The poem "A Different History" by Sujata Bhatt, at its heart, is a poem about the power of language in general and words in particular. The poet conveys the message in the first stanza of this poem that books are something special; they are to be respected, savored, as well as enjoyed.
Concerning books, the poet talks of how it is...
a sin to toss one carelessly
across a room
She, in essence, relates that literary works - and by extension the authors of them - should be treated with a type of reverence and honor. In fact, the poet says that the whole process of making a book needs to be respected, even honor and respect should be directed towards the origin of the actual physical book - the tree from where the paper came from.
Furthermore, the poet talks of how language is powerful and can be used for good or bad. She indicates that oppressors throughout history have used oratory - words - to beat others down. However, no oppressor can dampen someone's love for language, words, and the messages they can convey as relates to freedom and respect for the individual in society.