Kanthapura

by

Raja Rao

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Moorthy Character Analysis

The book’s central protagonist and the leader of the Kanthapura villagers’ Gandhian resistance movement, Moorthy is a “quiet, generous, serene, deferent” young brahmin who rejects the hierarchical caste system in favor of social equality. He starts “all the trouble” in Kanthapura when he finds a linga in Achakka’s backyard, foreshadowing the villagers’ gradual shift from worshipping their traditional goddess Kenchamma to championing Lord Siva, which comes to symbolize the villagers’ transition to nationalism since Siva is worshipped across India. He brings the Harikatha-man Jayaramachar to Kanthapura, initiating the village’s conversation about Mahatma Gandhi’s politics, and gradually builds a Gandhian movement in the village after he has a vision of the Mahatma. Moorthy recruits people to spin their own khadi-cloth, and eventually the Swami excommunicates him, turning him into an outcaste and driving his mother Narsamma to die of despair on the banks of the Himavathy river. But Moorthy’s movement continues to grow as he undertakes a three-day meditative fast, sings bhajans and tells stories about Gandhi’s faith in nonviolence and Truth, and leads the villagers in nonviolent protests at Boranna’s toddy grove and the Skeffington Coffee Estate. The police imprison him, and the people of Kanthapura eventually begin to worship him as “our Gandhi;” he becomes the village’s most powerful figure after he returns from his first imprisonment. He is jailed again during a subsequent protest and never appears again in the book except in a letter that Ratna recounts at the very end. In this letter, Moorthy disavows Gandhi (who had begun to cooperate with the British) and argues that Jawaharlal Nehru’s redistributionist politics are a better option to limit long-term inequality in India. Moorthy is the driving force behind the villagers’ resistance to caste and colonialism and the gradual erosion of Kanthapura’s traditional social structure.

Moorthy Quotes in Kanthapura

The Kanthapura quotes below are all either spoken by Moorthy or refer to Moorthy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Kanthapura published in 1963.
Section 1 Quotes

Till now I’ve spoken only of the Brahmin quarter. Our village had a Pariah quarter too, a Potters’ quarter, a Weavers’ quarter, and a Sudra quarter. How many huts had we there? I do not know. There may have been ninety or a hundred—though a hundred may be the right number. Of course you wouldn’t expect me to go into the Pariah quarter, but I have seen from the street-corner Beadle Timmayya’s hut.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Moorthy, Beadle Timmayya
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

I closed my ears when I heard [Moorthy] went to the Pariah quarter. We said to ourselves, he is one of these Gandhi-men, who say there is neither caste nor clan nor family, and yet they pray like us and they live like us. Only they say, too, one should not marry early, one should allow widows to take husbands and a Brahmin might marry a pariah and a pariah a Brahmin. Well, well, let them say it, how does it affect us? We shall be dead before the world is polluted. We shall have closed our eyes.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Moorthy, Mahatma Gandhi
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

Siva himself will forthwith go and incarnate on the Earth and free my beloved daughter from her enforced slavery.

Related Characters: Jayaramachar (speaker), Moorthy, Mahatma Gandhi
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 2 Quotes

“Free spinning-wheels in the name of the Mahatma!”

Related Characters: Moorthy (speaker), Mahatma Gandhi
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

“May I ask one thing, Moorthy? How much has one to pay?”

“Nothing, sister. I tell you the Congress gives it free.”

“And why should the Congress give it free?”

“Because millions and millions of yards of foreign cloth come to this country, and everything foreign makes us poor and pollutes us. To wear cloth spun and woven with your own God-given hands is sacred, says the Mahatma. And it gives work to the workless, and work to the lazy. And if you don’t need the cloth, sister—well, you can say, ‘Give it away to the poor,’ and we will give it to the poor. Our country is being bled to death by foreigners. We have to protect our mother.”

Related Characters: Moorthy (speaker), Nanjamma (speaker), Maistri
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 3 Quotes

Every fellow with Matric or Inter asks, “What dowry do you offer? How far will you finance my studies?—I want to have this degree and that degree.” Degrees. Degrees. Nothing but degrees or this Gandhi vagabondage. When there are boys like Moorthy, who should safely get married and settle down, they begin this Gandhi business.

