Sarojini Naidu

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Sarojini Naidu
Sarojini Naidu in Bombay 1946.jpg
Born Sarojini Chattopadhyay
(1879-02-13)February 13, 1879
Hyderabad
Died March 2, 1949(1949-03-02) (aged 70)
Lucknow
Alma mater King's College London (1895–1898); Girton College, Cambridge; University of Madras
Occupation Poet, politician
Title Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh
Term 15 August 1947-2 March 1949
Predecessor Francis Verner Wylie
Successor Hormasji Peroshaw Mody
Political party
Indian National Congress
Political movement
Indian independence movement
Spouse(s) Govindarajulu Naidu (1898–1949)
Children Padmaja and four others
Parents Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay, Barada Sundari Debi
Relatives Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Virendranath Chattopadhyay

Sarojini Naidu, born as Sarojini Chattopadhyay (Bengali: সরোজিনী চট্টোপাধ্যায়) also known by the sobriquet as The Nightingale of India,[1] was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist and poet. Naidu served as the first governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh from 1947 to 1949;[2] the first woman to become the governor of an Indian state.[3] She was the second woman to become the president of the Indian National Congress in 1925 and the first Indian woman to do so.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Naidu was born in Hyderabad to Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay and Barada Sundari Debi on 13 February 1879. Her father, with a doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University, settled in Hyderabad, where he found and administered the Hyderabad College, which later became the Nizam's College in Hyderabad. Her mother was a poetess and used to write poetry in Bengali. She was the eldest among the eight siblings. Her brother Virendranath Chattopadhyaya was a revolutionary and her other brother, Harindranath was a poet, a dramatist, and an actor.[6]

Naidu passed her matriculation examination from the University of Madras, but she took four years' 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.

Naidu met Govindarajulu Naidu, a doctor by profession, and at the age of 19, after finishing her studies, she got married to him. At this time, inter-caste marriages were not allowed, but her father approved the marriage.[6]

The couple had five children. Her daughter Padmaja became the Governor of West Bengal.[7]

Political career[edit]

Independence movement[edit]

Sarojini Naidu (extreme right) with Mahatma Gandhi during Salt Satyagraha, 1930

Naidu joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She came into contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.[8]

During 1915-1918, she travelled to different regions in India delivering lectures on social welfare, women's empowerment and nationalism. She also helped to establish the Women's Indian Association (WIA) in 1917.[9] She was sent to London along with Annie Besant, President of WIA, to present the case for the women's vote to the Joint Select Committee.

President of the Congress party[edit]

In 1925, Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Cawnpore (now Kanpur).

In 1929, she presided over East African Indian Congress in South Africa. She was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal by the British government for her work during the plague epidemic in India.[10]

In 1931, she participated in the Round table conference with Gandhi and Madan Mohan Malaviya.[11]

She played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhi and other leaders. In 1942, she was arrested during the "Quit India" movement.

Literary career[edit]

Naidu began writing at the age of thirteen. Her Persian play, Maher Muneer, impressed the Nawab of Hyderabad.

In 1905, her first collection of poems, named "The Golden Threshold" was published.[12] Her poems were admired by many prominent Indian politicians like Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Her collection of poems entitled "The Feather of The Dawn" was edited and published posthumously in 1961 by her daughter Padamaja.[7]

Death and legacy[edit]

Sarojini Naidu died of a heart attack while working in her office in Lucknow on March 2 (Wednesday), 1949.[7][13]

She is commemorated through the naming of several institutions including the Sarojini Naidu College for Women, Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital and Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad.

Her 135th birth anniversary (in 2014) was marked by a doodle on Google India's homepage.[14]

Golden Threshold[edit]

The Golden Threshold is the name of one of the central building on the University of Hyderabad's campus. The building was the residence of Naidu's father Aghornath Chattopadhyay, the first Principal of Hyderabad College. It was named after Naidu's collection of poetry. Golden Threshold now houses Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication of University of Hyderabad.[15]

During the Chattopadhyay family's residence, it was the center of many reformist ideas in Hyderabad, in areas ranging from marriage, education, women’s empowerment, literature and nationalism.[16]

Works[edit]

Each year links to its corresponding "year in poetry" article:

