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Sarojini Naidu

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Name- Sarojini Naidu

DOB- February 13, 1879 Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British India (now in Telangana, India)

Father- Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay

Mother- Barada Sundari Devi

Death- March 2, 1949 (aged 70) Lucknow, United Provinces, India (now in Uttar Pradesh, India)

 


 

Early Life and Education

Sarojini Naidu was born on 13 February 1879 in a Bengali family in Hyderabad. Her father, Dr. Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay was a scientist, philosopher, and educator. He founded the Nizam College of Hyderabad. Her mother, Barada Sundari Devi was a poetess in the Bengali language. Dr. Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay was the first member of the Indian National Congress in Hyderabad. She was the eldest of the eight siblings. Her brother Virendranath Chattopadhyaya was a revolutionary and her other brother, Harindranath was a poet, a dramatist, and an actor.

Sarojini Naidu, having passed her matriculation examination from the University of Madras, took a four-year break from her studies. In 1895, the Nizam Scholarship Trust founded by the 6th Nizam, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, gave her the chance to study in England, first at King's college London and later at Girton College, Cambridge.

 

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Career

Indian Independence Movement

Sarojini Naidu had many credits to her, including a notable contribution to the Indian Independence Movement. She joined the movement at the rear of Bengal partition in 1905 and since then, she stuck to her commitment to the cause. While working for the Indian National Congress, she was introduced to many eminent personalities such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi with whom she shared a special bond and a very good rapport.

During 1915-1918, she traveled across the India lecturing on social welfare, women empowerment, emancipation and nationalism. Inspired by Jawaharlal Nehru, she embarked on providing help and support for the indigo workers in Champaran who were being subjected to violence and oppression. In 1925, Naidu was appointed the President of the National Congress thus making her the first Indian women to hold the post.

With the introduction of the Rowlett Act in 1919, Sarojini joined the Non-Cooperation Movement organized and led by Mahatma Gandhi. In the same year, she was appointed the Home Rule League's ambassador to England. In 1924, she became a delegate to the East African Indian Congress.

As poet 

The Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu was a prolific writer and poet. The first volume of her poetries The Golden Threshold was published in 1905, after which two more collections The Bird of Time and The Broken Wing arrived in 1912 and 1917 respectively. Meanwhile in 1916, she authored and published a biography of Muhammad Ali Jinnah entitled as The Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Other acclaimed poems that came following are The Wizard Mask and A Treasury of Poems. Other selected works written by her include The Magic Tree and The Gift of India. She was given the name Bharat Kokila on account of the beautiful and rhythmic words of her poems that could be sung as well.

 

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Personal Life

Sarojini Naidu met Govindarajulu Naidu, a physician, and at the age of 19, after finishing her studies, she married him. At that time, Inter-caste marriages were not allowed, but her father approved the marriage. The couple had five children. Their daughter, Padmaja also joined the freedom struggle, and was part of the Quit India Movement. She was appointed the Governor of the state of West Bengal soon after Indian independence.

 

Death

Sarojini Naidu died of a heart attack while working in her office in Lucknow on 2 March (Wednesday), 1949.

 

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