(i) Premchand’s Godan published in 1936 is considered one of the greatest novels of modern Indian literature. This novel tells us a moving story of our rural society. It is a story about Hori Mahato and his wife Dhania, a peasant couple.Landlords, moneylenders, priests all form a network of oppression and rob the ancestral land of Hori and make him a landless labourer. Premchand has drawn a realistic picture of poor peasants in our society.
(ii) The novel explained the problems due to industrialisation, i.e. growth of capitalist or greedy industrialists, who exploited the labour class. Premchand told us how the poor peasants were exploited by the village zamindars and moneylenders. At that time, India was also affected by the Great Depression. Peasants and farmers suffered more than urban dwellers.
The agricultural prices fell sharply, but the Colonial Government refused to reduce revenue demands. As a result, zamindars also refused to reduce the revenue. Poor peasants were unable to pay their debt in time and it got multiplied with the passage of time. They were caught in a debt trap and suffered until their death like Hori.
As a socialist, Premchand advocated the need to end the feudal system that existed in our country at that time.