To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn't Find Me Identifiably Indian

The Business of Language in 'To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn’t Find Me Identifiably Indian' College

In the poem To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn’t Find Me Identifiably Indian, Arundhathi Subramaniam explores the politics of language and how it affects the identity of Indian immigrants in England. She poses questions about where and with whom language belongs and implies that it is for the English to judge. Subramaniam also comments on how Indian identity is decided by the English and this is reflected on rather bitterly in the poem. The English expectations of Indian authenticity are highlighted by Subramaniam to be incorrect and slightly ridiculous. This analysis of Subramaniam’s position on the “this business of language” will explore these ideas further.

Language plays a significant role in identity (Joseph, 2004). Language and identity have a dynamic relationship. Language creates a sense of group identity, whether it is national or ethnic. And the need for identity through expression continually shapes language. Identity itself affects the way one interprets what is said. The language one speaks identifies one to others the place which one comes from and will subsequently label one as an outsider or insider. This applies to even the way one speaks a language. Speaking a language with a different accent still alerts people...

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