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Munshi Premchand (Urdu: منشی پریم چند‎, Hindi: मुंशी प्रेमचंद, pronounced [mʊnʃi preːm t͡ʃənd̪] (listen)) (July 31, 1880October 8, 1936), born Dhanpat Rai Srivastav, was an Indian novelist, story writer and dramatist, in modern Hindustani literature. He is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent, and is regarded as one of the foremost Hindustani writers of the early twentieth century. He wrote under the pen name "Nawab Rai", but subsequently switched to "Premchand". He was given the honorific "Munshi ‘ affixed to his name and also bestowed the sobriquet "Upanyas Samrat" ("Emperor among Novelists"). His most famous novel is Godaan.


  • What greatness do I have that I have to tell anyone about? I live just like millions of people in this country; I am ordinary. My life is also ordinary. I am a poor school teacher suffering family travails. During my whole lifetime, I have been grinding away with the hope that I could become free of my sufferings. But I have not been able to free myself from suffering. What is so special about this life that needs to be told to anybody?
  • The future belongs to the peasants and workers...India cannot remain unaffected by these winds of change...Who had suspected before the Resolution the tremendous might of the exploited peoples of Russia.
  • The greater the calamity, [he once wrote] the tougher the fibre. It is tragedy that makes a man.
    • Quoted in "THE PREMCHAND READER Selected Stories 1".

Portrayal of Women in Premchands Stories A Critique[edit]

"Portrayal of Women in Premchands Stories A Critique". Retrieved on 10 December 2013.

  • My ideal of a woman is a combination of sacrifice, care and purity at one place. Sacrifice without a hope for reward, without showing any dissatisfaction and purity like Ceaser’s wife, which does not bring any regret.
    • He wrote many of his novels in Hindi on his avowed words, in page=90.
  • For children, father is a luxurious item, - just like beans for the horse....but mother is everything for the child. The child cannot bear separation from his mother even for a minute.
    • In his novel Ghar Jamai quoted in page= 92.
  • The feeling of motherhood in a woman becomes stronger as she grows older . In fact a time comes when every man is like a son in the eyes of a woman. There is not an ounce of sexual desire left in her heart. But his stage never comes in a man…he can never free himself from sexual desires.
    • In the novel Bhoot quoted in page=92.
  • Does being a man make all things forgivable and being a woman all things unforgivable?
  • In another novel titled Suhag ka Shav quoted in page =93
  • It is the duty of a writer to protect and argue in favour of those who are oppressed, sufferers, whether an individual or a group deprived.
    • Spoke in a lecture quoted in page=96
  • If a woman does not get love in her life, it is better for her to die.
    • In page =90

About Premchand[edit]

  • Premchand’s stories have a mixed legacy. Seen from a contemporary view point it is easy to see his ideal of womanhood the basis for women’s continued subordination withing the patriarchal family.
  • Also Premchand can not be seen in isolation. He has to be placed in the colonial dispensation (that aimed, besides political subjugation at cultural conquest as part of its imperialist design) was integral in Premchand’s writings. Any viable reaction to this confrontation had to have a differential mix of both the new and the old.
    • Above two quotes by Charu Gupta a critique writing in her Essay “Portrayal of Women In Premchand’s stories: A critique”
  • Nervous like a knife, he cuts clear through hypocrisy and falsehood.
  • If ever anyone did something which might provoke communal sentiments, Premchand not only put down the incident but endeavoured to eradicate the very basis of such differences. Considerations of high and low, Hindu and Muslim, and untouchability were all anathema to him.
    • When he was superintendent of the schools boarding house of the National School quoted in "Munshi Premchand: The Voice of Truth", page =1915.

THE PREMCHAND READER Selected Stories 1[edit]

Translated By Anupa Lal. THE PREMCHAND READER Selected Stories 1. Ratna Sagar. ISBN 978-81-7070-213-9. 

  • Premchand wanted more than just political freedom for his country. he wanted greater social and economic justice. He wrote in one of his short stories, he said, “We are fighting for more than freedom- to reduce oppression, to raise culture, clean homes, smiling children, enlightened universities, honest law courts.
    • In page=8
  • Premachnad was always man of the people, a man of the soil. He spoke for country’s poor, not just the poor of his native state.With his powerful pen, he painted picture after picture of rural India, its largely static societt, its caste clashes as well its communal harmony, its poverty and its exploitation, as well as richness of character of so many of its people.
    • In page 10
  • Through his writings he attacked and exposed many social evils of his time. In one of his earlier published in 1907 in Hindi, Prema, he describes the plight of child widows ostracized by Hindu society. The hero of the novel marries the child-widow Prema . Premchand himself flouted tradition, when at about this time he chose to marry a child widow. Shivrani devi, refusing the dowry he could easily have asked and obtained.
    • In pages=8-9
  • The most authentic and penetrating of Premchand’s portrayals center around village life. This was a life he knew intimately , since he had grown up in a village. Then as a teacher, and later an inspector of schools, he travelled extensively through the villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
    • In page=9
  • Like the great Indian writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as Rabindrnath Tagore and Bankin Chandra Chatterjee in Bengal, and Subramanya Bharati in Tamil nadu, premchand’s work was fired by a sense of intense nationalism, but he did not live long enough to see his country gain freedom.
    • In [age=11

External links[edit]

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