Aadhaar card status vis a vis linking a number of crucial services on one platform has turned into a constant headache for most people, especially as everyone keeps getting numerous messages as reminders. Now, even as the Central Government on Wednesday extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar card number with bank accounts and PAN, on the same day, some activists started a citizen-friendly website, called Speakforme.in over against Aadhaar card status and linkages. With the help of this website, people who feel annoyed by the repetitive text messages and calls that they receive during the day from various agencies asking them to link Aadhaar card with various services, can find relief. Using this website, people can reach out to the concerned MPs, mobile operators, banks along with other government service providers and file complaints about the repetitive annoyance that is being caused to them.
Founders of Speakforme.in said that they received over 1,000 emails within 3 hours of the website going live, as quoted by Times of India. Reports state that out of the total emails that were received with the first 3 hours, at least 780 were addressed to the MPs. The website has been formed by a group of people that includes about 90 volunteers, who in the past had been a part of the campaign for net neutrality two years back. Kiran Jonnalagadda, a Bengaluru-based IT professional is the chief among them. ToI quoted him as saying that they want Parliament to discuss this. “Everyone has been receiving harassing SMSes and calls to link their Aadhaar to mobile phones and bank accounts. This is coercion. The technology behind Aadhaar is broken in various ways. Coercion will make it worse. It has to be fixed before it is forced on people,” he said.
Founder of Medianama.com, Nikhil Pahwa is also a part of the Speakforme.in team. While talking about issue of linking Aadhaar to all the major services that are running in the country, Pahwa said that if all your services are linked to it, then Aadhaar becomes a kill switch. He added, “You can be disconnected by the government for no reason. There is also the issue of mass surveillance, when Aadhaar is used along with NATGRID, which is a surveillance system the government is setting up.”
Through the Speakforme.in forum, while writing say to an MP, a person can select his or her state and constituency from a drop-down menu. The webiste will pull out the relevant MP’s email address, using publicly available information about the MPs online. The user can then send a template email demanding that Aadhaar be made non-mandatory. The letter can be edited and customised before sending as well.