Vol. 5, Issue 4 (2019)
Linguistic Superiority, Hegemony and Exile in Anita Desai’s In Custody
Author(s): Jayed Ul Ehsan
Abstract: In Custody is a novel that deals with languages and their underlying politics. It puts forward the overwhelming political shades of both nationalistic and linguistic clashes between languages. This novel in particular has a parabolic nature that deals with how a state interpolates its dominant code into citizens’ register. This paper examines the nature of linguistic superiority which in case of the novel is Hindi and a language in race of slow extinction that is Urdu. This paper will also examine the relationship between power and linguistic preference of states in terms of rejoicing one language and denouncing the other. In the novel Anita Desai wants us to see that art is not an isolated identity of a person rather it exerts the politico-economic agendas. On the whole, this research sheds light on the concept of linguistic superiority and hegemony in post-colonial India and how cultural changes, in a newly independent country, are responsible for preferring one particular language and disapproving the other.