A Journey: How Gandhi Had Opposed the Biometric Project (Transvaal)

Published on: October 2, 2017

Black Act to India’s UID Project: A Must Read for All intellectuals: Mahatma Gandhi had opposed the then time Forcibly Biometric Project initiated by Transvaal Commission & Began 'Satyagrah'


A Journey: How Gandhi Had Opposed the Biometric Project (Transvaal)
 
Mahatma Gandhi had opposed a law similar to UID as a Black Act in South Africa from 1906 to 1914.
 
In August 1906, the Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance was signed into law in the Transvaal. It was humiliating & discriminating law forcing Indians in the Transvaal to register with the ‘registrar of Asiatics,’ submit to physical examinations, provide fingerprints, and carry a registration certificate at all times. Otherwise, Indians & other ‘Asiatics,’ as they were called, could be fined, imprisoned, or deported. It became known as the ‘Black Act’. 
 
 Immediately, the ordinance was translated and published in the Indian Opinion along with articles denouncing it. Within days, mass meetings were organized. Thousands attended and pledged not to cooperate with the Black Act. Leaders in the Chinese community were contacted, including Mr. Leung Quinn, as they too were affected by the Act. It was the beginning of an eight-year-long resistance campaign. 
 
Prominent leaders pledged their support including Abdul Gani, the Chairman of the Transvaal British Indian Association, Yusuf Ismail Mian (The Chairman of the Transvaal Indian Association, later called the Transvaal Indian Congress), & Ahmad Muhammad Cachalia, a wealthy merchant.
 
A delegation of Indians sailed to London to meet with Secretary of State Lord Elgin, who then publicly renounced the Black Act, but privately only advocated for superficial revisions to the Act.
 
When the certificate offices opened on July 1, 1907, resisters picketed outside the office and dissuaded passing Indians from registering. They gathered support for the noncooperation in temples, mosques, and churches. 
 
Initially known as the ‘Passive Resistance Campaign,’ Gandhi coined the term ‘Satyagraha,’ literally ‘truth-force,’ as an alternative name. 
 
Satyagraha developed as a paradigm for waging nonviolent struggle, advocating ‘active resistance to oppression,’ and would profoundly influence the Indian struggle for independence in later decades. 
 
At the closing of registration, only 511 out of the 13,000 Indians in the region had registered. Some who had registered faced shaming by the resisters, with some tearing up their certificates afterward
 
UID Project 
 
The government wants to simply showcase this project as a means to providing social security to the poor so that it is not deemed unpalatable.
 
A very famous Italian historian said that all history is contemporary history. 
 
When the social security number project started in the US, it was also replicated in Germany. 
 
The social security numbers (SSN) were tattooed on US citizens before (first SSNs were issued in 1935) tattoos were used in Germany under the Nazi Party. 
 
The US numbering programme was known as the "social security" programme, or SS programme. 
 
The Unique Identity Number (UID) project in India is being promoted under the e-governance programme. 
 
The German Nazi Party's tattoo programme was operated by the social security (SS) division, which had learnt it from US. 
 
In fact, the infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as a number provided by IBM (International Business machines), multinational computer company & funded by Rothschild (Banking Family Member & Founder of East India Cos.) supply machines to the Nazis which produce punch cards to help organize and manage the initial identification and social expulsion of Jews, the confiscation of their property and their extermination.
 
IBM now claims that it had no control over its subsidiaries in Germany after the Nazis took control of them. 
 
What if a similar situation emerged in India, which is not unlikely after UID database is ready? The UID project is going to do almost exactly the same thing, which the predecessors of Hitler did, else how is it that Germany always had the lists of Jewish names even prior to the arrival of the Nazis? 
 
The Nazis got these lists with the help of IBM, which was in the 'census' business that included racial census that entailed not only count the Jews but also identifying them.
 
At the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, there is an exhibit of an IBM Hollerith D-11 card-sorting machine that was responsible for organising the census of 1933 that first identified the Jews. 
 
The government of the day cannot guarantee that in future, when the Nazis or some such sort come to power in India, they would not have access to UID database for vindictive measures against certain sections of the citizenry. 
 
 This is evidently the journey of 'identification' efforts from January 1933 to January 2009, when the UID Authority was announced. 
 
The UID and National Population Register is all set to do what IBM did in Germany, Romania and in Europe and elsewhere through 'solutions' ranging from the census to providing list of names of Jews to Nazis.
 
This UID Number project seems to be oblivious of the history of numbering human beings. Numbering human beings is like dehumanising them. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi had opposed a law similar to UID as a Black Act in South Africa from 1906 to 1914.
 
He said, "...I have never known legislation of this nature being directed against free men in any part of the world. I know that indentured Indians in Natal are subject to a drastic system of passes, but these poor fellows can hardly be classed as free men" and "...giving of finger prints, required by the Ordinance, was quite a novelty in South Africa.

Source: Wikipedia
 
Here is the Copy of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Certificate:


 (Then Time Aadhaar Letter)