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Munshi Premchand: India celebrates 136th Birth Anniversary of the Great Saint-Poet, Reformer and Philosopher

Premchand was one of the most notable novelists of Hindi literature and the aura of this literature would not have been so sparkling without him

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Munsi Premchand. Image source: belaljafri.wordpress.com
  • Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava in a village Lamahi near Varanasi on July 31, 1880
  • Premchand had first adopted a pseudo name ‘Nawab Rai’ and wrote his first novel, ‘Asrar e Ma’abid’
  • ‘Mangalsutra’ was the novel, which never completed as he became terribly ill during his last years

Beauty doesn’t need ornaments. Softness can’t bear the weight of ornaments” – a quote by Munshi Premchand, for Munshi Premchand on his birth anniversary. He doesn’t need any introduction, as his works and words have always found a way to the deepest inner spaces in people’s hearts.

NewsGram remembers Premchand on his 136th Birth Anniversary and here are few lines about him that will certainly bring you closer to the luminary and know him better as a person, the one who enlightened India and the world with his extraordinary ideas.

Premchand was one of the most notable novelists of Hindi literature. The aura of Hindi literature would not have been so sparkling without him. His softness was the part which helped him to relate to the people and the situations.

Munshi Premchand. Image Source: freehindibooksforyou.blogspot.com
Munshi Premchand. Image Source: freehindibooksforyou.blogspot.com

Here are some facts about Munshi Premchand-

  • Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava in a village Lamahi near Varanasi on 31st July 1880. He was known for his modern Hindustani literature and was also conferred as Upanyas Samrat (king of novels).
  • Premchand’s mother died when he was just 7 and father was soon remarried. He did not have a good relationship with his stepmother. Premchand became gloomy after his mother’s demise and found comfort in reading. Since then he had become an avid reader.

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  • He married at an age of 15, but the marriage failed. Later he married a child widow, Shivarani Devi, in 1906. This step was revolutionary at that time and faced lots of criticism.
  • After his father’s demise, he became responsible for his step-mother and step-siblings. He had to discontinue his studies to earn for the family.
  • His first job was a tuition teacher at an age of 15 to a lawyer’s child and was given only Rs. 5 per month. It was only in 1900 he was offered a job as a teacher in Bahraich at District Government school. During this time, he started writing novels.
  • Premchand had faced poverty throughout his life. There was a time when he took a loan of two-and-a-half rupees to buy new clothes and it took him 3 years for the repayment of the loan.

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  • Premchand had first adopted a pseudo name ‘Nawab Rai’ and wrote his first novel, ‘Asrar e Ma’abid’, which deals with the corruptions among the priests and sexual exploitation of poor women.
Godaan by Munshi Premchand. Image Source: amazon.in
Godaan by Munshi Premchand. Image Source: amazon.in
  • In 1921, when Gandhiji asked the people to leave their jobs, Munshi Premchand left his job despite the financial crisis and responsibility of his wife and children.
  • After leaving his job, he came back to Varanasi and started his own printing press, named ‘Saraswati’ in 1923. Due to a financial crisis in 1934, he worked as a scriptwriter in Ajanta Cinetone production house and had written the script of the film-‘Mazdoor.
  • His most famous novel ‘Godaan’ was among his last works. The novel was later translated into English and made into a Hindi film in 1963. ‘Mangalsutra’ was the novel, which never completed as he became terribly ill during his last years. Unfortunately, he breathed his last on 8 October, 1936.

– by Aparna Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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Mahatma Gandhi is Still Alive on The Big Screen

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, breathed his last on January 30, 1948

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Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, movies, screens, TV
British actor Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 Oscar-winning film "Gandhi" is one that is etched on everyone's minds. Wikimedia Commons

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi, breathed his last on January 30, 1948, but he has been brought alive on the big screen several times.

As India is all set to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at actors who essayed the role of Gandhi with elan.

BEN KINGSLEY in “Gandhi” (1982)

British actor Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Oscar-winning film “Gandhi” is one that is etched on everyone’s minds.

NASEERUDDIN SHAH in “Hey Ram” (2000)

The Kamal Haasan-starrer film revolved around India’s Partition and the assassination of Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. Interestingly, Naseeruddin had auditioned for the role of Gandhi in Attenborough’s film. The role eventually went to Kingsley. Naseeruddin’s Gandhi in “Hey Ram” didn’t received the acclaim that Kingsley’s effort did, but he was praised for nailing the act and getting the Gujarati accent right.

JS CASHYAP in “Nine Hours To Rama” (1963)

Mark Robson’s English language film is about the nine hours of Nathuram Godse’s life before he assassinated Gandhi. Goidse was essaywed by German actor Horst Buchholz.

ANNU KAPOOR in “Sardar” (1993)

The Ketan Mehta film on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had Annu Kapoor stepping into the shoes of Gandhi. Apart from playing the great Indian leader on the big screen, Annu also lent his voice as narrator to “Khaar” — a docudrama on Gandhi’s Dandi March.

“The Dandi March initiated by Gandhiji was an iconic movement against the British and a milestone in India’s movement for freedom,” Annu said last year.

RAJIT KAPUR in “The Making Of The Mahatma” (1996)

Kapur, popular for playing the Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi on television, played Gandhi in Shyam Benegal’s “The Making of The Mahatma”. His role in the film, fetched him a National Film Award as Best Actor.

Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, movies, screens, TV
As India is all set to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at actors who essayed the role of Gandhi with elan. Wikimedia Commons

MOHAN GOKHALE in “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” (2000)

The film didn’t center around him but he managed to make his presence felt in the movie on BR Ambedkar, known mainly for helping the the downtrodden and oppressed classes in India.

DARSHAN JARIWALA IN “Gandhi, My Father” (2007)

His performance in the critically-acclaimed film was lauded by many, including the Indian government that honoured him with a National Award for his effort. “‘Gandhi, My Father’ happened in a curious way. Feroz Abbas Khan (director) had approached me for Gandhi’s role in his famous play ‘Mahatma v/s Gandhi’. I was his first choice. Unfortunately, I was preoccupied with other business interests then, and it was my misfortune that I couldn’t do it. So here I am, playing Gandhi in his directorial debut,” Darshan had said in an interview.

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DILIP PRABHAWALKAR in “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” (2006)

The Sanjay Dutt-starrer was probably one of the most commercial Bollywood films to feature. The film wasn’t just about the great leader but his teachings were highlighted well in the comedy-drama by filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. It showed why Gandhi continues to be relevant even today. Dilip was also honoured with a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his act in the blockbuster.

SURENDRA RAJAN in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh” (2002); “Veer Savarkar” (2001); “Bose: The Forgotten Hero” (2004)

Few know, but Rajan is the actor to have essayed the Mahatma the maximum number of times. the Bollywood character actor may not be a known face in Hindi films, but his roles as Gandhi in “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh”, Veer Savarkar”, and “Bose” have become his calling cards.

SRIKANTH in “Mahatma” (2009 Telugu film)

The film was about a hooligan whose life sees transformation after he gets to know of Gandhism by chance. Actor Srikanth essyaed the role of the Mahatma. (IANS)