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Diamond of Hindi and Urdu literature: Munshi Premchand

Premchand was born on 31 July, 1880 in a village named Lamhi near Varanasi. He was named Dhanpat Rai

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Munshi Premchand

By Shruti Pandey

 “Literature adds to reality; it doesn’t simply describe things”.- C.S. Lewis

Munshi Premchand is one of the peculiar writers of India who lived up to this thought and modified the trend of Hindi and Urdu literature, being all about religion and fantasy. He was a pioneer in writing who relished and even succeeded in bringing a change in society with his words.

Here are 10 quick facts about this exemplary writer-

Related article: 4 Indian litterateurs who should have got Nobel Prize

  1. Premchand was born on 31 July, 1880 in a village named Lamhi near Varanasi. He was born to Ajaib Rai and Anand Rai and was named Dhanpat Rai. Ajaib Rai did clerical jobs in a nearby post office. His mother met with a casualty and died when Dhanpat was only 8 years old. This followed a remarriage of Ajaib Rai. His early education was accomplished in a Madrsa, where he learnt Urdu and Persian.
  2. Although, he was very close to his elder sister, he shared bitter relation with his step-mother, which took him towards books and he became a voracious reader after that. Dhanpat was married at an early age of 15, but he renounced his wife later on as he couldn’t find competence with her. Things turned upside down when his father died due an illness in 1897 and Dhanpat was compelled to take care of his sisters and step-mother.
  3. He started working as a tuition teacher and along with this, he completed his matriculation. After struggling for years, he finally found his luck at Government District School in Baharaich. At the age of 20, he did his intermediate, privately, and completed his bachelor’s in arts. He even inspired himself to complete some creations in Urdu.
  4. Dhanpat Rai started writing under the pseudonym “Nawab Rai” and wrote his first short novel titled “Asrar-e-Ma’abid” ,that dealt with the issues of corruption among the religious preachers and their tendency to exploit poor women, sexually. He came under the watch glass in 1910, after he published a collection of short stories named  Soz-e-Watan. The copies were burnt by the British Government and were termed seditious as it contained elements that were intended at arousing nationalist sentiments. After his work was confiscated by the British, he relinquished “Nawab Rai” and instead opted for another pseudonym “Munshi Premchand”.
  5. His journey as a Hindi writer began in 1914. In this series, he wrote many short stories and novels. His first major Hindi novel was “Sevasadan”. The issue of this book was one of a kind. The story explored the life of a prostitute, who aspired to be educated and live a respectful life and finally ended up doing so. This was a rebellion of Premchand against the injustice done to women and he fought this with bullets of words.
  6. He also showcased this valor when he turned against social norms and married a child widow Shivarani Devi and had three children with her. As a part of National Freedom Movement, Gandhiji asked all the public servants to leave their jobs as a form of protest. Following the diktat, he renounced his job and joined to movement. He came to Varanasi and went on to establish his own publishing house: Saraswati Press in 1923.
  7. From Saraswati press, he published novels Nirmala and Pratigya and both the novels had women as the leading protagonist. They were shown being empowered in the novel. He started a Socio-political magazine in 1930, which failed to derive economic benefits and was finally shelved, forcing Premchand to look for more stable job. He became principal at Marwari College in Kanpur in 1931.
  8. Not a lot of people are aware of this fact that, Munshi Premchand did film script writing for a while. His financial condition was declining and to make up for it, he accepted the job of writing at Ajanta Cinetone where he wrote script for the movie “Majdoor”. But because of  his inability to walk hand in hand with the commercial writings, he left the job and finally came back to Varanasi and wrote a number of short stories and completed “Godaan” in 1936. He was working on his novel “Mangalsutra” before he embraced death on 8 October, 1936 out of illness.
  9. The peculiar thing about his writing was that, he never made use of Sanskritized Hindi which was in trend at that time. Instead, he used common Hindi language that was the tongue of majority of people in India in those times. The second thing; his stories never revolved around the upper classes of the society. The protagonists always belonged to some lower sections of the society which made everyone believe that there is a hero inside everyone of us.
  10. His most famous work, “Godaan” was based on a Dalit farmer family ,who were hand to mouth and how they were exploited. He didn’t write to please the élites, instead he wrote to please the masses. Apart from this, his short stories like “Poos Ki Raat” and “Namak Ka Daroga” dealt with contemporary problems of those times. He wrote around 300 short stories and novels and the anthology of his works has been named “Mansarovar”.  

