Kanthapura

by

Raja Rao

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The original head of the Skeffington Coffee Estate, the Sahib is a cruel and violent profiteer who exemplifies colonial greed in India. He employs the maistri to terrorize the coolies, preventing them from resisting or leaving the Estate, and takes pleasure in threatening the seven-year-old Chenna on the child’s first day at the Estate.

Sahib Quotes in Kanthapura

The Kanthapura quotes below are all either spoken by Sahib or refer to Sahib. 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

And they all rose up like one rock and fell on the ground saying, “You are a dispenser of good, O Maharaja, we are the lickers of your feet…”

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Sahib, Maistri, Coolie Chenna
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

[Pariah Siddayya] tells you about the dasara havu that is so clever that he got into the Sahib’s drawer and lay there curled up, and how, the other day, when the sahib goes to the bathroom, a lamp in his hand, and opens the drawer to take out some soap, what does he see but our Maharaja, nice and clean and shining with his eyes glittering in the lamplight, and the Sahib, he closes the drawer as calmly as a prince; but by the time he is back with his pistol, our Maharaja has given him the slip. And the Sahib opens towel after towel to greet the Maharaja, but the Maharaja has gone on his nuptial ceremony and he will never be found.

Related Characters: Achakka (speaker), Sahib, Potter Siddayya
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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:
Get the entire Kanthapura LitChart as a printable PDF.
Kanthapura PDF

Sahib Character Timeline in Kanthapura

The timeline below shows where the character Sahib appears in Kanthapura. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 2
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...the town’s one-eared dog on his way to the Skeffington Coffee Estate. When Khan arrives, Mr. Skeffington offers him a hut and the butler guides him there. Khan moves in with one... (full context)
Section 5
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
At the estate, the maistri “banged the gate behind them” and brought them to the Sahib, “a tall, fat man with golden hair.” The Sahib touched seven-year-old Chenna “with the butt... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...to tell the story of a snake he calls the Maharaja, which hid in the Sahib’s drawer and slithered away when the Sahib fetched his pistol. (full context)
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
...fever is common, and people can even work with it—but they could not, and the Sahib gives them pills that Siddayya says not to take, for they work in the Sahib’s... (full context)
Land, Geography, and Belonging Theme Icon
...pills then “Kenchamma would not forgive him.” The child becomes delirious, the coolies call the Sahib, and the child dies in the Sahib’s arms. The Sahib whips Madanna and makes everyone... (full context)
Gandhism and the Erosion of Caste Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
In ten years nobody has gone back; the old Sahib died and was been replaced by his nephew, the new Sahib, who has brought more... (full context)
Oral Tradition, Writing, and Political Power Theme Icon
Nationalism and Colonialism Theme Icon
Labor, Exploitation, and Economic Independence Theme Icon
When Badè Khan came to the Estate, the new Sahib figured he would be useful. In fact, the brahmin clerks Gangadhar and Vasudev ignore the... (full context)