Munshi Premchand: While living in Gorakhpur, Munshi Premchand wrote ‘Idgah’, got inspiration from here


Considered the emperor of novels and stories, Munshi Premchand had a close relationship with Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. His childhood was spent in the streets of the city, but when he came to Gorakhpur while on the job, he wrote two famous stories of living in Niketan of Bettiahata in the city for five years. Dhanpat Rai ‘Munshi Premchand’ spent his childhood in Turkmanpur street of Gorakhpur and was transferred during the job of Education Department and returned to Gorakhpur in 1916. He made Niketan his abode at Munshi Premchand Park in Bettiahata. After that he remained in this Niketan till he resigned from his job, the reason for his resignation was the impressive speech of Mahatma Gandhi which he gave in 1921 in front of a huge public meeting held at Bale Miyan Maidan. Three days after resigning, he left for Niketan and returned to Varanasi.

Munshi Premchand spent four years of his childhood in Gorakhpur. He first came to the city in 1892 with his father Munshi Ajaybrai, who was working in the postal department. During his four-year stay, he completed class VIII from Rawat Pathshala and Mission School here. Apart from these, there were also centers of informal education in Gorakhpur of Dhanpat Rai, from which he turned out to be a great storyteller. Popular stories like ‘Idgah’ and ‘Namak Ka Daroga’ were written by Premchand while living in Niketan, Bettiahata.

The inspiration for the Idgah story came from the Idgah opposite the Dargah of Hazrat Mubarak Khan Shaheed just behind Niketan, while the ‘Salt Ka Daroga’ was a product from the Ghats of the Rapti River. The administration considered Niketan as a heritage park and the park was named Munshi ji. Presently the library is run by Premchand Sahitya Sansthan in this Niketan.

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