PREMCHAND: THE MIRROR OF INDIAN SOCIETY
Premchand, also known as “Upanyas Samrat” was an Indian writer, famous for his Hindu-Urdu literature. He is the most popular and celebrated writer of India. Writing by the pen name of Premchand, his real name was Dhanpat Rai and he used to sign his books by his real name only. Munshi Premchand has written more than 300 stories and some notable novels that are considered best novels ever written in India and worldwide. Premchand lived an isolated life because of early death of his mother. His elder sister was married and father was always busy in his work. This loneliness in his life helped him a lot in writing some spectacular novels later on. His father even remarried and all his feelings about this can be easily seen in his work.
Although written many novels that have unmatched view of Indian society, Premchand wrote Godaan that became a trademark novel for him. It got so attached to his name that people could call him the writer of Godaan still now. The excerpts from his boos have been read in almost every state board and central board textbooks of India. Godaan is the last completed novel of Premchand and has been converted into English and Russian. Godaan can also be seen as the key to Munshi Premchand’s worldwide success and fame. Godaan is about a man, protagonist, Hori who always wanted to have a cow in his garden. He could never afford one. Later, he somehow manages to buy a cow and all his life goals were completed. Every day of his was like god’s blessing until his younger brother kills the cow in jealousy. His ups and downs are shown so beautifully bthat his novel as been converted into plays and movies and even short scripts in the textbooks. This small brief must have been helpful in showing the portrait of Premchand.
Premchand’s novel were never showy and out of realism. Never has he ever written a novel which does not show actual Indian society and the conditions that existed that time. Writing in the time when India was almost completely a rural place with quite a surprising number of farmers, Premchand showed the true pain and agony of the farmer and the poor. Take his Kafan for example in which he shows how can money become so evil to someone who is struggling to get some even in the final rights of a family member that they prefer good food and drink instead of buying a shroud for her. Can it be something that existed then and even exist now in some part of the country? Isn’t it the reflection of the society that has been going through such heavy financial crisis and always searching for one way to the other to live a better life? Yes, definitely it is.
Munshi Premchand has always tried to show what he actually observed and lived in those days of India. How a farmer is not able to send his son to a good school. How every farmer and poor man is struggling to earn more money than just for daily bread. How a mistress rules in the homes of India over a mister and gives him suggestions. How there is always some happiness after the downfall. All these things exists in the society and the way Munshi Premchand writes them makes them even more beautiful. If you were born and brought up in the urban part of the country, you can read Premchand’s work to know how India was long time ago. He has always shown the society’s image like a mirror. He never exaggerated for publicity. He has always shown the reflection of the society and that’s what makes him truly respected in the country. He never wrote for money or fame, he even lead a miserable life due to very poor financial conditions. A writer like him was struggling financially alone indicates that writing was much more than writing for him. It was his passion, his way of broadcasting his thoughts, his way of telling issues to the society and the most important, his way of preserving the history of India like no one.