Premchand: A Prolific Novelist

1Surendra Kumar Gupta

1Department of Hindi, Government College, Hindaun City(Rajasthan)-322230


India has been the cradle of Ganga-Yamuni culture. The culture in which humanity dominates the minds of the people. There is no room for violence, and humanity creates peace. All religions and cultures are respected here and thoughts are accommodated. Premchand was a precious jewel of this culture. The novelist and short-story writer Premchand is considered to be the first major novelist in Hindi and Urdu of the twentieth century. Born on 31 July 1880 in Lamhi, a village in Varanasi, Premchand’s actual name was Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava. He belonged to the Kayastha family who used to hold important positions at that time, especially during the Mughal period. His grandfather Guru Sahai himself was a Patwari (land record keeper) and uncle Mahabir a big landowner. His father Ajaib Lal was a post office clerk. But beyond the identity of the ancestors, Premchand made his unique identity - an identity of an author who preferred Hindustani language over Hindi and Urdu as medium of expression. It was his extraordinary style of writing in composite culture that made him the samraat (emperor) of Hindi novels. Though we saw some names in the world of novel even much before Premchand such as Pariksha Guru by Lala Shrinivas Das(1882), Chatidrakanta Santati by Devaki Nandan Khatri (1890), Upanyas, a journal launched by Kishorilal Goswami (1998) in which his sixty five novels were published. But all these were like fables, away from the social issues and reality. It was Premchand’s pen which made social reality its subject matter. He not only provided literature to the society but picked up the characters from the society itself and explained them in their work.


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