01, Nov 2017
In India, often when one speaks of privacy, people presume that the person has something to hide. In fact, the words ‘privacy’ and ‘secrecy’ are often interchangeable in our society. This may be because traditionally we have been a collectivist society as opposed to the more individualist culture of western nations. This is why often, we don’t understand the concept of boundaries and start suspecting people’s motives when they insist on keeping their doors closed. It was this social conditioning that was exploited by the proponents of Adhaar when activists began to question the need for obtaining and storing people’s biometric and other personal data in a government database.
To help explain the concept of privacy, and more importantly what it means to have one’s privacy violated a few artists and activists have come together to create The Privacy Song. The video that was uploaded to YouTube features Ramon Magsaysay Award winning Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna, folk singer and Dalit rights activist Sheetal Sathe, author and scholar Perumal Murugan as well as rapper and singer Sofia Ashraf. The quartet makes a case for the need for the Right to Privacy. It also challenges the need for Adhaar. It explains in every day terms what a violation of privacy entails and how an assault on privacy actually strips citizens of their dignity.