What are views and uses of religion by the character Moorthy in Kanthapura and Gandhi, as expressed in Hind Swaraj and My Experiments with Truth? Kanthapura is a fictional novel of a character Moorthy who acts like Gandhi.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In both Gandhi's life and Rao's construction of Moorthy, religion is seen as a transcendent and universal force that seeks to broaden human empathy.  In both, religion is not as sectarian or dogmatic, and is not even limited to one particular branch of worship.  The calls to end untouchability and the need to embrace nonviolence as a way to approach injustice is driven from a greater understanding of human experience where one is validated through spiritual acceptance.  Rao's depiction of Moorthy and Gandhi's own writings value the universality of truth, and the transcendent belief that spiritual liberation can be facilitated when one embraces it.  Religion is not seen as a force of division between individuals, but rather one that embraces a community of people regardless of caste, social condition, or economic standing.  In both, this call for community is a radical call for change against both British oppression and traditional notions of the good that lock individuals into stratified roles.  It is in this light that both Moorthy and Gandhi posed significant threat to the establishments that enabled such stratification to exist.

Posted on