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A Poem for your Aadhar Card Poems from NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twelve

Courtesy Hindustan Times

Good citizens have nothing to hide by Swati Tewari

Being 14 in 2009 was much different than it is today

I had no concept of privacy as a fundamental right with parents brazenly browsing through your bags, your coat pockets, your phone

There was unbridled freedom in the number of Facebook quizzes I sold my data to, I am horrified at that now and so are countless teenagers around the globe

I remember each of us tagging every single acquaintance on some random photo that graded them the airhead, the nerd, the best taste in music, the one with the pretty eyes, leaving hints for our crushes slyly cushioned in the algorithm

It was the ultimate declaration of mah lyf, mah rulezzz

It was a bit strange when your parents dragged you to the nearest aadhar booth

To take the darndest possible reminder of your awkward adolescent, youth memorialized

The biometrics collected, the grainy 1.3 megapixel photo with severely bad lighting taken in some rundown neighborhood college of your small town

Which took months to reach you but only minutes to reduce your entire being to 12 digit number, stacked and stored one on top of the other

It will be years before it is mandatory for all, a basis for refusing ration, for services, linked to your bank, to your school, college degree, a ratio, a statistics of your pedigree

it is no wonder why my parents dragged us to the aadhar booth before all of it began, model citizens, obedient subjects, with no objections to the breach of their rights, their privacy

Good citizens have nothing to hide, they are good at being one grainy photo, one unique identification number while others question their humanity denied.


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