Related Characters: Bhatta (speaker), Moorthy, Rangamma, Mahatma Gandhi, Ramakrishnayya, Satamma
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

“There is but one force in life and that is Truth, and there is but one love in life and that is the love of mankind, and there is but one God in life and that is the god of all.”

Related Characters: Mahatma Gandhi (speaker), Moorthy
Page Number: 35-6
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 4 Quotes

There was something deep and desperate that hurried her on, and [Narsamma] passed by Rangamma’s sugarcane field and by the mango grove to the river, just where the whirlpool gropes and gurgles, and she looked up at the moonlit sky, and the winds of the night and the shadows of the night and the jackals of the night so pierced her breast that she shuddered and sank unconscious upon the sands, and the cold so pierced her that the next morning she was dead.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Moorthy, The Swami, Narsamma
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 10 Quotes

“Brothers, in the name of the Mahatma, let there be peace and love and order. As long as there is a God in Heaven and purity in our hearts evil cannot touch us. We hide nothing. We hurt none. And if these gentlemen want to arrest us, let them. Give yourself up to them. That is the true spirit of the Satyagrahi.”

Related Characters: Moorthy (speaker), Mahatma Gandhi
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 11 Quotes

Changing he changes not,

Ash-smeared, he’s Parvati’s sire,

Moon on his head,

And poison in his throat,

Chant, chant, chant the name of Eesh,

Chant the name of Siva Lord!

Related Characters: Moorthy, Kenchamma, Sankar
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 13 Quotes

We are out for action. A cock does not make a morning, nor a single man a revolution, but we’ll build a thousand-pillared temple, a temple more irm than any that hath yet been builded, and each one of you be ye pillars in it, and when the temple is built, stone by stone, and man by man, and the bell hung to the roof and the Eagle-tower shaped and planted, we shall invoke the Mother to reside with us in dream and in life. India then will live in a temple of our making.

Related Characters: Moorthy (speaker), Mahatma Gandhi
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:

“This is all Ramayana and Mahabharata; such things never happen in our times.”

Related Characters: Dorè (speaker), Moorthy, Rangamma, Mahatma Gandhi, Kenchamma
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 17 Quotes

He’ll never come again, He’ll never come again,

He’ll never come again, Moorthappa.

The God of death has sent for him,

Buffalo and rope and all,

They stole him from us, they lassoed him at night,

He’s gone, He’s gone, He’s gone, Moorthappa.

Related Characters: Moorthy
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 19 Quotes

It is the way of the masters that is wrong. And I have come to realize bit by bit, and bit by bit, when I was in prison, that as long as there will be iron gates and barbed wires round the Skeffington Coffee Estate, and city cars that can roll up the Bebbur Mound, and gas-lights and coolie cars, there will always be pariahs and poverty.

Related Characters: Moorthy (speaker), Achakka, Rangamma
Page Number: 188-9
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Kanthapura LitChart as a printable PDF.
Kanthapura PDF

