How are the themes in Kanthapura reflective of Gandhi's epic struggles?

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

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I had to make some alterations to the original question.  Given what was there in it and in the tags, I think that I might have been able to capture its original essence.  Part of what makes Gandhi's movement such a compelling one is that it sought to transform both political reality and its foundation of moral reality.  Gandhi's calls for independence resonated on both levels.  In many respects, this is what made his movement even more distinctive in that it did not merely seek to change the aggressors, it changed those who were involved in it.  Gandhi's targets were both British rule and the injustice he saw in Indian practices.  It is this reciprocal level of change that makes his struggle of epic proportions and something that is highly evident in Rao's work.  Moorthy's call for change are both reprehensible from the British point of view and viewed with some level of disdain by Indians in the villages.  Even Moorthy's own mother is disconcerted by some of the changes to the traditional system that Gandhi via Moorthy demands.  In the end, the reader understands through Rao's work that the desire to change Indian mentality is as much of a heroic feat as the defeat of the British. When the women in the village learn to take up the cause, to fight for the struggle, and to have the "Indian" voice heard cutting through gender and tradition bound stratification, there is a full understanding of what Rao sees as Gandhi's epic struggle for liberation.  This emancipation resonates on the political level, as the villagers led by the women, fight for autonomy and on a spiritual level, where the caste based and tradition dictated stratification and prejudice is abolished.

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