The novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian belonging by imagining the country to be full of adventure, heroism, romance and sacrifice—characteristics that could not be found in the offices and streets of the nineteenth century world. It also gave the colonised people a chance to give shape to their desires. For example, the Bengali historical novels of this time, dealing with Marathas and Rajputs, served this purpose.
Another way in which the sense of belonging to a common nation was popularised was by including various classes in the novel so that they could be seen to belong to a shared world. The novels of Premchand, populated by powerful characters belonging to almost all levels of society, exemplify this.