Munshi Premchand: a prolific Indian writer


Munshi Premchand also known as Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava, is a known writer of India and famous for his modern hindustani literature. An early 20th century writer, celebrated for his foremost hindi writings. His famous writings include gaban, Idgah, godaan, etc. The list of his works includes about 300 short stories, more than a dozen novels, many essays and many literary works translated into hindi.


Premchand was born on July 31, 1880 and died on October 8, 1936. When he first began writing, his pen name was Nawab Rai which later changes to Munshi Premchand. He was the fourth child of his parents with 3 older female siblings out of which earlier 2 died as infants. At 7 years of age he started his learning at a nearby madarsa and learnt urdu. At 8 his mother died due to illness and soon afterward his grandmother died. His sister was already married till the time he lost 2 of his caretakers consecutively. His father remarried but it brought no happiness to Premchand as he got no affection from his step mother and his father was always busy with work.
At a very tender age of 15, Premchand was married to a girl older than him. In later years she even attempted an unsuccessful suicide and later left the house leaving Premchand. In 1906, he married a child widow, Shivarani Devi. This being a revolutionary step at that time, Munshi faced a lot of criticism.

He is often referred to as Upanyas Samrat by by writers.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on

Writing style

Munshi Premchand is considered to be the first hindi author to have realism in his writings and he mostly described the poor and middle class section of the society and spread awareness through his writings on topics like poverty, corruption,  child marriage, colonialism, prostitution and Indian national movement. He holds a strong influence on Indian literature. His stories bring out an emotional feelings of readers. He was influenced by the freedoms movement and his writings focused on conveying social messages and encouraging people to join the movement.


His most notable works include, Godaan, Baazar-e-Husn, Karmabhoomi, Shatranj k khiladi, Gaban, Mansarovar, Idgah.