Language, Power and Politics in India: From the Perspective of Gender and Marginalized

  • Bijender Singh Indira Gandhi University, Meerpur, Rewari, Haryana, India
Keywords: Power, Language, Gender, Dalits, Politics, Marginalized


Language plays a very crucial role in the lives of human beings. It has been used as a tool to dominate, subordinate, exploit, enslave, and colonize others at different times and places. Consequently, it empowered some sections of society and disempowered others. It represents people, culture, and shapes their ideas which consequently create social, political, religious, and economic structures. Language is power, life, and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation (Carter, 1998). Taking into account, language as a power of domination and liberation, this paper attempts to examine how language dominates on the axis of caste, class, and gender and how the other language liberates the subjugated from the trauma of being humiliated by the tool of language. It also tries to explore how dominated sections perceive the use of language and why. The study reveals that Indian languages have been used only as a tool to dominate and hardly serious efforts are made by the linguists to gender neutralize Indian languages. Contrarily, English linguists have attempted to make English gender-neutral and it has helped all marginalized sections to progress economically, socially, and linguistically in addition to boosting their confidence, self-respect, knowledge, and identity formation. English, though colonial language, has proved a great tool in decolonization.


• Bama. (1992). Karukku. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

• Benjamin Lee Whorf. (1964). Science and Linguistics. In Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. Cambridge: MIT Press.

• Carter, A. (1998). Shaking a leg: Collected writings. New York: Penguin Group.

• Chopra, R. (2003). Bagbaan. India: B. R. Films.

• Geeta Pandey. (2011). An “English goddess” for India’s down-trodden. Retrieved from

• Gumperz, J. J. (1978). The conversational analysis of interethnic communication (In E. Lama). Athens: University of Georgia Press.

• Lakoff, R. (1973). Language and women’s place. Language in Society, 2(1), 45–80.

• Morgan, R. (1977). Going too far: The personal chronicle of a feminist. New York: Open Road Integrated Media.

• Pakzadian, M., Tootkaboni, A. A., & Koo, A. C. (2018). The role of gender in conversational dominance: A study of EFL learners. Cogent Education, 5(1).

• Pawar, U. (2003). The Weave of My Life: A Dalit Woman’s Memoirs. Columbia: Columbia University Press.

• Shepherd, K. I. (2013). Valedictory Speech. In international Conference on Literature and Marginality. New Delhi: IGNOU.

• Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. (2004). How English survived in India. Retrieved from

• Tennen, D. (1990). You just don’t understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.

• Twain, M. (n.d.). The Awful German Language. Retrieved from

• Zimmerman, D., & West, C. (1975). Sex roles, interruptions and silences in conversation. In Language and sex: Difference and dominance (Thorne, B.). Rowley: Newbury House.

How to Cite
Singh, B. (2020). Language, Power and Politics in India: From the Perspective of Gender and Marginalized. KFUEIT Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(1), 22-27. Retrieved from