|1st Governor of United Provinces|
15 August 1947 – 2 March 1949
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Hormasji Peroshaw Mody|
|President of Indian National Congress|
|Preceded by||Mahatma Gandhi|
|Succeeded by||S. Srinivasa Iyengar|
13 February 1879
Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British India (now in Telangana, India)
|Died||2 March 1949 (aged 70)|
Lucknow, United Provinces, Dominion of India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Govindarajulu Naidu (1898–1949)|
|Children||5; including Padmaja|
|Occupation||Political activist, poet|
|Nickname(s)||Bharat ki bulbul|
Sarojini Naidu (née Chattopadhyay; 13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949) was an Indian political activist and poet. A proponent of civil rights, women's emancipation, and anti-imperialistic ideas, she was an important figure in India's struggle for independence from colonial rule. Naidu's work as a poet earned her the sobriquet 'the Nightingale of India', or 'Bharat Kokila' by Mahatma Gandhi because of colour, imagery and lyrical quality of her poetry.
Born in a Bengali family in Hyderabad, Naidu was educated in Madras, London and Cambridge. Following her time in England, where she worked as a suffragist, she was drawn to Indian National Congress' movement for India's independence from British rule. She became a part of the Indian nationalist movement and became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his idea of swaraj. She was appointed as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925 and later became the Governor of the United Provinces in 1947, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
Naidu's poetry includes both children's poems and others written on more serious themes including patriotism, romance, and tragedy. Published in 1912, "In the Bazaars of Hyderabad" remains one of her most popular poems. She married Govindarajulu Naidu, a general physician, and had four children with him. She died of a cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949.
Sarojini Chattopadhyay was born in Hyderabad on 13 February 1879 to Aghorenath Chattopadhyay and Varada Sundari Devi. Her parental home was at Brahmangaon Bikrampur, Dhaka, Bengal province (present-day Konoksar village, Louhajang, Munshiganj Bangladesh). Her father was a Bengali Brahmin and the principal of Hyderabad college, which later became Nizam College. He held a doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University. Her mother wrote poetry in Bengali.
She was the eldest of the eight siblings. Her brother Virendranath Chattopadhyay was a revolutionary, and another brother Harindranath was a poet, a dramatist, and an actor. Their family was well-regarded in Hyderabad, not only for leading the Nizam College of Hyderabad but also as Hyderabad's most famous artists at that time. Being an artist in the era of British rule in India was considered a risky career, yet with their progressive values, they pursued them anyway. Naidu's creativity was encouraged and she met many intellectuals among her parents' visitors.
Naidu passed her matriculation examination to qualify for university study, earning the highest rank, in 1891, when she was twelve. From 1895 to 1898 she studied in England, at King's College, London and then Girton College, Cambridge, with a scholarship from H.E.H. the Nizam's Charitable Trust. In England, she met artists from the Aesthetic and Decadent movements. She travelled briefly in Europe.
Naidu returned to Hyderabad in 1898. That same year, she married Govindarajulu Naidu, a physician, in an inter-caste marriage which has been called "groundbreaking and scandalous." Both their families approved their marriage, which was long and harmonious. They had four children. Their daughter Padmaja also joined the Quit India Movement, and held several governmental positions in independent India.
Beginning in 1904, Naidu became an increasingly popular orator, promoting Indian independence and women's rights, especially women's education. Her oratory often framed arguments following the five-part rhetorical structures of Nyaya reasoning. She addressed the Indian National Congress and the Indian Social Conference in Calcutta in 1906. Her social work for flood relief earned her the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal in 1911, which she later returned in protest over the April 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre. She met Muthulakshmi Reddy in 1909, and in 1914 she met Mahatma Gandhi, whom she credited with inspiring a new commitment to political action.
With Reddy, she helped established the Women's Indian Association in 1917. Later that year, Naidu accompanied her colleague Annie Besant, who was the president of Home Rule League and Women's Indian Association, to advocate universal suffrage in front of the Joint Select Committee in London, United Kingdom. She also supported the Lucknow Pact, a joint Hindu–Muslim demand for British political reform, at the Madras Special Provincial Council. As a public speaker, Naidu's oratory was known for its personality and its incorporation of her poetry.
Naidu formed close ties with Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore and Sarala Devi Chaudhurani. After 1917, she joined Gandhi's satyagraha movement of nonviolent resistance against British rule. Naidu went to London in 1919 as a part of the All India Home Rule League as a part of her continued efforts to advocate for freedom from the British rule. The next year, she participated in the non-cooperation movement in India.
