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Citizen poems to rage against the dying of the light

Updated: Jun 10

1. Maybe They’re Just Braver by Michael Creighton

Maybe it’s all the books they read,

     or maybe they’re just braver;

so often students show the way,

     while we elders dither and waiver.

But when demagogues or dictators,

     send the police or army to crush them,

it’s time for us all to stand and call:

     Hands off our neighbors and children!


2. Citizens of Shame by Soumya M where is home if it isn't where you were born and it isn't where you're torn where is home in that ball of gunfire in those streets of ire is home where the classrooms break you in tears where you can't call a country your own in years do you know the making of your gene can you chaste all of caste take a paper come clean kashmir is done assam is for none bengal - our spoilt fuckin' son . tell me your history and I'll show you a mole this country of the homeless

this burning hell hole


3. New India by Fiza

New India, Where the state dances, To the screams and wails, Of its women, Raped, Men, Beaten, To death, Children, Starving, Hearts yearning, For Azadi We scream, Scream, Scream, Holding onto the pledge, Of the night, That our nation awoke, As the India, Of Ambedkar and Gandhi,

The beast has its claws out, its teeth bared, The struggle is ours now, Against the hurricane of hate, The only house that remains standing, Is one barricaded with love, The real India, Stands still, With its head held high, And a legacy, Of freedom fighters, To learn from.


4. I am Apolitical by Shruti Sunderraman

When you wake up to a sunrise you

have the privilege to see,

you are political.

When you pick up coffee to-go from

glass windows cleaned by another,

you are political.

When you ask for Rs 2 back from

the autowala,

you are political.

When you arrange your desk to

mirror YouTube videos,

you are political.

When you choose denominations

at the ATM,

you are political.

When you ask you daughter

to wear a dupatta,

you are political.

When you “don’t believe in caste”

you are political.

When you tell your sons to

grow up,

you are political.

When you watch someone throw

garbage out the window in silence,

you are political.

When you choose your favourite condom,

you are political.

When you pursue a degree abroad,

you are political.

When you don’t clean your own plates,

you are political.

When you buy bottled water,

you are political.

When you turn off the news,

you are political.

When you are apolitical,

you are political.


5. Okay Sanghi by Roma Joshi

Here I am An educated middle class Hindu living abroad. What is even my plight alas! I know what you expect I'll do: Just look the other way. To the green pastures of my temporary home. To its beaches, the opportunity the picturesque expressways while back home, you take the lives and rights of my brothers and sisters away.

You smirk Sanghi and ask me, Why does it affect me at all? Why so dramatic? Surely if it mattered enough I wouldn’t be so far from home after all. What a hypocrite, an educated middle class Hindu living abroad! Pssst! I could just mind my business, there will be new news next week?

Go ahead Sanghi Call me unconstitutional Call me delusional Call me a snowflake I am numb to names. This is not Maslow's hierarchy at work or a mid-life crisis. This is not a drill -- not for sickular educated middle class Hindu living abroad.

I wish I had the audacity To turn a blind eye. But I can’t. I can’t just get back to work. Enjoy the beer and the privilege. Or look at the Christmas decorations, while all my Apple screens turn a crimson shade of blood and it's beginning to look a lot like fascism

And so I can’t keep calm or civil or everything buried down deep. I can’t afford this so called luxury of being apolitical anymore. And no Ignorance isn't bliss, Ignorance at a time like this is the opposite of democracy.

O Sanghi Imagine how grave your actions have to be that I - a middle class Hindu - am riled up In a different timezone. Taking to the streets alone, I don’t know what to do. I am figuring it out, but I know this: Staying quiet now would mean being on the wrong side of history.


6. A Letter to India by Manjiri Indurkar

Hey, India, What’s up? India, it is me It is me, India, the woman The same woman you were supposed to be But India, let’s not fool ourselves You are not a woman, India You are a man. Your power is masculine And your politics is masculine too, India

India, you have scarred my body You are the boil on my back That doesn’t let me sit That doesn’t let me sleep. India, I am waiting for you to burst India, you are the man who Squeezed my breasts in the holy waters of Narmada India, you are all the men who stripped me Off my innocence. India, you are the man who told me I am marriage material, When I was fourteen, And was cooking for you, India.

India, I spend thousands of rupees Every week, on a therapist All because of what you did to me, India You blinded Insha, you raped Jyoti. You raped and killed Madkam Hidme, India You laughed at Nellie, You mocked Godhara The Sikhs you killed in 1984, dear India Are fighting against you today, in Bombay Yes, Bombay, the colonial name that I will stick to Because you piss me off, India.

India, you are an asshole. Let’s talk about 1992, India. Your sun was patrolling on a chariot Did you think you were Arjun? Or did you think you were Krishna? India, you should know this, Ram was a fictional character And not a very good one. If Ram was a character written today The critics would have torn him to pieces For getting away with misogyny For having no depth. For being so preachy and downright boring

Let’s discuss Kashmir, India We need to have this conversation How thirsty are you, India? How much blood will you be drinking, Before you call it a day? They say on Quora you are breaching The Geneva Convention But you don’t care about technicalities, India I have known that for a while. Majid messaged me the other day, India He said you won’t take back the curfew. His Facebook wall has pictures of Nasir Whose eye you put sand in And pierced it with a needle. I know what you are doing here, India You are blinding a whole generation You are creating Gandhi’s monkeys "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" You are the evil, India.

India, I had a dream last night Justice had been served in my dream And I was watching a movie in the theatres When the boil on my back, finally burst. There was pus all over my shirt, India How typical of you, To be this messy in your decline. You were never a graceful man, India. But I kept watching Because Amitabh Bachchan was fighting you, India And it is the only place he fights you.

