Premchand (1880–1936), (real name Dhanpat Rai) was born at Lamhi, a small village near Banaras in Uttar Pradesh. His early education was in a madarsa. He wrote in both Urdu and Hindi. Soze-Watan (The Lament of the Country, 1908), his first collection of short stories written in Urdu, was declared inflammatory. Premchand was accused of sedition. All 700 copies of Soze Watan were burnt in front of him. This was the first time that the literary work of any Indian author had been treated with such hostility, although the period between 1906–1909 saw prosecutions against a large number of nationalist newspapers. Under such circumstances he could not continue with the old pen-name Nawab Rai. Dhanpat Rai then changed his pseudonym ...

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