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A Different History Written by Sujata Bhatt expresses the author’s bitterness and unhappiness felt about her regional tongue and cultures. The author emphasizes on the ideas of culture, human struggle, religion combined with its interpretation and acquisition of foreign language.
The poem begins with ‘Great Pan is not dead, he simply emigrated to India’ addresses the movement of culture across the globe. Great pan symbolizes the very fact existing in Indian religion where everything has a god in charge of it. The author talks about the culture and tradition moving with people by indicating that God Pan is not seized to exist but simply moved to India. The author also points out the similarity between the cultures of east and west. ‘The god roams around freely, disguised as snakes and monkeys’ portrays the acceptance of new culture in India. ‘God’ is used as a metaphor for new cultures and lifestyles. Snakes and Monkeys where worshiped in the past, as Indians that there were gods laying on them. This portrays the innocence of Indians who welcomed and worshipped foreign culture and allowed to ‘roam freely’ in India.
The repetition of the word ‘sin’ in the poem is seen when the author lists the way the people treat books. The word ‘sin’ supports the negative commentary and intensifies the critical tone of the poem. In the poem, book is used as an example for people to show that cultures must be appreciated and treated carefully. The author with this line ‘you must learn how to turn the pages gently without disturbing the Sarasvati’ is trying to tell us that we should treat books just as the way we treat the goddess of Knowledge, She indicates how religion is dominant in India by describing the attitude of Indians towards something as common as a Book. She talks about the need to respect the books so that we don’t offend the tree sacrificed to make the the paper. The line ‘you must learn how to turn the pages gently without disturbing the Sarasvati’ features the idea the freedom is in respecting one’s culture and self but not enjoying oneself which is selfishness.
In the second stanza we could sense a change in the tone of voice, it is more aggressive. The author addresses a number of issues through rhetoric. From the initial lines of this stanza we can sense the uncertainty and anger the author felt about the colonization. The author also describes her depressions using language as a representative of the people, she asks us to understand the fact that people around the globe have some point of time or the other either been oppressors or the oppressed. The author throws light on the fact that language is universal and is never meant to cause harm using language to represent people.
Further in the poem the author refers to the period of freedom struggle as torture. The word ‘Soul’ represents the self-esteem of Indians for being able to speak their regional language and follow their own culture. The word ‘Scythe’ which actually is a tool to harvest crops by hand here represents the colonization and injustice. This shows that colonization has the cut the ‘soul’ of Indian by introducing foreign cultures and languages.
Final conclusion of the poem is made in the end two lines where a sense of sadness and uncertainty is enhanced as it described author’s realization of cultural consequences such as the colonization doesn’t damage one’s history but starts a new era where a new generation grows to love that foreign language referred to as strange language in the poem.
Throughout the poem the author sheds light on the consequences of colonization in India. The author persuades the readers to think about the loss of their regional language and one’s culture. Moreover, an irony is used throughout the poem. The author who cries over the loss of one’s culture and language, used English to write this poem. This indicates that she is one of the generation who grew to learn the strange language creating a sense of distress as the author herself cannot speak Indian but uses English instead.

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A Different History Written by Sujata Bhatt expresses the author's bitterness and unhappiness felt about her regional tongue and cultures. (2019, Apr 01). Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://midwestcri.org/a-different-history-written-by-sujata-bhatt-expresses-the-authors-bitterness-and-unhappiness-felt-about-her-regional-tongue-and-cultures/

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