Nationalism In Kanthapura

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She suggests that Rao’s traditional Brahminic orthodoxy sets a hindrance in the presentation of a faithful picture of Indian nationalism. Though it was a national phenomenon, Raja Rao’s inherited concepts create a layer which stops him to show the true image. Makarand Paranjape, while commenting on the novel, analyses it formally and stylistically. He reviews the experiments Raja Rao has introduced in the course of the novel. The greatest among them is the form of the novel – legendary history or sthalapurana. Paranjape enlists the puranic quality: Kanthapura shares certain narrative techniques with the Puranas. … The Puranas contain detailed, poetic description of nature; similarly, this novel has several descriptive passages which are so evocative and unified as to be prose-poem in themselves. Kanthapura is also imbued with a religious spirit akin to that of the Puranas. An important idea that runs through it is that of incarnation; as the Gita says, whenever there is a decline in Dharma, the Lord incarnates to restore the balance. The doctrine of incarnation is central to the Puranas, too, most of which are descriptive accounts of the avatars of Vishnu. The avatar in the novel is Gandhi, whose shadow looms over the whole book, although he is himself not a character. (Paranjape: vii-viii) The next focus one finds in Paranjape is that of style. He calls it ‘uniquely experimental’: Raja Rao’s effort is to capture the flavour and nuance of south Indian rural dialogue in
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