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Premchand revolutionised Hindi-Urdu literature with his writings, says his grandson Alok Rai

Rai spoke in a session titled "Hindustani Zindagi Ka Naqsh-Nigaar: Premchand" in which he stated that Premchand picked a language, which reached the masses

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Premchand
Munshi Premchand' wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 18, 2017: According to Premchand’s grandson Alok Rai, Munshi Premchand changed the face of Hindi-Urdu literature by incorporating his ‘modern outlook’ and lucid articulations.

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Rai spoke in a session titled “Hindustani Zindagi Ka Naqsh-Nigaar: Premchand” in which he stated that Premchand picked a language, which reached the masses.

“Premchand had a modern view and understood things happening around him from a completely different perspective. Being an ardent reader, he had several influences which he used in telling stories,” Rai stated while speaking at Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival celebrating Urdu language.

Manager Pandey, former JNU professor and author spoke about the usage of idioms was exclusive to Premchand’s writings.

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“He adopted an extensive use of idioms in most of his stories. The best thing about Premchand was that he was a social writer and expressed himself in a language that people could easily understand. He touched different castes, cultures as well as religions and catered to everybody,” Manager said.

Munshi Premchand wrote more than dozen of books and penned more than 300 stories. Therefore, he was known as “Upanayas Samrat”. He is attributed to be a pioneer in Hindi literature.

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Premchand’s books, for instance, “Godaan”, “Nirmala”, “Rangbhoomi” and “Sevasadan”;
exhibited the realism and portrayed the plight of oppressed and urban middle class strata of the society in his modern and critical way.

His popular stories are “Kafan”, “Shatranj Ke Khiladi”, “Idgah”, “Poos Ki Raat”, “Namak Ka Daroga” and “Sadgati” among many others.

Rai stated that his grandfather penned strong woman characters with a free will, hence he was ahead of his times and broke ceiling on the stereotypes of submissive woman.

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– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter:@SabbyDarkhorse

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Munshi Premchand: An Acclaimed Hindi Fiction Writer and his many Achievements

10 unknown facts about literary genius Munshi Premchand

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Munshi Premchand's Statue in Varanasi
Munshi Premchand's Statue in Varanasi. Wikimedia
  • Premchand’s work was based on social evils of society like exploitation, greed, submission, poverty and caste system among others.
  • Premchand stressed on the fact that a writer’s natural gifts can be enhanced with education and curiosity about the world around him.
  • His noteworthy works are Godan, Seva Sadan, Nirmala, Gaban, Karmabhoomi, and Pratigya.

August 3, 2017: Premchand, a Realist Hindi-Urdu writer once said, “I write for only one sake: To present a human truth, or to show a new angle of looking at common things.” His work was based on social evils of society like exploitation, greed, submission, poverty and caste system among others.  He was born with the name Dhanpat Rai on 31 July 1880 in Lamhi, a village near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

“Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein” : A Film inspired by Indian Writer Munshi Premchand and Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Works

His stories had a moralistic overtone to it and might not appeal to the modern readers but teach about goodness and to follow the right path.  Literature for him was simply ‘the criticism of life’. He was of the belief that language is a means and not an end, and a writer is born, not made.

Premchand stressed on the fact that a writer’s natural gifts can be enhanced with education and curiosity about the world around him. He said, “We will have to raise the standard of our literature so that it can serve the society more usefully… our literature will discuss and assess every aspect of life and we will no longer be satisfied with eating the leftovers of other languages and pieces of literature. We will ourselves increase the capital of our literature.”