India, do you watch the news? The Dalits are refusing to dispose your waste You go and cremate your mother, They are saying, India The Kashmiris are taking walks on curfew’d nights Orissa has kicked your butt once, India And is getting ready to do it again. India, Meghalaya won’t let you mine Uranium Chattisgarh will fight for its forests. Are you listening, my beloved country? There will be no more Vande Matram for you, India And you are not their Bhagya Vidhata either.

You are the creepy, abusive, stalker of Kashmir, India You are Shah Rukh Khan from Darr. You need to let it go, India. You need therapy, and anti-depressants You need rigorous treatment For your manias and your phobias. You need to see a doctor, India I would have put you in touch with mine, But he is gay, India And I know how much you hate them.

India, I need you to know this It is over between you and me You and I are no more a thing, India But I still hope the best for you. Get well soon, India.


7. Untitled by Twinkle Lal

Maybe one day,

Kids will study about our times-

And shake their heads in shock,

Look at us in disbelief

For even giving this goverment a chance. 

But then, we'll put the blame

On Jews, and Hitler and their 

Flawed history that didn't teach us better.


History repeats itself, 

But more importantly, 

It lends itself as a scapegoat.


8. Apocalypse Now by Div Tripathi

Apocalypse Now.

If you don’t see it yet,you probably are blind,

The books are mildewed,the ink is


The thieves never read them,

Who did,are dying,

Today or tomorrow,

It will turn around,

Well,it is time,

What will it take,smiles or death?

For you to open your eyes?

If you could see the red,

You would see the skies,

Wrapped in the smokes,of a nation,crying,

Screaming silently, with its tongue tied.


8. A Walk to the Light by Sameen Borker

I tremble at the thought of being unable to see

the shimmering light at the end of this fog. Of being 

unable to find the place it is hung. I crawl on my knees, 

afraid to straighten my back, crushing flowers under 

my knees as I go. Their stale, sweet fragrance smells 

of a childhood familiar. We used to play in these streets 

years ago, behind the mandir, until the maghrib azaan. 

Remember? We were children playing hide and seek, 

Running around everywhere to catch each other? 

What is beyond that fog? In the distance? Is it a new house,

a forgotten past, the promise of a sanitised future? 

I am tired of crawling on my knees, they are now scraped,

but we are not children anymore. Forgive me my treason

to the political structures laid out for me. My back 

has been aching. I need to stand up and follow the light. 

I know it is there. I have always known it has been there. 


9. protest poem by Rohini K

नींद खो देंगे ,

रिश्ते तोड़ देंगे,

पर राजनीती गिरा के छोड़ेंगे।

संविधान बचाएंगे,

बिरयानी खाएंगे,

पर कागज़ नहीं दिखाएंगे।

तू कैसे समझेगा, तानाशाह,

इंसानियत-नागरिकता क्या है?

तेरा दिल तोह पत्थर काला

तू कायरों का शाह है।

शुक्रिया, जी, शुक्रिया,

तूने एकता हमें सिखा दी,

इस भेद भाव के खेल में

देश प्रेम की असलियत दिखा दी।

छाती पीट-पीट कर चलते रहेंगे,

तुम बस देखते रह जाओगे।


10. Parents and Politics by Aniket Pathak

"I will marry a Muslim", I tell my mom blatantly, each time she engages in casual everyday bigotry.

I respond to her fears of the world 

with a threat directed at her home;

Thinking that the torch of my rational angst will light up the darkness of her prejudiced existence. 

But instead, it ends up burning a thread that held us together. 

Another of the handful that we have left. 

My father keenly posts hateful messages on his Facebook wall;

As if it's a routine post-retirement thing to be  done after a morning stroll. 

He's hooked to the dopamine of the digital karma;

Feeding on the supplies circulated by the IT cells of the sanatana dharma. 

Ofcourse he uses whatsapp facts to tell me where it all went wrong. 

& Then calls me a communist when I persist with fact-checking for too long. 

We stop talking to each other until we start watching cricket,

and then forget everything after a six or a wicket. 

"Please don't bring politics into this house", yells my mom when we are back at it again. 

"We are ordinary people, with ordinary lives!

Let's leave the nation to the one's in power"

 Before I can ask who gave them the power a week goes by. 

And then when it's time for them to leave, the separation anxiety kicks in. 

It delivers regretful punches to the gut,

making me blame myself for ruining their short stay

And for that you Bigoted Jingoist Patriots, I will never forgive you!


11. No CAA. No NRC by Tara Bhatnagar

To a former friend, 

The proud ‘Sanghi’,

We always knew,

We wouldn’t agree,

You enjoyed the divide,

I favoured the free

Your rabid hate,

Now a reality,

But, we’ll learn to exist,

You and me.

(No CAA. No NRC)

To my former friend, 

The closet ‘Sanghi’,

You came as a surprise,

A jolt, actually,

You called me out,

On my stupidity,

I call you out,

On your bigotry,

Can we ever be friends? 

You and me?

(No CAA. No NRC)

To my former friend,

The star of the show,

Whose voice is now missing,

Who succumbed to the blow,

But, it’s never too late,

Dear friend, you know,

You will lose a lot, 

But, you’ll gain so much more! 

We can still be friends,

You and I, for sure.

To all my new friends,

Born out of this fight,

I salute your ability,

To chose what is right.

Please don’t lose hope

And don’t lose your might,

It may all seem dismal,

With no end in sight,

‘We won’t go gently,

Into the night’

This is a call to humanity, 

A call to unite! 


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