Google draws on Premchand, his story ‘Godaan’ to mark his 136th birthday

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2016 09:56 IST
The Google doodle on July 31 marks Munshi Premchand’s 136th birth anniversary. Called Upanyas Samrat of Hindi literature, Premchand’s works form a significant part of the field. (Google)

Google dedicated a doodle to writer Munshi Premchand on his 136th birth anniversary on Sunday.

Premchand, known as the ‘Shakespeare of India’ and ‘Upanyaas Samrat’ (Emperor of Novels), wove social issues into his narrative that was largely inspired by rural India, a fact the doodle alludes to in its detail.

Some of his notable works include Godaan, his “last and most famous novel” that Google drew inspiration from in the doodle, Premsharam, the short stories Idgah and Shatranj ke Khiladi, Nirmala and Seva Sadan, among others.

Progressive in his thought, Premchand’s literature emoted the working class through his characters, picking on details in the social fabric of the time, details that still hold true even today.

“Although much of it was fiction, Premchand’s writing often incorporated realistic settings and events, a style he pioneered within Hindi literature,” Google cited.

He was born in 1880 as Dhanpat Rai in Uttar Pradesh. He started writing when he was still a young teen, using the pen name ‘Nawab Rai’ for a while. By his death, the Munshi had penned close to 300 stories in various literary formats.

Though known for his proficiency in Hindi, Premchand was fluent in Urdu and Persian, and also learnt English.

For a profession, he chose to be a teacher. At one point, he even worked as a scriptwriter in the film industry.

He however quit his job to join the non-coperation in the 1920s.

Mahatma Gandhi was an influence in much of Premchand’s writings, as Google notes.

Premchand finally died in October 8, 1936, due to ill health. He was 56 years old at the time.

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