Early life[ edit ] Munshi Premchand was born on 31 July in Lamhi , a village located near Varanasi Benares and was named Dhanpat Rai "master of wealth". His ancestors came from a large Kayastha family, which owned eight to nine bighas of land. When he was 8, his mother died after a long illness. His grandmother, who took the responsibility of raising him, died soon after.
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Rangbhoomi as a novel is complex -- it has many layers to it which take time to unfold and come to the surface. The title itself means, "The arena of life" -- which is so apt to the entire book. It is life playing itself in its arena and in many shapes, forms and emotions.
In this novel of epic proportion set in pre-Independence India, Premchand treads the tricky ground of tensions between the rulers and the ruled. Capturing the travails and traumas of peasant society, Rangbhumi celebrates the unassailable spirit of the common man. The novel revolves around the blind Surdas, who begs for a living, but is also the owner of a much-coveted piece of land. The land is used as a kind of commons by the fractious villagers of Pandepur; but it is also actively sought by a local industrialist, Sevak, who wants to set up a cigarette factory.
The novel depicts most graphically the devastation of peasant society and agriculture under colonial rule. Premchand treads the very tricky ground of tensions between the rulers and the ruled in this novel. Here, the ruled are the Indians and the rulers are an amalgam of the whites, the Indian landowners, and the Indian Christians. Rangbhumi spans the time between the s and s in pre-Independence India. It captures and celebrates the unassailable spirit of the common man, especially the farming community, which knows no defeat or submission, as its spirit is always on the mend, even as it is perceived to be finally crushed.
Rangbhumi: The Arena of Life
He talks about the spread of Christianity, attitude towards capitalism, an inherent self-interest in even the best of civil servants at the time, and of course, the soul crushing crimes by committed by Indians against each other to win the favour of the British. In such a dark and despicable environment, the Curiously, even now, Rangbhoomi is the most Indian book I have read. In such a dark and despicable environment, the blind beggar Soordas underlines the sheer power of truth, a true sacrifice of desires, and Dharma. He raised some serious question about God. And then their were many parallel stories. Initially I thought this may be one of the bad book or not so good book by Premchand but then book completely wronged me, It engaged me after some time and some of the things were quite edge of the seat.