Phanishwar Nath 'Renu'

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Phanishwar Nath 'Renu'
Phanishwar Nath Renu 2016 stamp of India.jpg
Born(1921-03-04)4 March 1921
Aurahi Hingna, Bihar, India
Died11 April 1977(1977-04-11) (aged 56)
OccupationNovelist, memoirist
Notable worksMaila Anchal (The Soiled Linen, 1954)
SpousesRekha, Padma and Latika Renu
ChildrenPadam Parag 'Venu';
  • Sheela Nath Mandal (father)

Phanishwar Nath 'Renu'[1] (4 March 1921 – 11 April 1977) was one of the most successful and influential writers of modern Hindi literature in the post-Premchand era. He is the author of Maila Anchal, which after Premchand's Godaan, is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel.[2] Phanishwar Nath (Mandal) Renu was born on 4 March 1921 in a small village Aurahi Hingna near Simraha railway station in Bihar. The Mandal (surname) community to which Renu belonged constitutes an under-privileged social group in India. Renu's family, however, enjoyed the benefits of land, education, and social prestige. Renu's father, Shilanath Mandal, had been active in the Indian National Movement and was an extremely enlightened individual, taking a keen interest in modern ideas, culture and art.[3]

Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' is best known for promoting the voice of the contemporary rural India through the genre of 'Aanchalik Upanyas' (Regional Story), and is placed amongst the pioneering Hindi writers who brought regional voices into the mainstream Hindi literature. Renu was very close associate of Bengali novelist Satinath Bhaduri. He wrote a memoirs named Bhaduriji (Mr. Bhaduri) in Bengali.[3]

His short story "Maare Gaye Gulfam" was adapted into a film Teesri Kasam (The Third Vow),[4] by Basu Bhattacharya (produced by the poet-lyricist Shailendra) in 1966 for which he also wrote the dialogues.[5] Later his short story "Panchlight" (Petromax) was made into a TV short film. The 2017 Bollywood Film Panchlait is also based on this short story.[6]


Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' was born on 4 March 1921 at village Aurahi Hingna near Forbesganj, in Araria district (then Purnia district), Bihar. He was educated in India and Nepal. His primary education was held in Araria and Forbesganj. He did his Matriculation from Biratnagar Adarsh Vidyalaya(school), Biratnagar, Nepal while staying with Koirala Family. After Passing out IA from Kashi Hindu Vishvavidyalay (university) in 1942 he took part in the Indian Freedom Struggle. Later he participated in the Nepali revolutionary movement in 1950 which resulted in the establishment of democracy in Nepal.[3] He ushered in 'Anchalik-katha' (Regional Story) of Hindi writing. He had a very close friendship with Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana Agyey - his contemporary poet.[7] A biography on the writer has also been produced with the name: Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’ in Unki Nazar Unka Shahar.[8]

Writing style[edit]

His first novel which is also considered his masterpiece, Maila Anchal (The Soiled Linen, 1954), was a social novel that depicted the life of rural Bihar and its people, especially the backward and the deprived. He was subsequently awarded one of India's highest civilian honours, the Padma Sri in 1970.[1] He returned the Padma Sri in protest of the proclamation of Internal Emergency.[9]

Literary works[edit]



  • Rindjal Dhanjal
  • Van Tulsi ki gandh
  • Shrut Ashrut Purva
  • Totapur

Personal life[edit]

He was married Three , first wife was Rekha renu (unknown person) , while second padama & 3rd Latika (d. 2011). He met his second wife, a nurse while admitted at Patna Medical College and Hospital. They married in 1951. She has been the inspiration behind, Maila Anchal, Parti Parikatha and Mare Gaye Gulfam. His elder Daughter & Son, Biggest daughter Kavita roy(rekha renu's Daughter)her living very poor & unknown condition from katihar,& Padma renu's Son Padma Parag Renu, remained an MLA from Forbesganj, while younger son, Dakhineshwar Renu ran an organization, Renu Samaj Seva Sansthan.[10]


  1. ^ a b Padma Awards Official listings Govt. of India portal.
  2. ^ Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' Profile Seasoninindia.
  3. ^ a b c Introduction by Anand Prakash (2007). Freed from disgrace = Kalankmukti. new delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-19-568599-2.
  4. ^ TISRI QASAM The Third Vow University of Iowa, 2005.
  5. ^ Phanishwar Nath 'Renu' on IMDb
  6. ^ "Phanishwar Nath Renu's short story on silver screen".
  7. ^ Phanishwar Nath Renu at Abhivyakti. Retrieved on 7 November 2018.
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Maila Anchal inspirer dead". The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata). 15 January 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]