Munshi Premchand (31 july 1880 – 8 october 1936)
was regarded as the greatest writer in Hindi literature. He is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent and is regarded as one of the foremost Hindustani writers of the early twentieth century. His birth name is Dhanpat Rai Srivastav and a pen name is Nawab Rai. He wrote his all writings with his pen name. Finally, his name becomes changed to the Munshi Premchand. His first name Munshi is an honorary prefix given by his lovers in the society because of his quality and effective writings. As a Hindi writer, he wrote approximately dozen novels, 250 short stories, numerous essays, and translations. He has been referred to as the “Upanyas Samrat” (“Emperor among Novelists”) by some Hindi writers. He developed a lot of interest in reading books. He also did the job of book selling to a book wholesaler to get a chance to read more books. He was in Gorakhpur when he wrote his first literary writing. He always believed to write about the social realism in his Hindi literature and discuss the status of a woman in the society. He wrote his first short novel by the title of Asrar e Ma’abid means Devasthan Rahasya in the Hindi language “The Mystery of God’s Abode”. In 1905, Premchand published an article on the Indian National Congress leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale in Zamana. He criticized Gokhale’s methods for achieving political freedom, and instead recommended adoption of more extremist measures adopted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
In 1907, Premchand’s first published story was Duniya Ka Sabse Anmol Ratan. According to this story, the most precious ‘jewel’ was the last drop of blood necessary to attain independence.
In 1907, Premchand’s second short novel Hamkhurma-o-Hamsavab, was penned under the name “Babu Nawab Rai Banarsi”. It explores the issue of widow remarriage
In 1907, another of Premchand’s short novels, Kishna was published by the Medical Hall Press of Benares. This 142-page work, which satirizes women’s fondness for jewelry, is now lost.Literary critic Nobat Rai criticized the work in Zamana, calling it a mockery of the women’s conditions.
During April–August 1907, Premchand’s story Roothi Rani was published in serial form in Zamana. Also in 1907, the publishers of Zamana published Premchand’s first short story collection, titled Soz-e-Watan. The collection, which was later banned, contained four stories which sought to inspire the Indians in their struggle for political freedom.
He had started writing in Hindi from 1914. The first Hindi writing Saut was published in the Saraswati magazine in the month of December in 1915 and Sapta Saroj in the month of June in 1917.
At the Gorakhpur, he translated many books to Hindi. His first Hindi novel named Seva Sadan (original language was Urdu by the title Bazaar-e-Husn) was published in Hindi in the year 1919. He decided to resign the government job after attending the meeting at Gorakhpur on 8th February 1921 where Mahatma Gandhi asked people to join non-cooperation movement. He went back to Varanasi after leaving his job in March 1921 and started focusing on his literary career. During this period he suffered financial problems and poor health till his death in 1936. He became successful in establishing his own printing press and publishing house in the Varanasi named Saraswati Press in the year 1923 where he published his writings Rangabhumi, Nirmala, Pratigya, Gaban, Hans, Jagaran. Again he relocated to Kanpur in the year 1931 as a teacher in the Marwari College. After leaving the college he came back to Benares as an editor of the Maryada magazine. He had published the novel named Karmabhumi in the year 1932. Shortly he served as a headmaster at Kashi Vidyapeeth and later as an editor of the Madhuri magazine at Lucknow. He also had tried his career in the Hindi film Industry at Bombay in the year 1934 and got a job for the script writing from the Ajanta Cinetone production house. He became successful in maintaining his family financial difficulties. He wrote the film script for the Mazdoor film by Mohan Bhawnani by staying in Dadar. He played a cameo role (leader of laborers) as well in the same film. He did not like the commercial film industry environment of the Bombay and returned back to Benares after completing the one year contract.
Because of his ill health, he was unable to publish his writing named Hans and handed over to the Indian Literary Counsel. In the year 1936, he was nominated as first President of Progressive Writers’ Association at Lucknow. Because of the persistent illness, he died on 8thof October in the year 1936. His last and one of the premium Hindi novels is Godaan. He never moved outside the country for writing or studying purposes that are why he never became renowned among foreign literary figures. Kafan is also the best writing of him of the year 1936. His last story writing is Cricket Match which was published after his death in Zamana in the year 1937.