  • 1905: The Golden Threshold, published in the United Kingdom[17] (text available online)
  • 1912: The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring, published in London[18]
  • 1917: The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring, including "The Gift of India" (first read in public in 1915)[18][19]
  • 1916: Muhammad Jinnah: An Ambassador of Unity[20]
  • 1943: The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India, Allahabad: Kitabistan, posthumously published[18]
  • 1961: The Feather of the Dawn, posthumously published, edited by her daughter, Padmaja Naidu[21]
  • 1971:The Indian Weavers[22]

Famous Poems[edit]

  • Damayante to Nala in the Hour of Exile
  • Ecstasy
  • Indian Dancers
  • The Indian
  • Indian Love-Song
  • Indian Weavers
  • In Salutation to the Eternal Peace
  • In the Forest
  • In the Bazaars of Hyderabad (Refer to English textbook of 9th std ICSE board)
  • Ramamuratham
  • Nightfall in the City of Hyderabad
  • Palanquin Bearers
  • The Pardah Nashin
  • Past and Future
  • The Queen's Rival
  • The Royal Tombs of Golconda
  • The Snake-Charmer
  • Song of a Dream
  • Song of Radha,the milkmaid
  • The Soul's Prayer
  • Suttee
  • To a Buddha Seated on a Lotus
  • To the God of Pain
  • Wandering Singers
  • Street Cries
  • Alabaster
  • Autumn Song
  • Bangle Sellers
  • The Coromandel Fishers
  • To youth

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Colors of India". First Woman Governor of a State in India. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Jesudasen, Yasmine (2006). "Sarojini Naidu". Voices of Freedom Movement. Sura Books. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-81-7478-555-8. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Agrawal, Lion M. G. (2008). "Indian National Congress and Indian Women". Freedom fighters of India 4. Gyan Publishing House. p. 143. ISBN 978-81-8205-472-1. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Paranjape, Makarand R. (2010). "Chronology". Sarojini Naidu. Rupa & Company. ISBN 978-81-291-1580-5. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "President of the Indian National Congress accessdate=13 February 2014". 
  6. ^ a b "Biography of Naidu". 
  7. ^ a b c "Family of Naidu". 
  8. ^ compiled; Agrawal, edited by Lion M.G. (2008). Freedom fighters of India (in four volumes). Delhi: Isha Books. p. 142. ISBN 978-81-8205-468-4. 
  9. ^ Pasricha, Ashu (2009). The political thought of Annie Besant. New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co. p. 24. ISBN 978-81-8069-585-8. 
  10. ^ Jain, Reena. "Sarojini Naidu". Stree Shakti. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Biography of Sarojini Naidu". Poem Hunter. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Sarkar, [editors], Amar Nath Prasad, Bithika (2008). Critical response to Indian poetry in English. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 978-81-7625-825-8. 
  13. ^ "Google doodles Sarojini Naidu’s 135th birth anniversary’". Indiavision. February.13, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Google Doodle celebrates Sarojini Naidu's 135th Birthday". news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication". Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  16. ^ [Kaushal Kishore] Check |authorlink= value (help) (1 January 2003). "Sarojini Naidu: A Preface to Her Poetry". Feminism, Censorship and Other Essays. Sarup & Sons. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-81-7625-373-4. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  17. ^ Knippling, Alpana Sharma, "Chapter 3: Twentieth-Century Indian Literature in English", in Natarajan, Nalini, and Emanuel Sampath Nelson, editors, Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India (Google books link), Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 978-0-313-28778-7, retrieved December 10, 2008
  18. ^ a b c Vinayak Krishna Gokak, The Golden Treasury Of Indo-Anglian Poetry (1828-1965), p 313, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (1970, first edition; 2006 reprint), ISBN 81-260-1196-3, retrieved August 6, 2010
  19. ^ Sisir Kumar Das, "A History of Indian Literature 1911-1956: Struggle for Freedom: Triumph and Tragedy", p 523, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (1995), ISBN 81-7201-798-7; retrieved August 10, 2010
  20. ^ "Jinnah in India's history". The Hindu. 12 August 2001. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Lal, P., Modern Indian Poetry in English: An Anthology & a Credo, p 362, Calcutta: Writers Workshop, second edition, 1971 (however, on page 597 an "editor's note" states contents "on the following pages are a supplement to the first edition" and is dated "1972")
  22. ^ "Indian Weavers". Poem Hunter. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]