The Politics of Code Switching and Code Mixing: A critical Study of Arundhati Roy’s Novel the Ministry of Utmost Happiness in the Postcolonial Discourse Perspective

Iesar Ahmad


This study is an attempt to investigate the code-switching and code mixing (CS and CM) strategies deployed by Arundhati Roy (Roy) in the novel, ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ (MOUH) in terms of the linguistic hybridity and cultural syncreticity as an vantage site to contest and mediate the presumptive purity, representation, authenticity and universality of the western discourses and its discursive norms. In addition, it explores how such linguistic and literary practices deconstruct and decolonize the binary opposition like “speech/writing” “self/Other”” “Presence/Absence’ in the postcolonial disruptive discourse perspective. The core aim of the study is also to investigate the authenticity of the CS and CM strategies employed by the postcolonial writers like Roy consciously or unconsciously to foreground the difference and ambivalence in their counter discourse perspective. The study has also a great significance in terms of the pedagogical, theoretical, and analytical perspective in the postcolonial settings of Anglophone south Asia, western Africa, West Indies as well as in the settler colonies. The research design focuses on the analysis and interpretation of the selected and identified texts specifically from the novel MOUH and generally from other postcolonial discourses in the context of the interpretative epistemology, deconstructivity and postcolonial discourse perspective. The study concludes that such textual practices of code mixing and code switching are also authentic and pragmatic; which simultaneously also reflect an alternative vantage site to address the metonymic gaps in terms of difference, identity, hybridity and representation of the ex-colonized and marginalized nations in the context of overwhelming globalization and neo-colonialism. The study also affirms and recommends that in this age of melting zones, widespread migration and globalization; linguistic variations and cultural diversities must be celebrated as a privileged site of difference and plurality. It also suggests that the creative English writers like Arundhati Roy and their narratives may be encouraged and disseminated in order to demystify the misrepresentation, misperception, misconception, and mistrust between the Anglo-American’s Discourse shaper and mover, and the peripheral counter discourses in terms of the mediation and constant engaging contest and conflict across the globe.


Western Discourses, Counter Discourses, Code-switching, Code-mixing, Decolonization, Representation

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