Munish Premchand, an Indian author who was counted amongst the greatest Hindustani writers in the early 20th century was born today, July 31. As the country commemorates Munshi’s 137th birthday, let us have look on his life and some of his great works. Munshi was born as Dhanpat Rai Srivastav on July 31, 1880, in Lamahi near Banaras, Uttar Pradesh.

 He received his early education at a madrasa in Lalpur where he acquired the beauty of Urdu and Persian. The prodigy was not just a writer, he was a novelist, short story writer, and dramatist who wrote innumerable pieces. He also translated a number of literary works of other languages in Hindi.

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After many years of endurance, he was offered the post of an assistant teacher at the Government District School in Bahraich in 1900. It was during this period that he started writing fiction.

With a pseudonym titled Nawab Rai”, he wrote his first shovel novel, named ‘Asrar e Ma’abid’, which tells a story of corruption and sexual misconduct by temple priests.

His famous short story, Kafan (1936) the story centres on a low-caste father and his son who are labourers in a village. A mishap occurs when the son’s wife dies while giving birth to a child and due to financial stress the family has no money to cremate the body of the dead woman.

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The lazy tipplers ask for money from the village zamindar and other members of the society to cremate the body of the dead woman. But the duo ends up using the money to buy liquor and food for themselves.

The writer penned hundreds of practices which concentrated on poverty, caste discrimination, nemesis of landless labourers and much more.

Another masterpiece, Godaan (The Gift of Cow) was considered Munshi’s best work. The theme of the novel was socioeconomic deprivation as well as the exploitation of the poor collagers.

The great writer, whose work still echoes in the world of literature today died on 8th of October in 1936.  He was nominated as the first President of Progressive Writers’ Association at Lucknow in 1936. 

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