Moorthy Character Timeline in Kanthapura

The timeline below shows where the character Moorthy appears in Kanthapura. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...narrator remarks, “we never liked [Dorè]. He had always been such a braggart,” unlike “Corner-House Moorthy,” who lived “like a noble cow, quiet, generous, serene, deferent and brahmanic” and was loved... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
One day, Moorthy found a “half-sunk” linga (an idol that represents Lord Siva) in Achakka’s backyard and convinced... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
The next morning, Moorthy proposes holding festivals for the gods Rama, Krishna, and Ganesh. He asks Achakka for money,... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
Altogether, Moorthy collects 147 rupees. Rangamma is generous—she does not know what to do with all her... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...but afterwards a policeman talks to him and he is never seen again in Kanthapura. Moorthy becomes “sorrowful and calm” thereafter, but he soon starts converting the villagers to Gandhi’s cause.... (full context)
Section 2
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...he is just a “passing policeman.” Waterfall Venkamma thinks Khan has come “because of this Moorthy and all this Gandhi affair.” Venkamma hates Moorthy—he rejected her second daughter for marriage and... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
Moorthy and his boys visit every corner of Kanthapura, recruiting people from all castes to use... (full context)
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
But Moorthy says that the weavers buy foreign cloth, and he explains why this is a problem... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...learned person,” declares Nanjamma, who then asks whether the Mahatma himself spins. Of course, replies Moorthy—“he says spinning is as purifying as praying” and does it for two hours every morning.... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
Moorthy visits the other brahmins and then the pariahs, convincing all the people he meets to... (full context)
Section 3
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
...rest of Kanthapura, wants “nothing to do with these Gandhi-bhajans.” He used to sympathize with Moorthy’s cause but gave up after visiting the city to register some business papers and allegedly... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...he wants to save her from all this “pariah business,” keep her on guard about “Moorthy and these city boys.” Achakka interjects that “our Rangamma is no village kid”—she reads newspapers... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...with Bhatta,” but chose instead to simply say she would see what Gandhi’s book and Moorthy say about the pariahs. Seething, Bhatta threatens to have Moorthy ostracized if he visits the... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...when she was a baby, and everyone who claims “she was found openly talking to Moorthy in the temple” is lying. But Bhatta also cannot bear to see Ratna’s “modern ways,”... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Waterfall Venkamma, Temple Lakshamma, Timmamamma, and Chinnamma debate whether Moorthy truly wants the mixing of castes. Moorthy’s pious old mother, Narsamma, married his five sisters... (full context)
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Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
One day, Moorthy has a vision of Gandhi giving a discourse to a large crowd; he feels a... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
When Moorthy returned to Kanthapura as a Gandhian, Narsamma was distraught but ultimately let him stay, even... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...heard the news from Bhatta earliest, and “burst[s] out sobbing” as she considers the dishonor Moorthy will bring his family. Chinnamma and Venkamma try to comfort her, “but Narsamma would have... (full context)
Section 4
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...“a bundle of khadi on his back and a bundle of books in his arms,” Moorthy heads to Kanthapura, where his mother Narsamma asks him to “never show himself again until... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...to calm down, so she goes home and starts cooking like her usual self. But Moorthy is not there, so she begins to rage again and tries to calm herself with... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Narsamma cannot see Moorthy on Rangamma’s veranda, and tells the passing Seenu to search for him there. Bhatta visits... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...Bhatta assures her she “cannot even imagine the pollutions that go on” in the city. Moorthy returns and goes to the bathroom; Bhatta leaves and Narsamma cries, leaving Moorthy’s food in... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
“From that day on,” Achakka laments, “they never spoke to each other, Narsamma and Moorthy.” They continued to eat separately and Narsamma grew “thin as a bamboo and shriveled like... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...house, but Bhatta refuses to officiate and “sell [his] soul to a pariah.” That night, Moorthy leaves. Achakka explains that nobody knows where he went, or even talks about his departure... (full context)
Section 6
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Moorthy is coming up tonight,” and the coolies put out their lights and gather around the... (full context)
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Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Badè Khan orders Moorthy to leave—even if he is a free man, says Khan, Moorthy is not free to... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...rupees in unpaid wages. The family before goddess Kenchamma’s grove and heads to Kanthapura, where Moorthy brings them to Patel Rangè Gowda, who orders Beadle Timmayya to give them “shelter and... (full context)
Section 7
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Moorthy tells Rangamma that he blames himself for the evening’s violence and plans to fast for... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Moorthy says the gayathri mantra “thrice a thousand and eight times” before drifting slowly into a... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Moorthy returns to meditate by the temple’s central pillar and wonders why he can “meditate so... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
This morning, Moorthy feels like he could fly and fall back to earth, catching “a little of that... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Rangamma brings salt for Moorthy’s water. He drinks and shivers at “the coolness in his empty stomach” but then feels... (full context)
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Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
A large crowd assembles around Moorthy—Dorè laughs at him, and he is visibly losing strength. By nightfall, only Rangamma is left,... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
