17 fascinating facts about Munshi Premchand Final

Munshi Premchand was a pioneer of Hindi and Urdu social fiction. He was one of the first authors to write about caste hierarchies and the plights of women and labourers prevalent in the society of late 1880s. The issues that echoed in his short stories and novels were even banned or burnt for being highly sensitive.

1. Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Srivastav, on 31st July 1880 in Lamhi village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh

2. His uncle had nicknamed him Nawab which was the first pen name chosen by Premchand
3. By many known writers, he has been referred to as the “Upanyas Samrat”
4. After his mother’s death, Premchand sought solace in fiction and developed a fascination for books
5. Most of his short stories were weaved around the unloving experience he had shared with his step mother
6. His first job was to sell books. He took this job so that he could read more books
7. His first book (a mockery) was based on his own uncle because he used to scold Premchand for reading fiction

8. He was married when he was only 15-year-old to a older woman.
9. He was never a good student. He had to discontinue his studies after he did not get admission anywhere
10. His second job was to teach an advocate’s son in Benares at a monthly salary of five Rupees
11. In 1900, Premchand secured a job as an assistant teacher at the Government District School, on a monthly salary of 20 Rupees

12. Before he started writing in Hindi, he used to write in Urdu. His first short novel was ‘Asrar-e-Ma’abid’ (Devasthan Rahasya)
13. After his first wife left him, Premchand married a child widow which was a revolutionary step at that time.
14. He took a lot of pen names before he switched to Premchand. His first pen name was Nawab Rai, his second short novel was penned under the name Babu Nawab Rai Banarsi and third was Premchand
15. In 1909, his novel, Soz-e-Watan was noticed by the British Government officials, who banned it as a rebellious work

16. The British officials even ordered a raid on Premchand’s house, where around 500 copies of ‘Soz-e-Watan’ were burnt. After this incident, he started writing under the pen name Premchand
17. ‘Godaan’ (The Gift of a Cow), Premchand’s last completed work, is generally accepted as his best novel, and is considered as one of the finest Hindi novels

Premchand has written about 300 short stories, several novels as well as many essays and letters and plays. He also did some translations. Many of Premchand’s stories have been translated into English and Russian.