The Hindu Business Line reviews Shankkar Aiyar's Aadhaar: A Biometric History of India's 12-Digit Revolution. Excerpts:
"When it was conceived, Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number, was intended as a simple instrument of financial inclusion, directed primarily at the socially and economically disadvantaged communities, the better to target subsidies at them. Yet, for all its noble intention, the Aadhaar project was buffeted by political and bureaucratic headwinds. In a country where politicians have profited from playing identity politics, reckons Aiyar, a validator of identities — which is what Aadhaar claimed to be — became the object of intense suspicion and political-bureaucratic turf battles. It needed all of Nilekani’s personal goodwill, and the political cover that then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee provided, to overcome the odds."
Read the whole article here.