The second day, Bhatta visits a weaker-still Moorthy, who simply smiles back, “for love was growing in him.” On the third day Moorthy... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
When Moorthy awakens, Rangamma, Seenu, and Ratna are watching him and Pariah Rachanna and Lingayya stand nearby.... (full context)
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Rangamma asks Ratna to watch when Moorthy wakes, and she prays to God for him. When he awakes, Moorthy feels stronger and... (full context)
Section 8
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Moorthy approaches Rangè Gowda first, for “nothing can be done without Rangè Gowda.” Rangè Gowda tells... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Moorthy tells Rangè Gowda that he wants to create a Congress in Kanthapura that can join... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
When Rangè Gowda mentions his fury at Badè Khan, Moorthy explains that “the Mahatma says you must love even your enemies” but Rangè Gowda insists... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Moorthy visits Ramayya, the Weavers’ Elder, and then Siddayya, the Potters’ Elder, and both agree to... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...his wife, and then “all the children of the pariah quarter” come and stare at Moorthy “as though the sacred eagle had suddenly appeared in the heavens.” Moorthy tells the group... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
In desperation, Moorthy asks Rachi if she will spin, and she says she will if her husband orders... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
On his way to Rangamma’s house, Moorthy remembers the milk at Rachanna’s house and asks if he is permitted to enter. Rangamma... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
Moorthy heads back to see Rachanna, who sits with Siddanna, Madanna, and Lingayya on the veranda.... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
That evening, Moorthy convenes a procession and gives a bhajan. Rangè Gowda begins to explain the Congress but... (full context)
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Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Rangè Gowda declares Moorthy “our president” and Seenu jokingly declares Rangè Gowda “our Super-President and Protector” before asking Rangamma... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Two days later, Moorthy’s final list of members counts 23, and they apply to the Provincial Congress Committee. Rangamma... (full context)
Section 9
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...of Kanthapura will crackle and fall before the year is out.” Even after his excommunication, Moorthy was succeeding in persuading the other villagers. Bhatta decides to charge every Gandhian extra interest... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...was satisfied.” The villagers praise Bhatta and Venkamma, finding them “not so wicked after all.” Moorthy, however, did not attend, and begins to wonder “how, how is one an outcaste?” (full context)
Section 10
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
They go to the villager Sami’s house for a better vantage point and see Moorthy talking with the Police Inspector while policemen rummage through his boxes of books and cloth.... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
When she sees Moorthy, Rachanna shouts “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!” More and more policemen rush in and beat the... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
With the Police Inspector's permission, Moorthy stands on the veranda and demands that “in the name of the Mahatma, let there... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...in the police station and beat them further, and then release them one by one—except Moorthy. (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
The village prays and fasts, hoping that the gods will bring Moorthy home, and “the gods indeed did hear our feeble voices”—since a flood of lawyers starts... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Sadhu Narayan, who was living a life of meditation on the riverbank, comes to tell Moorthy that his imprisonment is unjust and he has to speak out—otherwise, all his religious practice... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...the Secretary of the Congress Committee in the nearby city of Karwar, comes to visit Moorthy and explains that he supports his decision because “a Satyagrahi needs no advocates,” even though... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...and a number of other volunteers to bring in a crowd for the meeting about Moorthy. At this meeting, Sankar, Ranganna, and Dasappa give speeches praising Moorthy and lampooning the government,... (full context)
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After the old man steps down, “youngster after youngster” comes to defend Moorthy against the Swami, who excommunicated him. Ranganna stands and declares that he, too, has been... (full context)
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Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...our souls.” “Somewhere beyond the Bebbur Mound and the Kenchamma Hill,” Achakka assures the reader, Moorthy “had grown even more sorrowful and calm.” (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...the Skeffington Estate, respectively, and the Gandhian villagers agree that the goddess Kenchamma will free Moorthy—except Vasudev, who thinks the government will hold him for “a good six months.” Rangamma and... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Seetharamu brings Rangamma and Nanjamma to Sankar, and they agree that Moorthy is saintly and capable of “holy deeds.” Sankar explains that the police blamed Moorthy for... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Just after the harvest, various people from Kanthapura ask Rangamma about Moorthy and continue to talk against the government. Rangè Gowda loses his “Patel-ship,” which means the... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...than Sankar, and after staying with him she felt the same. She even spoke about Moorthy at some Congress meetings, and two days after she returned to Kanthapura the villagers discovered... (full context)
Section 11
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Rangamma determines that the women should form a Volunteer corps that can meet Moorthy upon his return. Everyone plans their outfits, and most want to wear expensive, foreign Darmawar... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...come, but Seenu explains that they are all too afraid of going to jail since Moorthy’s arrest. The men support the Mahatma but worry that their lands will lay empty and... (full context)
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Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Vasudev, Rangamma and Seenu decide to restart the bhajans that Moorthy used to perform, although in prison Moorthy warned Sankar not to let them have processions... (full context)
