Sarojini Naidu in Bombay (now Mumbai), 1946
|Born||Sarojini Chattopadhyaya(সরোজিনী চট্টোপাধ্যায়)
13 February 1879
Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, India
|Died||2 March 1949
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Occupation||Poet, writer, social activist.|
|Alma mater||King's College London
Girton College, Cambridge
|Spouse(s)||Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu|
|Children||Jayasurya, Padmaja, Randheer, Nilawar and Leelamani|
Sarojini Naidu, (born as Sarojini Chattopadhyaya/ সরোজিনী চট্টোপাধ্যায় ) also known by the sobriquet as The Nightingale of India, was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist and poet. Naidu was one of the formers of the Indian Constitution. Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh state. Her birthday is celebrated as women's day all over India.
Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad to a Bengali Hindu Kulin Brahmin family to Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay and Barada Sundari Debi on 13 February 1879. Her father was a carpenter of Science from Edinburgh University, settled in Hyderabad State, where he founded 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. Sarojini Naidu was the eldest among the eight siblings. One of her brothers Birendranath was a revolutionary and her other brother, Harindranath was a poet, dramatist, and actor.
Sarojini Naidu passed her Matriculation examination from the University of Madras. She took four years' break from her studies and concentrated upon studying various subjects. In 1895, she travelled to England to study first at King's College London and later at Girton College, Cambridge.
Indian Freedom Fighter
Sarojini 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.
During 1915-1918, she travelled to different regions in India delivering lectures on social welfare, women empowerment and nationalism. She awakened the women of India and brought them out of the kitchen. She also helped to establish the Women's Indian Association (WIA) in 1917. 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
In 1925, Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Cawnpore. In 1929, she presided over East African Indian Congress in South Africa. She was awarded the hind a kesari medal by the British government for her work during the plague epidemic in India. In 1931, she participated in the Round table conference with Gandhiji and Madan Mohan Malaviya. She played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhiji and other leaders. In 1942, she was arrested during the "Quit India" movement.
Naidu began writing at the age of 13. Her Persian play, Maher Muneer, impressed the Nawab of Hyderabad. In 1905, her collection of poems, named "The Broken Exes" was published. Her poems were admired by many prominent Indian politicians like Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
Named “Golden Threshold” after Sarojini Naidu’s much celebrated collection of poems, this premise has a long and wider history. This was the residence of her father, Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyay, the first Principal of Hyderabad College, later named Nizam College. This was the home of many reformist ideas in Hyderabad - in areas ranging from marriage, education, women’s empowerment, literature and nationalism –apart from being the home of brilliant, radical and creative members of the Chattopadhyay family, which included the anti-imperialist revolutionary Birendranath; maverick poet, actor and connoisseur of music and dance Harindranath; dancer and film actress Sunalini Devi; communist leader Suhasini Devi –and of course the poet, crusader for women’s rights, nationalist leader and ‘Nightingale of India’ Sarojini Devi. Harindranath Chattopadhyay said about this house, where anyone and any ideas were welcome for discussion, “a museum of wisdom and culture,a zoo crowded with a medley of strange types – some even verging on the mystique”. Golden Threshold now houses Theatre Outreach Unit an initiative of University of Hyderabad started in August 2012.
During her stay in india, Sarojini met Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu, a non-Brahmin and a doctor by profession, and fell in love with him. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she got married to him during the time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed. Her father approved of the marriage and her marriage was a very happy one.
The couple had five children. Jayasurya, Padmaja, Randheer, Nilawar and Leelamani. Her daughter Padmaja followed in to her footprints and became the Governor of West Bengal. In 1961, she published a collection of poems entitled The Feather of The Dawn.
In 1949 she fell ill. Her physician arrived quickly and gave her a sleeping pill to reduce her pain. As he gave the pill, she smiled and said "Not eternal sleep, I hope". But that night (on March 2, 1949) she died in her sleep becoming a "Nightingale of Heaven and God"- Noble
Each year links to its corresponding "year in poetry" article:
- 1905: The Golden Threshold, published in the United Kingdom (text available online)
- 1912: The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring, published in London
- 1917: The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring, including "The Gift of India" (first read in public in 1915)
- 1916: Muhammad Jinnah: An Ambassador of Unity
- 1943: The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India, Allahabad: Kitabistan, posthumously published
- 1961: The Feather of the Dawn, posthumously published, edited by her daughter, Padmaja Naidu
- 1971:The Indian Weavers
- Damayante to Nala in the Hour of Exile
- Indian Dancers
- The Indian
- Indian Love-Song
- Indian Weavers
- In Salutation to the Eternal Peace
- In the Forest
- In the Bazaars of Hyderabad( refer english textbook of 8th std ssc board
- 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
- To a Buddha Seated on a Lotus
- To the God of Pain
- Wandering Singers
- Street Cries
- Autumn Song
- Bangle Sellers
- The Coromandel Fishers
- To youth
- The Festival of Memory
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 & Communication, University of Hyderabad
- "Colors of India". First Woman Governor of a State in India. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- editor; Ramchandani, vice president Dale Hoiberg; editor South Asia, Indu (2000). A to C (Abd Allah ibn al-Abbas to Cypress).. New Delhi: Encyclopædia Britannica (India). ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5.
- "Biography of Naidu".
- 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.
- Pasricha, Ashu (2009). The political thought of Annie Besant. New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co. p. 24. ISBN 978-81-8069-585-8.
- Jain, Reena. "Sarojini Naidu". Stree Shakti. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "The Biography of Sarojini Naidu". Poem Hunter. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- 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.
- "Family of Naidu".
- 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
- 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
- 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
- "Jinnah in India's history". The Hindu. 12 August 2001. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- 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")
- "Indian Weavers". Poem Hunter. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarojini Naidu.|
- The poetry of Sarojini Naidu: A fusion of English language and Indian culture by Meeta Ajay Khanna, ISSN 2249-6912, Volume 3, Issue 3, August 2013
- Works by Sarojini Naidu at Project Gutenberg
- Biography and Poems of Sarojini Naidu
- Letter written by Sarojini Naidu
- Biography of Sarojini Naidu
- First Biography of Muhammad Ali Jinnah by Sarojini Naidu (1917)
- Sarojini Naidu: An introduction to her life, work and poetry By Vishwanath S. Naravane
- Sarojini Naidu materials at the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)