Thursday, November 24, 2011


The UID process again reflects establishment's high handedness

It has been almost two decades that we have liberalised our economy, but the control (read: license) raj sentiments are so deep rooted in our veins that even after twenty long years, the same seems visible ubiquitously. In fact, I have never understood as to what aim does the establishment want to achieve by controlling and creating 'artificial scarcity.' Except for making its stakeholders (read: people of India) helplessly vulnerable at all possible spheres and making basic things of livelihood, unnecessarily scarce and artificially significant.

In fact, my mother is from that generation where scarcity was a way of life. So the other day, when I went along with her to get our Unique Identification Number (UID) card made, I was aghast by the way it was handled. One man, manning, the counter with a laptop at his disposal and people in scores waiting for their turns. For my mom, it was fine as she had grown waiting in queues either for a bus, or at the hospital, or at the bank and every other possible service that we can think of. But for me, it was extremely challenging to accept this fact that, in todays world, where the order of the day is door step service, why is it that for something as critical and basic as UID, we could not afford to have multiple counters in one centre manning the throng evenly and efficiently.

While waiting, I also observed that how this man was enjoying his 'moment of glory.' He was the only man, sitting there validating the identity of people like us. And though working diligently, his spurts of tantrums was quite visible. He did take his regular tea breaks, lunch breaks and all other kind of breaks, caring two hoots for those people who have been waiting long hours for their turn. What was even more interesting was the interim 'out of turn' service that he was providing to those people who came with some 'sifarish' (recommendation). It was as if the good old days were back, where a 'babu' had it all.

Firstly, what I failed to understand was why we couldn't have five counters in place of just one? If it was about cost, then looking at the manner in which valuable time for each one was lost on that given day, multiplied by the number of such man hours lost across the nation – the cost is gigantic in itself and having multiple counters would have cost just a fraction of that. Secondly, though the authorized personnel was enjoying his moment of glory, but I could also make out the amount of pressure he was subjected to, from almost everyone who had come over and waiting in the long queue. Had there been multiple counters, things would have been fast and even. Finally and most significantly, how can the establishment be so indifferent towards something as significant as UID? Considering the amount of internal insecurities we face as a nation, this entire process should have been handled in a much more efficient manner. In the given environment, there are high chances of errors and wrong people getting UIDs which would again end up failing the very objective of this entire exercise.

All in all, every citizen of this nation has the right to demand a correct identification for themselves as this is going to be a bedrock for basic existence in the future. And for something as significant as this, no one can mess it up and it is the least that is expected from the establishment if not for the convenience of the people then at least for the sake of the nation.



  1. Sir I agree, but when you are catering to a 1.5 billion population, you have some constraints. It is very easy to comment sitting in the comfort of your plush office.

  2. Hi Sir,

    I absolutely agree with your view and the resort for this. If we could count the number of such experiences in India, then the list would be never ending.

    Can we believe my friend could not go abroad for studies, just because his passport was not delivered on time!!!

    What I feel is when the principal is not right how could one suppose other things at place??

    I mean its more than 50 odd years of independence and We could not give better and appropriate services to our people.And then again oppose Privatization!!! If I want better living standard and a better environment to live in then why its wrong??

    Principal(Govt.) should be capable enough to provide things in a way the people want!! It should satisfy the citizens atleast to a point where they do not look for other countries or for that matter their demographics. I think focus should also be enhancement of the country(as a whole) other then birth control.!!


  3. Agreed. They could have had 5 counters, but you pick out 1 simple observation to base out how the government is not doing the right thing? They are doing a lot of things, for eg: send people specifically to companies so that all the employees there can finish the process. It is not simple to get aadhar's for our population. Basing a whole column on the fact that you had to wait in line is just plain stupid.