These are days when our citizenry, if not perpetually in a state of elections of some kind, is forever registering itself somewhere or the other. The Man from Madras Musings shudders each time he receives an email or letter asking him to furnish details as per sub section number such and such of clause number so and so of rule number this that and sundry which as we all know was made mandatory due to Act of Parliament. Of course, Act of Parliament by itself is quite an oxymoron in our country. But be that as it may, MMM as he said earlier, is filled with a nameless dread each time something of this kind is needed.

But his travails are nothing compared to what some others are going through. One such is of a dear friend who despite being well stricken in years is young at heart and whose company is a delight. This person went to get his Aadhar (or is it Adhaar?) card registration. All went well till the point where he had to get his fingerprints recorded and lo, and behold, there were none. Apparently you get that way at a certain age. Several tries later, the man behind the computer informed MMM’s friend that there was nothing that could be done, but there were workarounds for such problems of which he would be intimated later. And that was that.

MMM’s pal was surprised to find an Aadhar (or is it Adhaar) card delivered at his doorstep a couple of weeks later. On opening it he found his name there with all other details correct, except for the photograph which was of someone else altogether. He rushed off to the local registry to register concern, horror and whatever other emotion and apply for correction. The officials there went into a huddle and then came up with what would appear to be the correct explanation, which was as follows.

Once MMM’s friend had been turned away because his fingerprints were not readable, the next man to register had turned up. The clerk behind the computer had not bothered deleting the earlier record and had simply uploaded the new man’s photo and fingerprints on to the same. Thus it was that MMM’s friend acquired an Adhaar/Aadhar doppelganger. Last heard, the matter was being sorted out though what that means is not clear to anyone.

All of this of course is nothing compared to what MMM’s chauffeur went through. This was at the Public Provident Fund office where he has an account and on applying for a loan found his father’s name had changed quite inexplicably in the records. He applied for a correction and was asked to come on a particular day and when he duly arrived was asked in a loud voice by the counter clerk if he would like to revert to his old father’s name or make a change in the record to the new father’s name. And if that was not embarrassing enough, was asked to write down the reason for his wanting to make a change of father. MMM’s chauffeur has not yet emerged from this conundrum and if and when he does, MMM will make sure to update all of you readers.

You may want to read this too – Aadhaar Ordeals