Premchand: Radicalism versus Nationalism


  • Devleena Ghosh


Premchand, Dhanpat Rai Srivastava


Premchand was the first important author to write about peasants in India in a language they themselves used. He left behind a large body of work which spanned three important decades of Indian history: a period of struggle against foreign rule. He wrote more than three hundred short stories, one incomplete and seventeen completed novels, biographies, plays, articles and translations from writers like Tolstoy and Gorki. Premchand's writing is not only an important document of the nationalist movement, but also of peasant conditions at this time. His fiction is true to the historical record and complements the social history of this period, thus bearing out David Craig's contention that the more effective a piece of fiction in its own medium, the more reliable it is as sociological evidence.