The Ideal Citizen

A parody poem on India’s average “bhakt”

The Ideal Citizen

I keep my mouth shut
And I don’t go for naarebaazi.
I endorse my government,
Even though what they’re running,
Is definitely not a democracy.

I religiously forward,
Every single whatsapp text,
wholly innocent.
Although at times,
I must confess,
Even I doubt If they’re legitimate?

I always stand up
For the national anthem
Before movies,
Although the last time
I had a foot sprain,
I knew all too well
That not standing up
Would cause me
A whole lot more of pain.

I nod my head at pacing rhythm
To everything they tell me,
And I keep oh-so hushed
About the alarming rapes
The crimes
The minority genocides,
That the media don’t see.

I relearn my history,
Without acknowledging
The mughals in hindustan.
What? the country’s doing just fine,
If you don’t like it, go to pakistan!

But I’m afraid geography
Is one of my weaker domains,
Although what am I to do
When the government keeps
Changing the cities’ names?

I despise secularism
And find liberals poisonous.
I think feminism is unnecessary
Although I do worry about my own safety.
I mindlessly believe and repeat
Whatever the old men on TV tell me.
Oh no sir! I don’t have any issues with the economy!

And I often confuse Gunda gardi
With the patriotic nationalism we’re living in
But I guess that’s what it takes
To be the ideal citizen.


Written by Areen Akmal
Edited by Amy Feng Zhang & Michelle Nishidera

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