Kanthapura

by

Raja Rao

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Kanthapura can help.

Rachanna Character Analysis

A coolie who joins the Gandhians early in the book and eventually becomes one of the group’s most important leaders after the maistri kicks him off the Skeffington Coffee Estate and he moves into Kanthapura as a pariah. He is the fourth leader of the Village Congress and the most fearless of the Gandhians—he regularly taunts the police and is the second Satyagrahi to get arrested, after Moorthy. After the colonial government releases him, Rachanna helps lead the toddy protests and is the first to jump the fence into Boranna’s toddy grove. He is arrested again, never to return.

Rachanna Quotes in Kanthapura

The Kanthapura quotes below are all either spoken by Rachanna or refer to Rachanna. 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 5 Quotes

What is a policeman before a Gandhi’s man? Tell me, does a boar stand before a lion or a jackal before an elephant?

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Rachanna, Badè Khan, Sahib, Vasudev
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 18 Quotes

“In the name of the goddess, I’ll burn this village”

Related Characters: Rachi (speaker), Rachanna, Kenchamma
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Kanthapura LitChart as a printable PDF.
Kanthapura PDF

Rachanna Character Timeline in Kanthapura

The timeline below shows where the character Rachanna appears in Kanthapura. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 6
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...the courtyard, excitedly awaiting his arrival and watching a lantern in the distance. The coolie Rachanna thinks he hears Moorthy in Vasudev’s shed, but the noise is actually Badè Khan and... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...and Badè Khan exchanges insults with the rest before attacking Moorthy with his lathi, but Rachanna and Madanna wrest it from Khan and hit him on the head with it. The... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
The morning after the fight, the maistri kicks Rachanna off the Estate and drives his family out by force when he asks for his... (full context)
Section 7
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. Moorthy feels that “something was the matter,” looks around Kanthapura, and... (full context)
Section 8
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
...agree to join the Panchayat (village council or Congress). He goes to visit the pariah Rachanna, but he is out and his wife, Rachi, invites Moorthy inside. For the first time,... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Rachanna’s grandchildren enter, and then Madanna’s and his wife, and then “all the children of the... (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 asks him to enter through... (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. He tells them about the... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...then there is such a silence that a moving ant could be heard.” He appoints Rachanna as the fourth member and Seenu the fifth. (full context)
Section 10
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...shouts to Badè Khan: “bind this man!” Rangè Gowda stands at Rangamma’s door with “Pariah Rachanna and Madanna and Lingayya and Lingayya’s woman” and shouts at the policemen, “what are you... (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 group... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Rachanna again shouts “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!” and “in sinister omen” the Kartik lights suddenly go... (full context)
Section 14
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...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 and stop for prayers along the... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...need be.” Moorthy and Rangè Gowda try to open the toddy grove’s gate as Pariah Rachanna leads the other marchers in cries of “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!” (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
As the policemen try to push back the marchers, Rachanna runs and jumps the fence, climbing a toddy tree. The policemen rush to attack him... (full context)
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...their fresh wounds but also a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The police arrest pariah Rachanna and the potters Lingayya and Siddayya, separating the other men, young women, and old women... (full context)
Section 17
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...police—one hits its mark, and the police start to round up the children. They beat Rachanna’s grandson “on the buttocks and head and spine and knee” and throw him down on... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
...one another up and banging on the temple door until the morning, when Rachi, Pariah Rachanna’s wife, finally opens it and lets them back out into Kanthapura. (full context)