One of the reasons why the novel is so powerful is that it represents one of the first attempts to articulate the post- colonial voice. The idea of a voice that emerges from the ashes of colonialism is unique and quite distinctive. In this particular case, to open the discussion of what life is under colonialist rule and how this can be changed in terms of existence after the British helped to open the door to what Indian literature could be. Since British Raj created such an impact on what it means to be "Indian," the idea of using literature to analyze what this can means to the voice of "being Indian" is extremely profound from a nationalistic and humanistic point of view.
Kanthapura is called a path breaking novel as it was a verbalisation of an Indian's agitation against British rule in india.it presents Gandhian philosophy in full and thus paved a new path for the coming authors to debate on Gandhi and then India.
Raja Rao's novel Kanthapura was written in 1938. The novel is often considered to be a path-breaking work, in the context of the historical juncture of its composition. Raja Rao lived most of his life abroad and was writing this novel in a time when India was ruled by the British. it was still a colonized country , yet to attain independence.
The novel is trend-setter in what has now come to be known as the post-colonial discourse, especially in the novelistic genre. It was one of the first Indian English novels to deal with a theme and structure that were in more ways than one, reactions to British colonialism in India.
Raja Rao created the entire novel, imitating the Indian epical modes of narration, using the structure of 'sthalapurana'. The nativist and indigenous mythification in the text is a liberating ideology of anti-colonial resistance, whereby the Enlightenment European origin of the novel is unmade.
Raja Rao's preface to the novel is a pioneering acknowledgement of the duality of the Indian English language both as a colonial mimicry, problematic in terms of communicating affective space and as an anti-colonial subversion or appropriation of it.
The subject of the novel is something that apart from showing colonial exploitation and native resistance in the form of a local uprising, also exposes the castist fractures of the native society. The divisions, internal to the society are like a parallel stream to the external oppression in the name of British colonialism.