Ke bhaiya loot machi hai (Brother, this is rampant loot),” says Ashwani Avi, beginning his poem about 70 years of corruption in India. His contention: the very heart of the democracy is corrupt.

The spoken-word poem, titled Loot Machi Hai is clearly a heartfelt statement about a feature that has “crippled us economically, made us educationally backward and brought poverty and unemployment to our land.”

As Avi recites:

Ke pehenke khaadi khaddar dekho (Wearing their khaadi and khaddar),
Neta ban gaye saare chor (All politicians have become thieves)
Khud hi daalte hain yeh daaka (They pull off the heists themselves)
Khud hi machaate hain phir shor (And then they set off the alarms)

Arey janta marti marr jaye (They don’t care if the public dies)
Bass kursi ki hi chinta hai (They only care about their seat)
Lakh lootere marrte hain (A million thieves have to die)
Tab jaake neta banta hai (For a leader to be born)

Ke laaj sharam yeh ghot ke pee gaye (Unashamedly, they have swallowed their conscience)
Baaton mei bas jhooth bachi hai (They spew nothing but lies)
Ke bhaiya loot machi hai (Brother, this is rampant loot)”