Thinking on this after reading this article:
Aadhaar isn't progress — it's dystopian and dangerous - op-ed by
Regarding the debates about the compulsory-making of Aadhar card or
UID system in India, or many other such things,
At a fundamental level, I have seen that its advocates have a deep
distrust in people in general and believe that it takes a firm hand,
meaning doing things against people's free will, to make good things
happen. And for them, making those good things happen is far more
important than respecting people's rights.
They do not seem to like it when we point out to them that the worst
things in history have been carried out by people who thought in the
way they did, or that the wisest people in history were completely on
the other side of this philosophy and would never stand for this were
they alive today.
I also see an inability to think a few moves ahead, to think
mutl-dimensionally or to plan for failures of the system they're
proposing (ie, they are confident the system WILL work as stated and
nothing else can possibly happen). It's ironical that by putting the
achievement of a purpose over and above respecting fundamental rights,
they are doing the exact thing that will guarantee that the particular
purpose they want to achieve WILL NEVER BE ACHIEVED. There is an old
saying : "Those who give up a little liberty for a little more
security end up losing both" : the "both" part hasn't really gotten
through to these folks.
Also I don't see any possibility of them taking responsibility in case
something goes wrong with the solution they want to impose on
everybody else. So it's power without accountability.
And then, and here's where my conservative lens come in: All the
advocates seem to have an urge to fix people's problems, rather than
wanting to leave others alone and be left alone. They believe in a
policy of intervention rather than a policy of non-intervention. And
the reasons are of course all very noble. This of course is the
unexpected twist in my analysis : for this is a trait common to even
people who profess to be on the liberal side.
Let me try to see this all from the perspective of maturity, of what
it takes to be a mature person.
Would a mature person practice disregard for others' rights?
Would a mature person focus on the immediate requirements and
sacrifice long term good for the sake of now?
Would a mature person declare everything that applies to him/her as an
exceptional case and hence say that all of history, all similar cases
in past and at other places, don't apply?
Would a mature person think everybody else apart from him/her has
something wrong with them and needs to be protected against their own
Would a mature person want to interfere in other people's matters?
What you like it if your neighbor was a mature person as indicated by
the questions above, or an immature person?
Now, do I think EVERYBODY out there is like this? Not quite, (Else
what difference would there be?) I really feel that in these matters
of the mind the mainstream media decides which side will be more
dominant. They can easily keep coverage on concerns low and promissory
benefits high and that is all thats needed to make one believe that
the benefits outweigh the harms. Consecutively, I see that those who
keep the mainstream at arms length and are conscious that there is a
narrative and a bias, don't buy into these things so easily. But I
also see that there are a batallion of philosophies, core assumptions
about life that converge to produce an opinion on any matter like the
Aadhar / UID.
And the while those who do hold some things like fundamental rights as
sacred, would get affected by articles like the one linked above at
some point, for the advocates I mentioned, it would have no effect at
all for the reasons mentioned. If they don't give a shit about the
concerns to begin with, then restating them has no effect. Rather, I
think the focus should be on illustrating the next steps (or things
that will happen) they haven't thought about, and in putting across
the 'BOTH' in that proverb. Making the point that the things they are
so desperate to achieve, will never be achieved through the solution
they have adopted.