Tracing the Absent-Present Gandhi in Raja Rao’s Kanthapura
Keywords:Nationalist, Caste, Moorthy, Gandhi, Truth.
The paper tries to analyse the role of Gandhi in the nationalist movement which can be witnessed in the novel Kanthapura. The figure of Gandhi is not present in the text as one of the characters (apart from the interaction which Moorthy tells about that he had with Mahatma) but the whole narrative revolves around him. It is through media and Moorthy that women in the text get to know Gandhi and they are all united in spirit though they have never met Gandhi in person. This paper also tries to explore that how Gandhi challenges, contests, and redefines masculinity and femininity, thus blurring the lines between genders. The binaries of pure and impure, the issue of caste are examined and a new meaning to pilgrimage has been given. The political thinking of Gandhi seems to transform traditional meanings and one gets an alternative vocabulary of “home”’ and “masculinity”.