His noteworthy works include Godan, Seva Sadan, Nirmala, Gaban, Karmabhoomi and Pratigya among others. Here are some unknown facts about the great author:

  • Premchand began writing under the pen name Nawab Rai (his uncle nicknamed him Nawab) and later shifted to the name Premchand. He was later known as Munshi Premchand, the prefix Munshi was given as the honorary title to him by his readers.
  • He got married at a very young age of 15 to Shivarani Devi when he was a class 9 student.
  • Premchand started his career as a sales boy in a book shop so that he could read more and more books. Then he became a home tutor and after that, he joined government school as an assistant teacher, on a monthly salary of 20 rupees.
  • He resigned from the school, became a staunch supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and started a press in Varanasi known as Saraswati Press.
  • His works include 14 novels, 300 short stories, several essays and translated a number of foreign literary works into Hindi.
  • His first collection of short stories, Soz-e Watan (The Dirge of the Nation), written in 1908 was deemed controversial, got banned by the imperial government and on top of it, all the copies of the book were burnt. 
  • Premchand was elected as the first president of the All-India Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) and also wrote a non-fiction piece for them. His speech, called Sahitya ka Uddeshya (The Aim of Literature), was heard by an attentive audience comprising both young and established writers from across the country. It also talked about what concerns or should concern, all writers irrespective of language. 
  • There have been many movies made inspired by his works like Heera Moti -based on a short story Do Bailon ki Kahani, Oka Ori Kath (South Indian film)- based on Kafan and  Shatranj ke Khiladi by Satyajit Ray is based on the novel of the same name. His other novels like Godan and Gaban have been turned into movies too.

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  • Gulzar turned Munshi Premchand’s Godan into a 26-episode serial for Doordarshan called Tehreer. 
  • Premchand died from a gastric ulcer on 8 October 1936. At that time he was composing the novel Mangalasutra, but could not complete it.  His one son, Amit Rai, became a noted Hindi writer, and the other, Sripath Rai, a talented painter.

–by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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MP Manoj Tiwari misbehaves with School Teacher but kneels before Bollywood Actress

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BJP
Manoj Tiwari. Wikimedia
  • Manoj Tiwari is the BJP MP who came in media highlights for his verbal assault on a teacher
  • The MP who was invited to a cultural event in UP celebrating the birth anniversary of Munshi Premchand
  • However, he did take out time to meet some of his friends from Bollywood

August 2, 2017: “You do not have manners to speak to an MP?” (Translated) were BJP MP Manoj Tiwari’s words to a primary school teacher, enraged at her for requesting him to sing at a school function in the presence of CCTV cameras. Continuing his rant, he had asked the teacher to get off the stage and probed all present officers to take an action against her. Tiwari later received a lot of flak for the video, which had surfaced in May this year.

However, when Bollywood actors Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma reached Varaṇasi on July 31 to promote their upcoming movie ‘Harry Met Sejal’, the BJP MP was the first in line to join them for the promotions.

Also Read: Ram Temple at Ayodhya is a part of the BJP Agenda, says Amit Shah

Tiwari was not only gracious enough to host the event for the actors but also very willingly knelt on his knees throughout the event to perform songs for Anushka. The highlight of the event was when he sang a Bhojpuri song while the crowd rejoiced during the promotional event held at a private institute.

Need we remind you, this is the same BJP MP who had misbehaved with a female teacher over her request to sing at a school function.

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If this wasn’t news enough, the MP who recognizes himself as his ‘people’s person’ got so involved with the stars that he failed to interact with locals on his visit to the PM’s Parliamentary constituency. Tiwari chose to be associated with such an event while the people of Varanasi were expecting a discussion for the development of the constituency from him, given his contacts and his high-profile image.

However, what further hurt the sentiments of the people of UP was not the enthusiasm the MP showed for the promotion of a film he is not associated with whatsoever, but his willingness to forego a cultural event scheduled at village Lamhi.

The President of the Delhi unit of BJP failed to fulfill a political commitment of attending a cultural event scheduled at village Lamhi to celebrate the birth anniversary of Munshi Premchand.

So much for being an artist, we’d say!

While these developments may not gather national attention, the people of Varanasi are sure to hold Tiwari accountable for his involvement in such foolish and murky dealings.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter: @SohaKala

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)