In 1924, Naidu represented the Indian National Congress at the East African Indian National Congress. In 1925, Naidu was the first female president of the Indian National Congress. In 1927, Naidu was a founding member of the All India Women's Conference. In 1928, she travelled in the United States to promote nonviolent resistance. Naidu also presided over East African and Indian Congress' 1929 session in South Africa.
In 1930, Gandhi initially did not want to permit women to join the Salt March, because it would be physically demanding with a high risk of arrest. Naidu and other female activists, including Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Khurshed Naoroji, persuaded him otherwise, and joined the march. When Gandhi was arrested on April 6, 1930, he appointed Naidu as the new leader of the campaign.
The Indian National Congress decided to stay away from the First Round Table Conference that took place in London owing to the arrests. In 1931, however, Naidu and other leaders of the Congress Party participated in the Second Round Table Conference headed by Viceroy Lord Irwin in the wake of the Gandhi-Irwin pact. Naidu was jailed by the British in 1932.
Governor of United Provinces
Following India's independence from the British rule in 1947, Naidu was appointed as the governor of the United Provinces (present-day Uttar Pradesh), making her India's first woman governor. She remained in office until her death in March 1949 (aged 70).
Naidu's poetry is written in English, and usually took the form of lyric poetry in the tradition of British Romanticism, which she was sometimes challenged to reconcile with her Indian nationalist politics. She was known for her vivid use of rich sensory images in her writing, and for her lush depictions of India. She was well-regarded as a poet, considered the "Indian Yeats".
Her first book of poems was published in London in 1905, titled The Golden Threshold. The publication was suggested by Edmund Gosse, and bore an introduction by Arthur Symons. It also included a sketch of Naidu as a teenager, in a ruffled white dress, drawn by John Butler Yeats. Her second and most strongly nationalist book of poems, The Bird of Time, was published in 1912. It was published in both London and New York, and includes "In the Bazaars of Hyderabad." The last book of new poems published in her lifetime, The Broken Wing (1917) was dedicated to Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It includes the poem "The Gift of India," critiquing the British empire's exploitation of Indian mothers, which she had previously recited to the Hyderabad Ladies' War Relief Association in 1915. It also includes "Awake!", with which she concluded a 1915 speech to the Indian National Congress to urge unified Indian action. A collection of all her published poems was printed in New York in 1928. After her death, Naidu's complete poems, including unpublished works, were collected in The Feather of the Dawn (1961), edited by her daughter Padmaja Naidu.
Naidu's speeches were first collected and published in January 1918 as The Speeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu, a popular publication which led to an expanded reprint in 1919 and again in 1925.
- 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
Naidu died of cardiac arrest at 3:30 p.m. (IST) on 2 March 1949 at the Government House in Lucknow. Upon her return from New Delhi on 15 February, she was advised to rest by her doctors, and all official engagements were canceled. Her health deteriorated substantially and bloodletting was performed on the night of 1 March after she complained of severe headache. She died after collapsing following a fit of cough. Naidu was said to have asked the nurse attending to her to sing to her at about 10:40 p.m. (IST) which put her to sleep. She subsequently died, and her last rites were performed at the Gomati River.
Naidu is memorialized in the Golden Threshold, an off-campus annex of University of Hyderabad named for her first collection of poetry. Golden Threshold now houses the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication in the University of Hyderabad.
Asteroid 5647 Sarojininaidu, discovered by Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory in 1990, was named in her memory. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 27 August 2019 (M.P.C. 115893).
Works about Naidu
The first biography of Naidu, Sarojini Naidu: a Biography by Padmini Sengupta, was published in 1966. A biography for children, Sarojini Naidu: The Nightingale and The Freedom Fighter, was published by Hachette in 2014.
- Indian English literature
- Indian literature
- Indian poetry
- Indian poetry in English
- List of Indian poets
- List of Indian writers
- "Sarojini Naidu | Biography & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
- Treasure Trove: A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories. 4738/23, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj, New Delhi-110002, India: Evergreen Publications (INDIA) Ltd. 2020. p. 13. ISBN 9789350637005.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Raman, Sita Anantha (2006). "Naidu, Sarojini". In Wolpert, Stanley (ed.). Encyclopedia of India. 3. Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 212–213.
- Ahmed, Lilyma. "Naidu, Sarojini". Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Nizam's kin pulls out 'firmans' showing last ruler's generosity". The Times of India.
