With the government making the Aadhaar-PAN linkage mandatory, many people now find themselves in a position where the government has them by their money. Either forfeit the tax deducted at source or get an Aadhaar. Welcome, you prosperous people, to what those climbing trees to get their right to food have been going through for a while now. Give up your biometrics, or give up your hard earned money. Maybe you don’t need to do either.
I was forced to get an Aadhaar when my father died because it got too much to handle all the places needing a change of name and wanting an Aadhaar. With disabled kid and mom, I didn’t have the resources to get into protracted wars and I caved. I still regret it. But maybe some preventative measures could prevent you from sharing my fate.
Now I find various like minded people who have determinedly refused to get an Aadhaar made being forced to choose between their money and their security by a government hell bent on forcing security risks on citizens.
I don’t know if this will work. But it is worth a shot. Even if it doesn’t work fully, whichever parts of it work will bring some measure of privacy, if you are in a position to not be able to give up large sums of money due to you and find yourself forced to get an Aadhaar made. And frankly, why should any blackmailer make a monetary profit from their blackmail?
Step 0: Get an Aadhaar with as little non-disposable information as possible
Don’t fill in any information that is not mandatory. Use a rented address rather than your permanent one. Or someone else’s address – if homeless people can get Aadhaar, surely you can find a place, not yours to call home temporarily. Buy a separate SIM for Aadhaar use. Don’t use your real number for it. I’d probably be doing all I could to make sure my fingerprints too appeared different, but I have no practical ideas on how to achieve it. Maybe use sandpaper. Or work on a construction site before going to make an Aadhaar? God knows enough poor labourers have been denied food because of such damage to fingerprints creating a mismatch.
Update: Some people said you can no longer get a SIM without Aadhaar. In this case, get the Aadhaar with your normal SIM and after you get Aadhaar, get a new SIM and update your Aadhaar to use that SIM.
Step 1: Get a bank account using the Aadhaar
Apparently, you don’t get a tax refund unless your Aadhaar is linked to your PAN as well as a bank account (you end up providing bank account while filing anyway). So use a disposable bank account for that. Withdraw your refunds from ATMs. Don’t transfer to your real accounts. Don’t link your other accounts with Aadhaar.
Step 2: Use your Aadhaar wala phone with this bank account
Don’t use this SIM for anything other than the bank and Aadhaar.
Step 3: Link this Aadhaar with your PAN
File taxes online as normal, give your Aadhaar number to the spy state and “prove” that your PAN is real. Get a refund into your bogus real account.
Step 4: Keep this toxic circus safe from your real life
Withdraw your refunds from ATMs. Don’t transfer to your real accounts. Leave the phone with the SIM at home and don’t take it around with you. Better still, someone else’s home. Keep your physical Aadhaar card in a locker and forget about it. Do not photocopy, do not submit anywhere.
When Aadhaar inevitably fails, throw that SIM away, close the damn bank account and console all the scammed people.
To worshippers of Aadhaar who will outrage at this subversion – note, none of this is illegal
You can do what you wish with your own body, including work hard on a construction site and wreck your fingerprints. Buying SIM cards is legal, creating bank accounts is legal, renting homes is legal. The government wants to “authenticate” that people filing taxes are “real” people and are pretending entire bank statements don’t prove it. Well, unless the government intends to use the information to spy on people, this stripped version of compliance that protects our data to at least some extent, shouldn’t be a problem for them.
So go fuck yourself.