In Waiting For The Mahatma Analysis

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The relevance of their relation has been discussed by the critics at length. Initially, Bharati is the motivation which indicts Sriram into the Gandhian fold. But once Sriram gains entry, the guru- shishya relationship between him and Bharati becomes the sustaining force to keep him there. Discussing the relationship of Bharati and Sriram, K. S. Iyenger says that, “In Waiting for the Mahatma, the theme is apparently the Bharati-Sriram romance which, however, gains a new dimension in the background of their common allegiance to the Mahatma” (Iyenger 23). Narayan has effectively simplified the Gandhian philosophy in this novel. We witness the mass appeal of Gandhi in the sheer numbers of Malgudian citizens patiently waiting on the hot bank of Sarayu to listen to the Mahatma, their leader. Khadi-clad Volunteers guide the people and maintain order at the meeting ground. When Gandhiji delivers his speech, Sriram listens to him with great passion and zeal and follows the directions given by the Mahatma. The Mahatma Says: I like to see more vigour in your arms, more rhythm, more spirit. It must be like the drum beat of the non-violent soldiers marching on to cut the chains that bind Mother India…. I want to see unity in it. (WFM 26) Though there have been other novelists who have woven their novels around Gandhian values, Narayan uses the person of Gandhi as a character in the novel. He does not merely deliver speeches to the multitudes, but also converses and interacts with
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