Local Governance

I have been traversing rural Surguja on motorcycle with Vipul Paikra, a tribal rights activist. We've been riding deep into the forest to speak with people who are not receiving their entitlements because of Aadhaar. Their stories have complicated my thinking and challenged my convictions.

In 2009, New Delhi embarked on a wildly ambitious project: provide every with a digital ID. Crazier still, they did so when only 10% of the country was connected to the internet. The solution at the time was so elegant, almost providential. Link the ID to something everybody already has: themselves.

For decades, sanctuary cities have existed for those two reasons: public safety and public trust. For those same reasons, they’ve been remarkably uncontroversial until only recently.