Premchand (1880-1936), considered one of the greatest fiction writers in Hindi, was born Dhanpat Rai in Lamahi, a small village near Benares. He wrote in Urdu under the name Nawab Rai and changed it to Premchand when his collection of short stories, Soz-e Watan, was seized for sedition in 1909. In a prolific career spanning three decades, Premchand wrote fourteen novels, two plays, almost 300 short stories and several articles, reviews and editorials. He edited four journals, and also set up his own printing press. Though best known for his stories exposing the horrors of poverty and social injustice, he wrote on a variety of themes with equal felicity-romance, satire, social dramas, nationalist tales, and yarns steeped in folklore.
Munshi Premchand is one of the most important writers of the Hindi-Urdu canon in India. His prolific writing contributed largely to shape the genre of short stories as we know it in India. His range and diversity were limitless as he tackled themes of romance and satire, gender politics and social inequality, with unmatched skill and compassion. Premchand's writing often showed his deep interest in the lives of the simple Indian peasant and this concern often extended to animals, particularly their cattle. He was very sympathetic of the cruelty that was often meted out to the animals. Very few writers have depicted such an intimate bond between animals and human beings.