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This article is dedicated to all of us, who have Grown up in India and have so many I.D proofs that they might over run their age (Disclaimer : not to be taken literally if you are 50+).
When I was 16, I wanted a driving license. Don’t get me wrong…I am still a law-abiding citizen of country and had no plans of buying a gun or running my car over a pedestrian, salman khan style J It was this itch about growing up fast, which was responsible for me aspiring to have a D.L before I turn 18.
For all of you wondering if this is possible. I don’t know if it is possible now but it was possible when I was 16 and this was 90s I am talking about. The era of bad movies and good music.
Nevertheless, by the time I was 18 I had two driving licenses and gave the old one to one of the xenophobic traffic cop in Bangalore, who was busy cutting a challan of every hindi speaking bike rider he could find on the road :). He probably would have framed it and put it on his wall to cherish the thought a Driving License wrongly made by his corrupt colleagues up North.
Now since I was left with a genuine I.D card, a driving license and I was 18+, I could claim legally of being an adult citizen of this country, who can use his I.D anywhere to enter bars, ride a bike, etc, etc. A thought which gave my parents nightmares J till the time I passed out of college.
Anyways, my joy was short-lived. In next few years I was loaded with more I.Ds like voters id, rashan card, passport, this card, that card, yeh card, woh card, blah-2 and the worst part about all these cards was the non-resemblance of one of these cards to the other card. i.e, mistakes, which would lead to identity crisis.
For ex, spellings of all the main star cast (you) and supporting cast (dad/mom, then and wife, kid, dog, etc, etc now) would vary from card to card, depending on where they have been made and how accustomed the officers of the place are with “your type” of name. This would lead to “I.D-entity” crisis, a term I coined before writing this blog (I should get it patented before someone else does J )
For guys like me, whose name has taken the brunt of heavily region based accents all across the globe, it’s not easy. I am Jashmeet in Uttarakhand, my native state. Jasmeeth down south, where I did my graduation. Jas-meet with my yank clients, who are glad to meet Jas J , etc.
The problem started when they started doing experiment with the name of star cast in my Ids. My Driving License has Jasmit as my spelling, PAN card has Jashmeet and god knows what I had to go through to get my father’s spelling rectified in my passport. (An affidavit with a newspaper declaration and multiple visits to passport office).
In India, the real issue is not about the number of I.D cards you have. It is more complex than just number of cards, it’s about permutations and combinations of cards for getting a work done. The Sarkar has been very creative to make sure nothing gets done with one card. Let me append to my appraisal of our Sarkar (government). They have not been creative, they have been smart, creative and innovative. How can you fool them? The only persons who are allowed to fool them are terrorists and thieves J we are not even the radar for them. So why this kolaveri id with us for ID cards?
Story behind the complex I.D structure is interesting. One fine day, a government officer in between sipping his endless quota of Tea decided to do something “out of the box” and get a promotion. He reaches to his Minister and tells him “Sir, we have an opportunity of making our country more secure and fool proof” and we will do this by ensuring our Mango Men (Aam Aadmi not Aam Aadmi party ;). If it was them, they would have taken a dharna by now on this issue. I am so glad they are not a part of this blog ) cannot get anything done with one I.D card and this is where guys like me got paper raped J, as they did not give us the luxury of giving spell checker or double checking everything before submitting to government.
Today, many of my bank accounts and insurance policies have me as Jashmeet (my uttarakhandi name), I write my name Jasmeet and my driving license has it as Jasmit
Am I heading for “I.D-entity” crisis?
Story of me and every Indian’s life.
Wait-2 I am not over with this story. Before you all give up hope and start criticizing our government, they came up with a solution, which is India’s answer to SSN (Social Security Number). Yes, you heard it right…Yanks!!! Take this. We can match you now with ideas and this time we don’t even have to ape you.
“Aadhar” is what this mother of all I.D cards is called as. Ding-Dong. You heard it right. This is the same I.D card which is a way out of our miseries and the brain behind this concept is none other than Nandan Nilekani, one of the guys who gave us Infosys.
The next time when your friend says “Mere paas passport hai, voter id hai, DL hai, Pan hai”. Snap at him “Mere paas Adhaar hai”. End of story If only adhaar was accepted everywhere and would be apolitical, something which barely is related to any scheme taken out by our government.
Adhaar has already been declared a failure by many misters of UPA. Food and Supplies department decided to go ahead with their ID system for PDS scheme. Thereby, ignoring adhaar on its face and what did it led to? Loss of some hundred-thousand crores for our government, on account of same work being done twice.
I am at end of my blog and it has me thinking (imagine thinking )
How the hell do I get to connect everything with Loss of tax payer’s money, corruption, etc. Probably, my writing skills have become so anti-corrupt ionized, I cannot think of anything else to end a blog with and probably living with a hope of a corruption free country makes me write it the same way.
Cheers to us, the Multiple I.D Indians with a hope to see a future with no I.D-entity crisis J