Usama Zahid, Adeel Ahmed The Reflection of Panopticon in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Usama Zahid, Adeel Ahmed

  • Usama Zahid Punjab Education Department – Lahore, Pakistan
  • Adeel Ahmed
Keywords: Marginalized, Panopticism, Panopticon, Surveillance, Voiceless


This study aimed at highlighting the concept of panopticism in Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The novel explored the maltreatment with marginalized Kashmiri people by Indian military institutions in the name of search operations. The novel also investigated the surveillance techniques used by Indian military agencies in Kashmir which increase the weight of oppression caused by violent attacks on innocent voiceless people. In this study, these surveillance strategies had been observed under the lens of the concept of Panopticon presented in the work Discipline and Punish (1977) by Michael Foucault. Panopticon is an idea, given by Jeremy Bentham, of a jail architectured in a way to ensure constant watch on the prisoners around the clock. The importance of the concept of panopticism could not be ignored, as the so-called Indian institutions continued surveillance of Kashmiri people.