The Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu, was born on this day, February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad. She is regarded as one of the best Indian writers. Naidu, who was born in a Bengali Hindu family, pursued her education in Chennai, London and Cambridge. She was married to Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu and settled in Hyderabad. From participating in the National Movement to becoming a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and fighting for Swaraj, Naidu has been an inspiration for many women. She not only became the President of the Indian National Congress, but also became the first female state governor of the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh. Besides her contribution to India’s freedom struggle, Naidu has also immensely contributed to India’s literature. No wonder then, that her work and contribution continues to be remembered even today. President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to offer his tribute to Sarojini Naidu on her birth anniversary.Also Read - President Ram Nath Kovind to Virtually Confer National Service Scheme Awards Today
Sarojini Naidu left a lasting impression on India, especially the women of India. Naidu’s father, Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist and was the founder of the Nizam College, Hyderabad. Her mother Barada Sundari Devi was one of the famous Bengali poets. This perhaps had an influence on Naidu, whose poems were rich in imagery and emotions. Naidu was a noted poet whose works continue to be regarded in high stance by all her readers. Her poetry includes children’s poems, nature poems, patriotic poems and poems of love and death. Interestingly, Naidu began writing at the tender age of 12. Her Persian play, called Maher Muneer, greatly impressed the Nawab of Hyderabad. Also Read - COVID Not Over Yet, Lowering Guard Would be Unwise Now, Says President Kovind in His Address to Nation
On this special day, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, took to Twitter to pay his tribute. ‘Tributes to Sarojini Naidu — poet, political leader and pioneer of our women’s movement, on her birth anniversary,’ said his tweet. Also Read - Neeraj Chopra Wins Gold at Tokyo: Congratulatory Wishes Pour in From Political Leaders
Check out his tweet here:
Here are 8 things you should know about Sarojini Naidu:
1. Naidu received a received scholarship from Nizam of Hyderabad at the age of 16. She went to London to study first at King’s College, London and later at Girton College, Cambridge.
2. During her stay in England, Naidu came in contact with Nobel Laureate Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse convinced her to stick to Indian themes. She took the advice depicted Indian contemporary life and events in her poetry.
3. Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.
4. Sarojini Naidu was married at the age of 19 with Govindarajulu Naidu, a physician.
5. The couple had five children. Of these, her daughter Padmaja became the Governor of West Bengal and also participated in the Quit India movement.
6. Sarojini Naidu chaired the annual session of Indian National Congress at Kanpur in 1925. She played a leading role in the Civil Disobedience Movement and was sent to jail along with Gandhi and other leaders.
7. In 1942, Naidu was arrested during the Quit India movement and was jailed for 21 months with Gandhi. She used to call him ‘mickey mouse’
8. Sarojini Naidu College for Women, Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital and Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad are some of the institutions that have been named after her.
One of India’s most loved poets, Naidu, had her first collection of poems published in 1905. It was named The Golden Threshold. What’s more, the volume had an introduction by Arthur Symons. Her poems were also admired by prominent Indian politicians like Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Palanquin Bearers, Coromandel Fishers, Autumn Song, Indian Weavers and In Salutation to the Eternal Peace are some of Naidu’s most famous poems. The Golden Threshold (1905) and The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and Destiny (1912) are among her famous books. Sarojini Naidu passed away on March 2, 1949 while working in her office. The Feather of The Dawn which contained poems written in 1927 by Naidu was edited and published posthumously in 1961 by her daughter Padmaja Naidu.