Famous Personalities of India : Premchand
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Premchand PREMCHAND (1880-1936). This was the pseudonym after 1910 of Dhanpat Rai, the writer. He was born in a village near Banaras with access to good education in Persian and Urdu. He lost his mother at a young age and left the home of his father shortly after the latter's remarriage. Premchand suffered from poor health all his life and ultimately succumbed to a gastric ulcer. He tried his hand at school teaching, publishing, screen writing, and journalism but truly flowered as a creative writer.

Premchand was extraordinarily prolific. His twelve published novels, over three hundred short stories, several plays, and many essays, letters, and editorials establish him as a major figure in modern Indian literature. He was a pioneer in Indian fiction writing, raising the level of the serious short s fiction of the time. His works reflect his inner growth as he move from romanticism and fashionable patriotic themes to those social justice. His portrayals of women, married life, and poverty continued to move readers today with their compassion, humor, sincerity, and understanding of the villager. The range of his narratives expanded beyond the village as he matured, but he never lost touch with the real world of human and social problems.

Premchand wrote both in Urdu and in Hindi, transcending the communal controversy over the two scripts (for the spoken languages shared grammar, syntax, and vocabulary) raging during his lifetime. His early stories were written in Urdu and, while he gradually moved to Hindi, he continued to use the vernacular language of his surroundings and abjured the Sanskrit larding favored by newer Hindi writers. Premchand shared Mahatma Gandhi's belief in a national language and a national literature that reconciled the pluralistic society of India.

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