thursday’s edition has been found out in peddling a Fake News).

More by Ashish Shukla