Aadhaar was originally pitched as a way to eliminate identity fraud in the delivery of public benefits. Today, its application far exceeds that purpose. Nandan Nilekani, the technology billionaire who was the prime mover behind Aadhaar, has said that “data has become the new oil,” and that “if we canrestructure data to benefit every individual and every business, then we can lead to enormous amount of activity and economic growth.” He has also said, “In the West, the identity business was privatised. That’s a much more unsafe model than when a government issues an ID.” But while Aadhaar is presented as a way to mobilise Indians’ data for the public good, the lines between those who run Aadhaar and those who profit from it are blurry.
Also in this issue:
Praveen Donthi on how the dilution of the SC/ST Act is reigniting Dalit anger against the BJP and RSS; Nilakantan RS on the deepening fault lines between southern states and the Indian union; Kamayani Sharma on October’s experiments with the Bollywood romance genre; Sanam Meher on what Qandeel Baloch left behind; Ross Adkin on how Brexit negotiations are raising uncomfortable questions in Northern Ireland; Senthil Kumaran on the conflict between humans and tigers in India.
The country's first and only publication devoted to narrative journalism, The Caravan occupies a singular position among Indian magazines. It is a new kind of magazine for a new kind of reader, one who demands both style and substance.
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