Mass Aadhaar Card Cancellation in WB

Condemning the widespread cancellation of Aadhaar cards in West Bengal, a fact-finding team of CPIML noted that the pattern reflects a political conspiracy by the Modi government to ostracise poor from the availing basic services and participating in the democratic process.

The fact-finding delegation, which visited Krishnaganj area of Nadia district on February 20 to investigate the reports of Aadhaar Card deactivations, stated that these revocations are not merely a procedural matter, but an issue which will have perilous impact on the people.

The delegation said that in this region, around 700 people's Aadhaar cards have been deactivated by the UIDAI office. Those whose cards were cancelled are mostly from marginalised Namoshudra (SC) communities, and most of them are unorganised labourers or agricultural workers. Due to the deactivation, the victims couldn't perform banking transactions, and issues like financial problems, helplessness, and fear have taken grip among the people.

In the past 10 years of Modi regime, availing basic services has been linked to the requirement of functional Aadhaar. Furthermore, the Election Commission, despite severe opposition, has added Aadhaar seeding for Voter ID cards. In this backdrop, there will be a perilous impact on the poor and their lives and livelihoods with revocation of Aadhaar cards. The delegation noted that the country has seen the dangerous impact of mandatory Aadhaar was seen when Eleven-year-old Santoshi Kumari of Jharkhand died of starvation in 2017 because her family’s ration card was not linked to their Aadhaar.

The CPIML delegation included Nadia district committee member Jiban Kabiraj, Ranajoy Sengupta from RYA and Kalyan Mukherjee. The cancellation of Aadhaar cards had led to the suspension of all benefits of government welfare schemes for those who were affected. They couldn't withdraw money from banks, faced ration card suspension, and even students who registered for exams found their registrations cancelled. This has created an atmosphere of fear and anxiety in the entire area.

The team also found that BJP leaders were conducting meetings in villages spewing communal agenda and claiming that the deactivation was to target and drive out the Muslims from the country. The majority of Aadhaar cards cancelled in the region belonged to non-Muslim marginalised communities. With the BJP government notifying the divisive and discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Rules on the eve of Lok Sabha Elections, clearly the Aadhaar cancellations is a major political conspiracy not only against the Muslim population but against the entire poor and working class.