Section 12
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...yelling for the “prostitute of a wind” to die down. They ask for rain and Moorthy’s return, in exchange for which they make various offerings to Kenchamma. That afternoon, Postman Subbayya... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...ones” and asks Rangappa to move her daughter’s wedding to Tuesday, the same day as Moorthy’s arrival, so that she can force the villagers to “choose between a brahmanic feast and... (full context)
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The villagers, “even lazy Rangè Gowda,” all assemble in the courtyard, debating when Moorthy will arrive. They hear “a screech and a hoot” and expect a “firm and softeyed... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Seenu calls out to say that Moorthy has arrived at Rangamma’s house, silently and escorted by police. The villagers shout “Vandè Mataram!”... (full context)
Section 13
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Moorthy spurs the rest to action, likening their collective resistance to building the “thousand-pillared temple” that... (full context)
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Moorthy explains that they sit in the “temple of the One,” and they are all one... (full context)
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Moorthy gets daily information from the Congress Committee and frequent visitors from the city. Seenu rings... (full context)
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Moorthy promises that Kanthapura’s people will start marching once they receive orders from the Karwar Committee,... (full context)
Section 14
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...The town spends all afternoon on edge, and “bicycle after bicycle” comes delivering orders for Moorthy from the city. (full context)
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The Village Congress assembles, feeling as though “they were of one caste, one breath.” Moorthy arrives and tells them it is time to start the “Don’t-touch-the-Government campaign.” They will not... (full context)
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Moorthy continues: they will refuse to engage the government but “never be harsh to them nor... (full context)
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Two days later, 139 villagers begin marching to Boranna’s toddy grove, led by Moorthy, Rangamma, Rangè Gowda, and Pariah Rachanna in a cart. They announce their intentions in song... (full context)
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...on a bridge and warns them that they may not go to the toddy grove. Moorthy thanks the Inspector and continues, claiming that “he would follow [the Congress’s instructions] unto death... (full context)
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...lathis as the villagers yell “Mataram Vandè!” louder and louder. Lingayya crosses the fence and Moorthy yells “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!” as the policemen surround and beat him. Finally, the women... (full context)
Section 15
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...ask about their purposes; at the Skeffington Estate, they encounter Betel Lakshamma, who asks if Moorthy and his “soldiers of the Mahatma” will free her from the Revenue Collector. “We are... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
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...each passing cart was the Sahib; this day, they were afraid and surprised to see Moorthy standing calmly at the gate, waiting for the coolies to come out for the toddy... (full context)
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Moorthy runs suddenly back towards the Skeffington Estate gate as it begins to rain and the... (full context)
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Moorthy tells the Gandhians to squat in front of the toddy booth, and as the rain... (full context)
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...hard that she passes out, and another slaps Ratna until her mouth is bloodied. When Moorthy’s calls of “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!” stop because a policeman has hit him in the... (full context)
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...moved into their village’s Pariah Street, and people from all around are converging to meet Moorthy and join the “army of Mahatma.” (full context)
Section 16
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
...one such trip, he says that in “house after house” people pasted newspaper pictures of Moorthy on the walls and asked for stories about his campaign. The villagers become proud to... (full context)
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...until “nothing but blood” came from his mouth and they were forced to release him. Moorthy praises Seetharamu’s endurance and will, and this inspires the rest. (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...for the new policemen who would come “to protect” the villagers from “the troublesome ones.” Moorthy comes to Achakka’s house in the night, saying that “the fight has really begun” and... (full context)
Section 17
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...by policemen “to show who our true masters were.” The villagers know they must find Moorthy but cannot, and suddenly they hear a shout from the temple. They rush there and... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...refuge elsewhere, and Achakka hears “the voice of Rangamma in her speech, the voice of Moorthy.” Before they head to the temple, Ratna looks outside and brings the others to watch... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...around India. They turned back to chanting and “forgot the pariahs and the policemen and Moorthy and the Mahatma” before dozing off to sleep, but started to see Siva and suddenly... (full context)
Section 18
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...what is happening and begin to weep. Achakka and the women meet Satamma, who blames Moorthy for “all this misery” and at first refuses to follow them to Ratna, but eventually... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...at a door behind which “the Mahatma’s boys” are speaking. The women feel relieved, since Moorthy promised that “city people” would come help them, and more people come to join them... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...whether Gandhism has helped them at all. She declares that they were “mad to follow Moorthy.” The goddess Kenchamma and river Himavathy never refused their prayers, she laments. But suddenly she... (full context)
Section 19
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
The dead have been cremated on the Himavathy’s banks. Ratna reported that Moorthy has been released, but he never returned to see the other villagers from Kanthapura. In... (full context)