February 13, 2024 marks the 145th birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu, a distinguished figure in India’s struggle for independence and a celebrated poet known as the “Nightingale of India.” This day is also recognized as the National Women’s Day as she played a pivotal role in advocating for women’s rights. Born into a Bengali family in Hyderabad in 1879, Sarojini Naidu’s contributions to Indian politics, literature, and women’s rights are remembered and celebrated across the nation. As the first Governor of the United Provinces and a prominent poet, Naidu’s contributions have left an indelible mark on India’s history. Let us delve into the life and legacy of this remarkable woman.
Key Details About Sarojini Naidu
|Date of birth: 13th February 1879
|Place of Birth: Sarojini Chattopadhyay
|Spouse: Govindarajulu Naidu
|Nicknames: “Nightingale of India,” “Bharata Kokila” and “ Bulbul-e-Hind”
|Death: 2nd March 1949
|Place of Death: Hyderabad, British State
Sarojini Naidu – Early Life
Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, into a Bengali family. Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, was a distinguished scholar and the principal of Nizam College. From a young age, Naidu exhibited exceptional academic prowess, passing her matriculation examination with the highest rank at the age of twelve.
Sarojini Naidu – Educational Life
Naidu pursued her higher education in England, attending King’s College, London, and later Girton College, Cambridge. Immersed in the intellectual milieu of Britain, she encountered the suffragist movement and became acquainted with the Aesthetic and Decadent artistic movements.
Sarojini Naidu – Marriage Life and Family
In 1898, Naidu married Govindaraju Naidu, a physician she met during her time in England. Their marriage, an inter-caste union, was considered groundbreaking and scandalous at the time. Despite societal challenges, their union was harmonious, blessed with five children. Their daughter Padmaja, like her mother, became actively involved in India’s struggle for independence.
Literary and Political Career of Sarojini Naidu
Naidu’s literary prowess earned her the title of the “Nightingale of India.” Her poetry, characterized by vivid imagery and lyrical quality, resonated deeply with the Indian nationalist sentiment. Published in 1912, “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad” remains one of her most celebrated works.
Simultaneously, Naidu emerged as a prominent political voice, advocating for India’s independence and women’s rights. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance, she became a staunch supporter of the Indian National Congress. Naidu’s oratory skills and impassioned speeches galvanized support for the nationalist cause across the country.
Women’s Right Advocate
Naidu played a pivotal role in advocating for women’s rights within the nationalist movement. She stressed the integral role of women in India’s struggle for independence, emphasizing that true national progress was contingent upon gender equality. In 1917, she co-founded the Women’s Indian Association, providing a platform for women to voice their concerns and demand their rights.
Despite facing resistance, Naidu persistently campaigned for women’s suffrage, both within India and abroad. Her unwavering commitment to gender equality paved the way for future generations of Indian women.
Sarojini Naidu – Nonviolent Resistance and Political Activism
Aligned with Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance, Naidu actively participated in various civil disobedience movements against British rule. She joined Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha in 1930, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to India’s freedom struggle.
Throughout her life, Naidu endured multiple arrests and imprisonments for her involvement in the Quit India Movement and other nationalist activities. Her courage and resilience in the face of adversity inspired countless Indians to join the fight for independence.
Sarojini Naidu – Death and Legacy
Sarojini Naidu passed away from cardiac arrest on March 2, 1949, after experiencing deteriorating health upon her return from New Delhi in February. She is celebrated as one of India’s feminist icons, with her birthday, February 13, honored as Women’s Day. Composer Helen Searles Westbrook immortalized her poetry in the song “Invincible.” The Golden Threshold at the University of Hyderabad and Asteroid 5647 Sarojininaidu pay tribute to her enduring legacy. Google India honored her 135th birth anniversary with a Doodle in 2014.
Inspiring Quotes By Sarojini Naidu
Here are some of the famous quotes given by the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu:
- The art of people reflects their creative energy and genius, their aesthetic tastes, their national character and mentality.
- A little word of kindness, a little smile of sympathy, a little act of helpfulness, or a little thought of love – it is these little things that matter.
- The true service of our country, like the service of our family, is the service of love.
- Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.
- Life is a pilgrimage of learning, a voyage of discovery.
- We must not only be good but also be good for something.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q1. When was Sarojini Naidu born?
Q2. What is Sarojini Naidu’s nickname?
Q3. Where did Sarojini Naidu pursue her higher education?What political party did Sarojini Naidu support?
Q4. What organization did Sarojini Naidu co-found in 1917?
Q5. What movement did Sarojini Naidu join in 1930, led by Gandhi?
Q6. When did Sarojini Naidu pass away?