Birth Anniversary of Shri Munshi Premchand (Novelist)
• Munshi Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Srivastav on 31 July 1880 in Lamhi, a village near Varanasi, in British India. • Munshi Premchand was an Indian writer counted amongst the greatest Hindustani writers of the early 20th century. • Munshi Premchand was a novelist, short story writer, and dramatist who penned over a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories, and numerous essays. • Munshi Premchand also translated a number of literary works of other languages into Hindi. • A teacher by profession, he began his literary career as a freelancer in Urdu. • Munshi Premchand was an independent minded patriotic soul and his initial literary works in Urdu were replete with descriptions of the Indian nationalist movement that was building up in various parts of India. • Munshi Premchand was much moved by the inhumane manner in which Indian women of his time were treated, and often depicted the miserable plight of girls and women in his stories hoping to create awareness in the minds of his readers. • A true patriot, he quit his government job as a part of the non-cooperation movement called by Mahatma Gandhi even though he had a growing family to feed. • Munshi Premchand was eventually elected as the first President of the Progressive Writers' Association in Lucknow. • A patriot, he wrote many stories in Urdu encouraging the general public to participate in India’s struggle for freedom from British colonial rule. These stories were published in his first short story collection, titled ‘Soz-e-Watan’ in 1907. The collection came to the notice of the British officials who banned it. This also forced Dhanpat Rai to change his pen name from “Nawab Rai” to “Premchand” in order to escape persecution at the hands of the British. • Munshi Premchand ‘s novel, ‘Godaan’, is considered one of the greatest Hindustani novels of modern Indian literature. The novel explores several themes such as caste segregation in India, exploitation of the lower classes, exploitation of women, and the problems posed by industrialization. The book was later translated into English and also made into a Hindi film in 1963. • Munshi Premchand suffered from ill health during his last days and died on 8 October 1936. • The Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, established the Premchand Fellowships in his honor in 2005. It is given to persons of eminence in the field of culture from SAARC countries.