This is a translation of Munshi Premchand's first Hindi novel (1916), centred around political and religious debates about sexuality, prostitution, and poverty. Sevasadan became the benchmark for the Indian novel as it dealt with the philosophical and personal consequences of change in a nation still in chains. This volume carries a critical introduction by Professor Vasudha Dalmia. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Premchand's first Hindi novel, Sevasadan is a bold statement on the political and religious debates about marriage, sexuality, and prostitution, at a time when Indian women were being held up as standard-bearers of a nation in chains. Premchand depicts the hypocrisy of the so-called 'pillars of society', who can stand up as upholders of moral platitudes in public yet sacrifice their orthodox principles behind closed doors. The novel portrays the reality of the newly emerging Hindu-Muslim divide, but also conceives of an ideal community that gives new direction to the life of a fallen woman and allows her to lead a meaningful existence. A hugely popular novel, Sevasadan went through several editions after its first publication in 1918. It is not only a gripping novel but also a sensitive and perceptive document on the lives of young urban men and women at the beginning of the twentieth century. The perceptive and analytically rich introduction by Vasudha Dalmia helps situate the novel in the socio-political content of the times. The book will appeal to students of literature and translation studies, as well as general readers.