Little known facts about Munshi Premchand – Upanyas Samrat of Hindi Literature
Most of us know about Munshi premchand as one of the finest Hindi Novelist and writer.
Here is the list of some interesting facts about Premchand.
1. Munshi premchand real name was Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava. He began writing under the pen name “Nawab Rai”, but subsequently switched to “Premchand”.
2 . He is referred as “Upanyas Samrat” by fellow writers and his fans.
3. His works include more than a dozen novels, around 300 short stories, several essays and translations of a number of foreign literary works into Hindi.
4. Premchand began his education at a madrasa, He learnt Urdu and Persian from a maulvi in the madrasa.
5. Premchand was married at the age of 15, while still studying in the ninth grade and was older than him.
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 ,but it did not get published.
8. Premchand secured a job as an assistant teacher at the Government District School, Bahraich, at a monthly salary of ₹ 20.
9.His first short novel was Asrar e Ma’abid (“Secrets of God’s Abode”, Devasthan Rahasya in Hindi), which explores corruption among the temple priests and their sexual exploitation of poor women.
10 .In 1906, Premchand remarried a child widow, Shivarani Devi, who was the daughter of a landlord from a village near Fatehpur. The step was considered to be revolutionary at that time, and Premchand faced a lot of social opposition. After his death, Shivarani Devi wrote a book on him, titled Premchand Ghar Mein.
11. In 1909, his novel, Soz-e-Watan was noticed by the British Government officials, who banned it as a rebellious work.The British collector of the Hamirpur District ordered a raid on Premchand’s house, where around five hundred copies of Soz-e-Watan were burnt. After this, Munshi Daya Narain Nigam, the editor of the Urdu magazine Zamana, who had published Dhanpat Rai’s first story “Duniya Ka Anmol Ratan” advised the pseudonym “Premchand”. Dhanpat Rai stopped using the name “Nawab Rai” and became Premchand.
12 .In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi asked people to resign from government jobs as part of the non-cooperation movement,munshi premchand also resigned from his job.
13. Very few of us know that, Premchand had tried his luck in Hindi film industry also. He had accepted a script writing job for the production house Ajanta Cinetone, hoping that the yearly salary of ₹ 8000 would help him overcome his financial troubles. He stayed in Dadar, and wrote the script for the film Mazdoor (“The Labourer”). The film, directed by Mohan Bhawnani, depicted the poor conditions of the labour class. Premchand himself did a cameo as the leader of labourers in the film. Some influential businessmen managed to get a stay on its release in Bombay. The film was released in Lahore and Delhi, but was banned again after it inspired the mill workers to stand up against the owners.Ironically, the film inspired the workers of his own loss-making press in Benares to launch a strike, after they were not paid their salaries.