Style, Influences and Great Works of Munshi Premchand

The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.

Style, Influences and Great Works of Munshi Premchand

Style and Influences

As long as the shackles of wealth and property bind us, we will remain accursed forever and newer attain the altar of humanity, which is life’s ultimate goal.

Apart from being a Novelist and Author, Premchand was also a social reformer and a thinker. The remarkable characteristic of his writing was the reality with which Premchand depicted his characters in the novels. Unlike other contemporary writers, Premchand did not write fantasy fictions, or stories based upon a hero. His novels mainly consisted messages on social evils like, dowry, poverty, communalism, colonialism and corruption and zamindari. Premchand was the first writer of the twentieth century to bring reality in the literature.

Munshi Premchand is considered the first Hindi author whose writings prominently featured realism. His novels describe the problems of the poor and the urban middle-class people. His works depict a rationalistic outlook, which views religious values as something that allows the powerful hypocrites to exploit the weak. He used literature for the purpose of arousing public awareness about national and social issues and often wrote about topics related to poverty, corruption, child widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, colonialism and on the India’s freedom movement.

Munshi Premchand started taking an interest in political affairs while at Kanpur during the late 1900s, and this is reflected in his early works, which have patriotic overtones. His political thoughts were initially influenced by the moderate Indian National Congress leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale, but later, he moved towards the more revolutionary Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He considered the Minto-Morley Reforms and the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms as inadequate, and supported greater political freedom.

Several of his early works, such as A Little Trick and A Moral Victory, satirised the Indians who cooperated with the British Government. He did not specifically mention the British in some of his stories, because of strong government censorship, but disguised his opposition in settings from the medieval era and the foreign history. He was also greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

In the 1920s, Premchand was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-co-operation movement and the accompanying struggle for social reform. During this period, his works dealt with the social issues such as poverty, zamindari exploitation (Premashram, 1922), dowry system (Nirmala, 1925), educational reform and political oppression (Karmabhumi, 1931). He was focused on the economic liberalisation of the peasantry and the working class, and was opposed to the rapid industrialisation, which he felt would hurt the interests of the peasants and lead to oppression of the workers. This can be seen in his works like Rangabhumi (1924).

Munshi Premchand’s influence on Indian literature cannot be understated. As the late scholar David Rubin wrote in The World of Premchand (Oxford, 2001), “To Premchand belongs the distinction of creating the genre of the serious short story—and the serious novel as well—in both Hindi and Urdu. Virtually single-handed he lifted fiction in these languages from a quagmire of aimless romantic chronicles to a high level of realistic narrative comparable to European fiction of the time; and in both languages, he has, in addition, remained an unsurpassed master.”

In his last days, Premchand focused on village life as a stage for complex drama, as seen in the novel Godcn (193G) and the short-story collection Kafan (1936). He believed that social realism was the way for Hindi literature, as opposed to the “feminine quality”, tenderness and emotion of the contemporary Bengali literature.

Great Works

Wealth and compassion are opposites.

Munshi Premchand wrote over three hundred short stories and fourteen novels, many essays and letters, plays and translations. Many of his works were translated into English and Russian after his death.


Hindi Title – Urdu Title
Devasthan Rahasys – Asrar-e-Ma’abid
Prema – Hamkhurma-o-Ham Sawab
Kishna Roothi Rani – Soz-e-Watan
Vardaan – Jalwa-e-lsar
Seva Sadan – Bazaar-e-Husn
Premashram – Gosho-e-Afiyat
Rangbhoomi – Chaugan-e-Hasti
Nirmala (novel) – Nirmala
Kaayakalp – Parda-i-Majaz
Pratigya – Bewa
Gabon – Ghaban
Karmabhoomi – Maidan-e-Amal
Mangalsootra (incomplete)

Short Stories

Several of Munshi Premchand’s stories have been published in a number of collections, including the 8-volume Mansarovar (1900-1936). Some of his stories include :

  • Adeeb Kl Izat
  • Duniya ka Sbse Anmol R atan
  • Bade Bhai Sahab
  • Beti ka Dhan
  • Saut
  • Sajjanata ka Dand
  • Panch Parameshvar
  • Ishwariya Nyaya
  • Beton Wall Vidhwa
  • Durga ka Mandir
  • Maa
  • Ghar Jamal
  • Dhikkar
  • Dil ki Rani
  • Gulli Danda
  • Updesh
  • Mantra
  • Namak Ka Daroga
  • Lottery
  • Men Pahil Rachna
  • Lanchhan
  • Manovratti
  • Balidan
  • Putra Prem
  • Boodhi Kaki
  • Pariksha
  • Shatranj ke Khlladi (Hindi)
  • Shatranj ki Bazi (Urdu)
  • Hinsa Parmo Dharma
  • Ghasvali
  • Idgah
  • Nashaa
  • Kafan
  • GuptDhan
  • Poos ki raat
  • Vidhwans
  • Cricket Match

Premchand’s other stories include:

  • Abhushan
  • Agni Samadhi
  • Ala gyojha
  • Amrit
  • Atmaram
  • Bade Ghar Kl Beti
  • Chori
  • DarogaSahab
  • Devi
  • Dhaai Ser Gehun
  • Dikri Ke Rupaye
  • Do Bahanein
  • Do Ballon ki Katha
  • Doodh ka Damm
  • Fauzdaar
  • Grihaneeti
  • Gurumantra
  • Harki feet
  • Jail
  • Jubos
  • Jurmana
  • Khudai
  • Mahatirtha
  • Manushya Ka Param Dharma
  • Maryada ki Vedi
  • Mukti Marg
  • Nairashya
  • Nimant ra n
  • Pashu se Manushyc
  • Prayaschit
  • Prem Purnima
  • Ram leela
  • Samar Yatra
  • Sati
  • Satyagraha
  • Sawa Ser Gehun
  • Sewa Marg
  • Suhag ki Sari
  • Sujan Bha gut
  • Swatva Raksha
  • Thakur ka Kuaan
  • Thriya Chanta
  • Udhar Kl Ghadi
  • Vajrpaat
  • Vimata
  • Hajje Akbar
  • Sauteli Maa
  • Ibrat
  • Roshni
  • Bhadde ka Tattu
  • Nijat
  • Mazdoor
  • Kazaaki


Munshi Premchand translated several non-Hindi works into Hindi. These included the writings of Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens (The Story of Richard Doubledick), Oscar Wilde (Canterville), John Galsworthy (Strife), Sadi, Guy de Maupassant, Maurice Maeterlinck (Sightless), Hendrik van Loon (The Story of Mankind) and Ratan Nath Dhar Sarshar.

Some of the translated titles include:
Style, Influences and Great Works of Munshi Premchand 1

Other Works
Film Script :

  • Mazdoor (Also did a small role in the film)

Plays :

  • Karbala
  • Tajurba
  • Prem Ki Vedi
  • Roohani Shadi
  • Sangram

Essays :

  • Kuchh Vichar (two parts)
  • Qalam Tyag aur Talwar

Biographies :

  • Durgadas
  • Mahatma Sheikhsadi (biography of Saadi)

Children’s Books :

  • Jangal ki Kahaniyan
  • Kutte ki Kahani
  • Manmodak
  • RamCharcha