Sujata Bhatt's A Different History

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The poems ‘A Different History’ by Sujata Bhatt and ‘Where I Come From’ by Elizabeth Brewster both explore and comment on the theme of identity. In ‘A Different History’ Sujata Bhatt comments on one 's identity in a post-colonial setting and the challenges of control by an ‘oppressor’ with a foreign language. The poem ‘Where I Come From’ is all about human identity and origins.

Sujata Bhatt talks about the effects of colonisation or globalisation. The poet addresses a sudden change in the thoughts of society and it should be preserved. The poem shows the loss of culture that comes with globalisation and the loss of history as the teachings of the old culture and of our old heritage are rejected. This could suggest why Bhatt decided to name the poem ‘A Different History’.

The first stanza represents India before the British colonisation by comparing the Indian and Roman gods. The second stanza contrasts the first and progresses to discuss the ‘modern’ colonised India. It suggests that the Indian people should feel guilty, by abandoning their original beliefs and customs, letting their identities be taken away.

A sense of abuse is present in the poem ‘A Different History’ through the use of the words ‘sin, slam, toss, carelessly’. The poem comments on the effects of colonisation and globalisation and the author expresses her concerns towards the loss of culture and identity that comes along with it.

Language is represented as the main identity of the conqueror (Britain
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