Monday July 23, 2018
Home India Diamond of Hi...

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

0
//
1511
Munshi Premchand
Republish
Reprint

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

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Akshay Kumar Wants To Be A Part Of Hindi Remake Of Marathi Film “Balak Palak”

Akshay Kumar says he wants to be a part of the Hindi remake of Marathi film “Balak Palak”

0
15 Crore Opening In China Of
Akshay Kumar: ‘Marathi Cinema Is Bolder Than Hindi. flickr

Akshay Kumar, who has turned presenter for “Chumbak”, believes Marathi cinema is way ahead of Bollywood when it comes exploring complex stories. “The content of Marathi cinema is no doubt better than Hindi cinema. Also, they (Marathi cinema) are much bolder. I have seen ‘Balak Palak’ and I have enjoyed watching it. It is a bold film, they (Marathi cinema) create (good) content and that too bold,” Akshay said during the trailer launch of “Chumbak”.

The film, directed by Sandeep Modi, stars Swanand Kirkire and teen actors Sangram Desai and Sahil Jadhav. “This film has travelled to several film festivals and got lot of acclaim. That has not happened with my films. My films have not gone to festivals and I felt I should give my name to this film as the content is really good. I have been acting for 28 years but I haven’t seen such a beautiful and real performance like that of Swanand Kirkire.”

Not for money

Actor-producer Akshay Kumar says that he did not produce the forthcoming Marathi film “Chumbak” with the intention to earn money at box office. Asked what prompted him to associate his name with “Chumbak”, Akshay said: “I don’t want to earn money by producing this film. I do lot of films through which I earn money and this film is not one of them. This film will show you right path. I have seen many films, but not every time, I want to associate myself with the film, but this film touched my heart. The kind of message that this film gives, these are the things what I would like to teach my children. I feel people should pass on this to their children so that they can learn what is right and what is wrong.”

The actor said he is keen to be a part of meaningful films. “I could have done ‘Rowdy Rathore’ and earned three times the money, I earned for ‘PadMan’. The idea is not about earning, but I thought of talking about women’s problems. I can earn money by doing other kind of films, but I want to do these kind of films.”

Akshay, on his part, believes the market for regional cinema is growing. “‘Sairat’ has done great business. Even Riteish Deshmukh’s last Marathi film did well. I am not looking for business in this film (‘Chumbak’).”

The message

About the message given in “Chumbak”, Akshay said: “I feel parents should take their children to watch this film because it tells you that there are two ways to lead a life, one is right path and another is wrong. In that, you have to choose what path is correct for you and that’s what the journey of the characters in this film.”

The film, starring renowned lyricist Kirkire, is a story of friendship between a 15-year-old table-cleaning-waiter-boy Baalu and his chance encounter with a 45-year-old mentally slow man Prasanna that forces him to make a choice between his dreams and morality.

Akshay Kumar says he wants to be a part of the Hindi remake of Marathi film “Balak Palak”
Akshay Kumar says he wants to be a part of the Hindi remake of Marathi film “Balak Palak”. Wikimedia commons

Remaking a film

Akshay Kumar says he wants to be a part of the Hindi remake of Marathi film “Balak Palak”, which was produced by his close actor-producer friend Riteish Deshmukh. “There was a film which I watched…’Balak Palak’… and it’s really a bold film. I think Marathi cinema is much bolder in its content and doesn’t shy away from presenting taboo subjects. I would like to remake that film.”

Akshay has acted in socially-relevant films like “PadMan” and “Toilet- Ek Prem Katha”. Asked if he wants to continue doing such films, he quipped: “Now I am also going to do one more social film called ‘Housefull 4’. I like doing all kinds of cinema. I don’t have a particular image and I don’t want to tag myself. I keep on breaking my image all the time and it always comes as a challenge for me. As an actor also, it keeps you going,” he added.

Also read: Actor Naseeruddin Shah Says, 50 Years From Now Cinema Halls Would Be Found In Museums

The actor will be next seen in Reema Kagti’s historical period sports drama “Gold” and Shankar’s science fiction film “2.0”. (IANS)