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Kanthapura is considered to be a significant volume in Indian literature. The book portrays the story of a village, Kanthapura, and it is set during the pre-independence era, in southern India. Raja Rao paints a picture of the participation of the village in the Indian freedom struggle through this book. The book takes on a Gandhian approach, as the villagers who live in Kanthapura adopt the path of a non-violent struggle, inspired by the influence of the Mahatma up north. The story is narrated by an old villager called Achakka, and the book introduces readers to other major characters like Moorthy, Rangamma, and Ratna. It puts forth Indian myths and social customs and explains how the villagers use these to combat the British oppression. This sparks a nationwide awakening, as the Gandhian influence spreads throughout the country. The novel covers a few Hindu practices and beliefs, and these have been detailed well in order to cater to local and international readers.
Raja Rao was a popular author born in the year 1908. He is widely known for his short stories and novels. His works revolve mainly around Hinduism. Rao was famous for bringing in a different style of writing in English literature. He studied French during his days at the University of Montpelier in France and his early works are in French and English. He later worked at the University of Texas at Austin as a professor of Philosophy. Some of his popular books are Comrade Kirilov, On the Ganga Ghat, The Serpent and the Rope, The Cat and Shakespeare: A Tale of India, and The Chessmaster and His Moves. Rao passed away in the year 2006, in Texas, USA.