Explain how the village of Kanthapura is a microcosm of the entrenched hierarchy in Indian society.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is much truth in the statement.  On one hand, there is a power structure that benefits from the Status Quo.  This benefit comes at the cost of others, and is going to be undermined by Gandhi's teachings and Moorthy's application.  The Colonial masters, as well as the gang boss who runs the coffee estate are a the top of the power structure, predicated upon their ability to intimidate others and wield unchecked power.  To this extent, there is much parallel with Indian society of the time in that there was little in way of pure democratic initiatives or presence.  The village is rooted in tradition and does not question authority or the given power structure, similar to India pre- Independence movement.  The opposition to Gandhi and Moorthy are rooted in both the transformative calls to power distribution and sharing, but also in the idea of abolishing traditional aspects of stratification that had been a part of the culture for so long.  This is similar to Indian society, as well, in that the powerful interests understood their structure to be crumbling under the weight of Gandhi's demands.  In the end, the village ends up proving to be quite an effective microcosm in showing how Gandhi and those who committed themselves to his movement possessed great impact to India's social and political fabric.

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