July 31 marks the 135th birth anniversary of Hindi modernist author, Munshi Premchand. But sadly his bust next to the Hindi department in Lucknow University is a picture of neglect.Installed in a lawn christened as ‘Premchand Vatika’, it has been overshadowed by weeds and undergrowth. It seems that for months and years it has not been cleaned. This is despite the fact that Premchand’s works are a part of the university’s syllabus.
“It is very unfortunate that the university and professors of the Hindi department are not taking good care of Premchand’s bust despite many of his works being a part of the Hindi department curriculum,” rued KD Singh, former head of Hindi department.
“The responsibility of cleaning parks and busts of all iconic figures rests with the university administration. They should take care of all this. We garland the bust on the author’s birth anniversary every year,” said Kali Charan Snehi, head of Hindi department, LU.
“Sadly, youths know everything about English authors. But they don’t know anything about Premchand, apart from ‘Idgah’ and ‘Kafan’, the only stories that are part of the curriculum,” said a Hindi scholar.
In 2011, Premchand’s bust suffered a blow when a tree fell over the pillar where it was placed. The platform got badly damaged but fortunately the bust did not fall down. In July 2012, it was repaired and placed again.