- Reddy, Sheshalatha (2010). "The Cosmopolitan Nationalism of Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India". Victorian Literature and Culture. 38 (2): 571–589. ISSN 1060-1503.
- O'Brien, Jodi (2009). "Naidu, Sarojini (1879-1949)". Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. SAGE Publications Inc. p. 589. doi:10.4135/9781412964517.n292.
- "Padmaja Naidu Dies at 75; ExWest Bengal Governor". The New York Times. 3 May 1975. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
- Shekhani, Ummekulsoom (3 April 2017). "Sarojini Naidu—The Forgotten Orator of India". Rhetoric Review. 36 (2): 139–150. doi:10.1080/07350198.2017.1282223. ISSN 0735-0198.
- Iyer, N Sharada (1964). Musings on Indian Writing in English: Poetry. Sarup & Sons. p. 135. ISBN 9788176255745. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Pasricha, Ashu (2009). The political thought of Annie Besant. New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co. p. 24. ISBN 978-81-8069-585-8.
- Jagadisan (2001). A thing of beauty. Orient Blackswan. p. 55. ISBN 9788125016250. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Sarkar, Amar Nath; Prasad, Bithika, eds. (2008). Critical response to Indian poetry in English. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 11. ISBN 978-81-7625-825-8.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1912). Gosse, Edmund (ed.). The bird of time; songs of life, death & the spring. New York, London: John Lane company; W. Heinemann.
- "The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India". The First Edition Rare Books. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
- Nasta, Susheila (16 November 2012). India in Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1858–1950. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-230-39271-7. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1919). Speeches and writings (2nd ed.). Madras: G.A. Nateson & Co. p. 9.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1925). Speeches and writings of Sarojini Naidu (3rd ed.). Madras: G.A. Natesan & co.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1905). The golden threshold. London: Heineman.
- 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 6 August 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 10 August 2010
- Shaw, Martin; Naidu, Sarojini (1917). The Song of the Palanquin Bearers. London: Curwen.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1919). Speeches and writings. Madras: G.A. Nateson & Co.
- Jinnah, Mahomed Ali (1919). Naidu, Sarojini (ed.). Mahomed Ali Jinnah, an ambassador of unity; his speeches & writings 1912-1917. Madras: Ganesh & Co.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1928). The sceptred flute: songs of India. New York: Dodd, Mead & company.
- "Mrs. Sarojini Naidu Passes Away". The Indian Express. 3 March 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- "Last Rites of Sarojini Naidu at Lucknow". The Indian Express. 4 March 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Augestine, Seline (17 June 2017). "Nightingale of India". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- Naidu, Sarojini (1919). Speeches and writings. Madras: G.A. Nateson & Co. p. 11.
- "Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication". Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 5647 Sarojininaidu (1990 TZ)" (11 May 2019 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
- "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
- "Google Doodle celebrates Sarojini Naidu's 135th Birthday". news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Jungalwalla, P.N. (1966). "Review of Sarojini Naidu, a Biography by Padmini Sengupta". Indian Literature. 9 (2): 101–103 – via JSTOR.
- "Sarojini Naidu: The Nightingale and The Freedom Fighter". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
- "Films Division pays tribute to Sarojini Naidu". THE REPORTING TODAY. 13 February 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
- "Sarojini Naidu | Films Division". filmsdivision.org. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
- "Ramayan actor Dipika Chikhlia to play Sarojini Naidu in biographical film". The Indian Express. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
|Library resources about |
|By Sarojini Naidu|
- Gupta, Indra (2004). India's 50 most illustrious women (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Icon Publications.
- Baig, Tara Ali (1985). Sarojini Naidu: portrait of a patriot. New Delhi: Congress Centenary (1985) Celebrations Committee, AICC (I).
- Ramachandran Nair, K. R. (1987). Three Indo-Anglian poets: Henry Derozio, Toru Dutt, and Sarojini Naidu. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers.
- Padmini Sengupta (1997). Sarojini Naidu. ISBN 9788178624495.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sarojini Naidu|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarojini Naidu.|
- The poetry of Sarojini Naidu: A fusion of English language and Indian culture
- Works by Sarojini Naidu at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Sarojini Naidu at Internet Archive
- The Golden Threshold in The Internet Archive
- Works by Sarojini Naidu at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Biography and Poems of Sarojini Naidu
- Letter written by Sarojini Naidu
- 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)
- Newspaper clippings about Sarojini Naidu in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
- Sarojini Naidu (1975) documentary film by Films Division