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Sarojini Naidu ( Chattopadhyay) is a prominent figure in Indian History and Literature. She’s also known as ‘ The Nightingale of India.’ She participated actively in the Indian Freedom Struggle and a keen supporter of civil rights, women’s emancipation, and anti-imperialistic ideas.
She was born on 13 February 1879Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British India. Her parents were Aghorenath Chattopadhyay and Varada Sundari Devi. Her father was a Bengali Brahmin, having a doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University and working as the principal of Hyderabad College, later renamed as Nizam college. Her mother wrote poetry in Bengali. She was the eldest of the eight siblings.
Sarojini Naidu completed her education from the University of Madras, King’s College London, and Girton College, Cambridge. She married Govindarajulu Naidu, a physician, in 1898 in Hyderabad. Theirs was an inter-caste marriage approved by both their families which was rare to see in those days. She had five children.
Sarojini started writing when she was only 12. She wrote a play Maher Muneer, written in Persian, which was well liked by the Nizam of Kingdom of Hyderabad. She preferred writing Lyrical form of poetry, modelled on British Romanticism. She found it quite challenging to adopt her writing style to suit her Indian nationalist politics. Her poems were well known for their rich sensory images and for her lush depictions of India. She has been considered as Yeats of India.
Her political career:
She was the 1st Governor of United Provinces from15 August 1947 – 2 March 1949.
She also served as the President of the Indian National Congress between 1925–1926.
Her writing career :
1905: The Golden Threshold, London: William Heineman
1912: The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring, London: William Heineman and New York: John Lane Company
1917: The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring
1917: “The Song of the Palanquin Bearers”, lyrics by Naidu and music by Martin Shaw, London: Curwen
1918: The Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu, Madras: G.A. Natesan & Co.
1919: Editor, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, An Ambassador of Unity: His Speeches & Writings
1912-1917, with a biographical “Pen Portrait” of Jinnah by Naidu, Madras: Ganesh & Co.
1928: The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India, New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co.
1961: The Feather of the Dawn, edited by Padmaja Naidu, Bombay: Asia Publishing House.
She died on 2 March 1949 at the Government House in Lucknow. Her contribution in India’s struggle for Independence will never be forgotten. She made India proud with her exemplary writing and became an inspiration to all women to achieve their dreams in spite of all the obstacles in their way.
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