‘Privacy matters’ for citizens of Chennai

“Privacy is a limit on the government’s power, and the power of private sector entities. My data is mine to have. My privacy is mine to keep. And, I refuse to be ID’ed,” sang rapper Sofia Ashraf, echoing the thoughts of thousands of Indians, who have been forced into applying for an Aadhaar Card.
‘Privacy matters’ for citizens of Chennai
A still from the music video that was launched; TM Krishna (Inset) also features in it


This is part of a music video, Privacy Matters, which was launched in the city on Sunday. The initiative by Justice Rocks arts project, features TM Krishna, Perumal Murugan, Navayan Maha Jalsa’s Shital Sathe & Sofia Ashraf. Archana Sekar, who produced the video, said that the idea emerged after the Supreme Court verdict on the case of Hadiya (who was formerly Akhila) married Shafin Jahan. 
“Right after the Supreme Court ruling on August 24, which spoke about the right to choice, the right to a life with dignity and that the state has no business to pry into the life of citizens, we wanted to bring it out in a video with multiple languages because the ‘Right to Privacy’ ruling umbrella statement affects our lives in many ways. Even the right to resist something is privacy. 
But that is not being talked about - privacy has been reduced to something behind closed doors. The state did not give me the right to privacy and it does not have the right to take it away, by forcing us to take Aadhaar,” she said, adding that the session on privacy was held to explain its implications to a wider audience. 
Chennai-based citizen groups and public intellectuals said that the Hadiya case, scheduled to be heard on October 30 in the Supreme Court, is an example of how liberties may be confined at the will of the state and in contravention of a person’s fundamental rights. 
Prema Revathi, film maker and activist, said, “Even if the Constitution guarantees, without that provision too, people have a right to privacy, because it is a natural right. It is not something that has been given by the state. In the current political situation, these rights are being encroached upon. The recent judgment reaffirms that these rights cannot be meddled with.”

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