Shruti Pandey is a third year engineering student in HBTI, Kanpur and aspires to bring a change through words. Twitter  @srt_kaka

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10 Tips How Do You Write A Literature Review For A Research Paper

The literature review chapter is primarily meant to put your ideas into a scholarly context. It helps you appreciate that other writers and scholars have researched ideas similar to yours

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Literature, Study, Research Paper, education
A historical context to literature review ascertains that you are not the pioneer in the area and therefore appreciates the contributions by other researchers. Pixabay

The literature review chapter is primarily meant to put your ideas into a scholarly context. It helps you appreciate that other writers and scholars have researched ideas similar to your. Get professional research helpers to assist in completing your paper.

Completing the literature review section means that you make huge strides in drafting your
essay. Here are ten tips to make the literature review section easy to complete.

1. Give the old materials a new interpretation. The interpretation is in light of new
evidence that you have unearthed in the course of reading other books and academic
articles. The new definition also arises from your original ideas that you are exploring in
the paper. The interpretation helps you to steer the sector into a new direction.

2. Show where the new and old ideas merge. Academic writing is not only about
developing new ideas. It helps to renew the old thoughts and expand their scope.
Researchers in the past could have limited tools and resources such that they did not go
long enough. Use the available information to broaden the scope and tie loose ends that
could be hanging even today.

3. Trace how far the debate or idea has come so far. A historical context to literature
review ascertains that you are not the pioneer in the area and therefore appreciates the
contributions by other researchers. By creating a foundation in your paper, you help the reader to understand where you are at the moment and therefore justify your
arguments.

4. Use the section to highlight your position and isolate research work that is relevant to
your ideas. The world of research is alive to the fact that there are always opposing
ideas to each position taken. If these opposing ideas are not highlighted and
disqualified, they may weaken your assertion. The literature review section gives you a
chance to recognize that other scholars have differing opinions but move forth also to
show that you have supporters on your side.

5. The best literature review chapter must appreciate the existence of opposing views. It is
insincere for a scholar to assume that everyone will support your idea. Even when the
support is available, it comes with conditions and depends on the information available.
Highlight what the opposition is saying about your idea and show why you think you are
right. Strengthen the points by quoting other scholars who share your point of view. It
shows that you are not isolated in the scholarly world.

6. Use the literature review to point at areas where researchers differ or error, especially
in their approach to the subject that you are about to address. The reason you are
researching on the same issue is a deficit in available information. In other cases, you
are attempting to find a solution to a problem that remains unresolved. Highlight the
points of divergence and convergence for researchers. It justifies your work and shows
the trajectory that you would like to adopt.

Literature, Study, Research Paper, education
Use samples and examples to guide you when drafting your literature review section. Get
recommendations of samples or examples to use from your supervisor. Pixabay

7. Resolve conflicts arising from the divergence of ideas. Disputes are common in
scholarship because the views rely on data collected from different locations and at
varying times. Show how your perspective or invention will provide a solution that two
sides of the discussion fail to agree. You break new ground that scholars will be
interested in embracing.

8. Reveal the gaps that exist in research. It is a considerable challenge to find that you do
not have the necessary information. Highlight how far the existing literature goes into
bridging the gap and why you need more people to look at the subject. As you highlight
the shortfalls, you must appreciate the work already done. It is the sincerity expected in
the academic industry.

9. Read the actual books you quote. While completing the chapter is a requirement for
graduation, you need the knowledge for your work-life upon graduating. It is
unfortunate to have a scholar with no grasp of his area of study. In the process of
reviewing the literature, you expand your knowledge and perception of the subject at
hand. The citations made must be accurate. Do not quote any writer out of context
because it will be misleading and insincere. You attain accuracy by reading the actual
books.

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10. Pay more attention to the references. References guide a reader to the books where
you got information. If these citations and footnotes are wrong, you will mislead the
readers. Your department and supervisor indicate the referencing style expected for
each assignment. Stick to formatting rules shown in the instructions. Failure to follow
these rules attracts punitive penalties.

Use samples and examples to guide you when drafting your literature review section. Get
recommendations of samples or examples to use from your supervisor. Consult your supervisor along the way to ensure that your literature review section meets the highest expected standards.