It describes the period in which the struggle against the foreign government was dominating the political scenario in India. At that time the Non-Cooperation Movement was in vogue. Congress under the leadership of Gandhi was leading the movement. Raja Rao supported the ideas of Gandhi thus Kanthapura as a political novel is totally influenced by the principles of Gandhi. At the beginning of the novel, we come to know about the structure of the village. Cast-ridden Village We find that the village of Kanthapura is a caste-ridden village and the quarters of people are separated on the basis of casteism.
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Foreword Kanthapura recounts the rise of a Gandhian nationalist movement in a small South Indian village of the same name. Achakka begins her tale by situating Kanthapura in its immediate landscape, the Western Ghats mountain range in southwest India that has recently become a center of the British colonial spice trade.
Then she introduces the potters and weavers, who are largely turning to agriculture, and finally the pariahs, who live in decrepit huts at the edge of town. But caste does not always translate to wealth. Meanwhile, Moorthy convinces various villagers to start spinning their own wool and weaving their own khadi cloth, since Gandhi believes that foreign goods impoverish India and sees weaving as a form of spiritual practice.
But Bhatta despises Gandhism, for his business runs on high-interest loans to small farmers who sell their rice to city-people. The narrative cuts to the Skeffington Estate, where the maistri convinces coolie workers from impoverished villages around India to come do backbreaking work in horrible conditions at the estate. Their wages are low and the Sahib finds every available means to keep them indentured at the Estate for life, from beating them to raising the prices on daily goods to stealing their wages to, most insidiously, encouraging them to spend their money drinking at the nearby toddy stand.
Nobody has managed to leave for ten years, even as a new Sahib has taken over who is kinder than the first except to the women, Achakka notes, whom he systematically raped until he became embroiled in a legal battle for murdering a father who refused to give up his daughter. He fasts for three days, meditating continuously in the village temple and receiving visions of Siva and Hari as Rangamma, the wise elder brahmin Ramakrishnayya, and the widowed pariah girl Ratna care for him.
He does so nonetheless and soon convinces a congregation of confused pariah women to spin cloth and join the movement. But when he returns home, Rangamma makes him enter through the back and drink Ganges water to purify himself.
The police begin beating and arresting the rest of the villagers, taking 17 in total and releasing all but Moorthy. In jail, Moorthy refuses the help of lawyers and spiritual leaders until Advocate Sankar, the Congress Committee Secretary in nearby Karwar city, tells him that the national movement needs him released.
The Police Inspector comes to the meeting and arrests another of its leaders, Advocate Ranganna, and news spreads fast in Kanthapura by means of a newspaper Rangamma has begun to publish. The villagers read it voraciously, with even the illiterate insisting that others read it to them, and they debate when and whether Moorthy will be released.
Rangamma and the Gandhian Nanjamma go to Karwar to visit Advocate Sankar, who is notorious for being an honest and socially-conscious man. During his cremation, the Himavathy River overflows and swallows his ashes. The women resolve to form their own Volunteer group, and Rangamma begins to lead them in group meditation and drills to practice nonviolent resistance to beatings from the police. The Gandhians climb into the grove and begin tearing branches off the trees as the police beat them down with lathis and arrest three villagers: the pariah Rachanna and the potters Lingayya and Siddayya.
They corral the rest of the protestors into trucks, which drive them off in different directions and drop them by the side of the road in various parts of the Western Ghats. The next week, the villagers repeat their protest, encountering various people from the region who proclaim their oppression under British rule and ask Moorthy to help them.
The police are more violent this time, and they seriously injure Rangamma, Ratna, and Moorthy before dumping the rest on the side of the road, as before.
But when they return to Kanthapura, the Gandhians discover that many of the coolies and Gandhi sympathizers from the region have decided to join them, and their movement continues to grow as they launch various other protests, get 24 toddy stands in the area to shut down, and closely follow the accelerating national protest movement.
Besides the few brahmins who still oppose the Gandhi movement, the villagers refuse to cooperate with the government, which infuriates the police and leads them to more and more aggressive tactics. One officer nearly rapes Ratna, but Achakka and some of the other women Volunteers find her just in time and decide that she will be the new leader of the protest movement. But a policeman sees them and locks them inside overnight, until the pariah Rachi lets them out. Three days later, the villagers undertake their fourth and most consequential protest against the police.
Gandhians from around the region, including Advocate Sankar, flood into the town to help the protest effort. Achakka and the other women begin questioning their loyalty to Gandhi, wondering whether nonviolent resistance will truly save their livelihoods, but soon the march is underway and the police are more vicious than ever before.
One of the protestors raises the Gandhian revolutionary flag and the police begin firing against the protestors, massacring them even as they proclaim their commitment to nonviolence.
The women hide out in sugarcane fields as they watch their neighbors and party-members get slaughtered, and as they begin to flee Kanthapura, Rachi decides to burn the village down.
Cite This Page Jennings, Rohan. Jennings, Rohan. Retrieved March 10, Copy to Clipboard.
Gandhian Ideology in Kanthapura by Raja Rao
Early life[ edit ] Raja Rao was born on 8 November in Hassan , in the princely state of Mysore now in Karnataka in South India , into a Kannada -speaking Brahmin family  and was the eldest of 9 siblings, having seven sisters and a brother named Yogeshwara Ananda. His father, H. His mother, Gauramma, was a homemaker who died when Raja Rao was 4 years old. Another influence from early life was his grandfather, with whom he lived in Hassan and Harihalli or Harohalli.
Foreword Kanthapura recounts the rise of a Gandhian nationalist movement in a small South Indian village of the same name. Achakka begins her tale by situating Kanthapura in its immediate landscape, the Western Ghats mountain range in southwest India that has recently become a center of the British colonial spice trade. Then she introduces the potters and weavers, who are largely turning to agriculture, and finally the pariahs, who live in decrepit huts at the edge of town. But caste does not always translate to wealth.