Learn About Sarojini Naidu Birthday – Nightingale Of India
13th February is celebrated as the National Women’s Day in India to mark the Birth Anniversary of Sarojini Naidu. Sarojini Naidu was an exemplary poet, a freedom fighter, a feminist, an orator, a political activist and an outstanding administrator. She is being called as the “Bharat Kokila” or the “Nightingale of India”owing to her beautiful poetry and literary works.
Sarojini Naidu was born in a Bengali Brahman family on 13th February 1879 in Hyderabad. Her father Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist and the founder of the Nizam College in Hyderabad. Her mother Barada Sundari Devi was a well-known Bengali poetess. Her creative abilities nurtured by her generous parents were awakened to a home for scholars and diverse visitors. Sarojini Naidu later gave an emotional speech on the importance of women’s education. In 1891, when she was twelve years old, she attained the highest rank in the Madras Presidency Matriculation Examination, her literary talents attracted the Nizam, and she was awarded a scholarship to study at Girton College, Cambridge. He developed a friendship with famous writers in England and later traveled to Europe for some time. In 1898, Sarojini challenged caste by marrying Govindarajulu Naidu, a non-Brahmin Telugu doctor and widow who had four children.
Sarojini Naidu was very intelligent since her childhood. At the young age of just 12 years, she topped the matriculation exam at Madras University. At the age of 13, she wrote a poem named “Lady of the Lake”. Golden Threshold was her first collection of poems that was published in 1905. She was awarded a scholarship to study at Girton College, Cambridge. She studied at King’s College London and later Cambridge University. Apart from her unique work in the field of writing and poetry, she is also remembered for her contribution to the Indian independence movement, women empowerment and social welfare. She developed a friendship with famous writers in England and later traveled to Europe for some time.
Some of the best poems of Sarojini Naidu are Bird of Time, Broken Wing, etc.Her other collection of poems have been published under the titles named The Sceptred Flute in 1928 and The Feather of the Dawn in 1961.Sarojini Naidu later gave an emotional speech on the importance of women’s education. In 1898, Sarojini challenged caste by marrying Govindarajulu Naidu, a non-Brahmin Telugu doctor and widow who had four children.
Sarojini Naidu was drawn towards Indian National Congress movement, and later she started following the foot-steps Mahatama Gandhi and follows his idea of Swaraj. She also fights for women’s rights at the time of freedom struggle and became a prominent figure of Feminism in India. She and Annie Besant, another freedom fighter founded the Women’s India Association in 1917. She also championed women’s suffrage all across the country. So, to recognize her efforts towards women and women’s right, her birthday is celebrated as the National Women’s Day in India.
Sarojini Naidu became the first woman President of the Indian National Congress. In 1928 she was honored with Kaiser-i-Hind award by the British Government. She was also a part of the draft committee that framed the Indian Constitution. She actively participated in the freedom struggle against British.In 1931, she accompanied Gandhiji to London for the second session of the Round Table Conference and when World War II broke out, she supported the policies of the Congress Party. Sarojini Naidu had to go to jail with Gandhiji several times during the Indian independence movement. In 1942, when Gandhi ji started the Quit India Movement and the British Government kept Sarojini Naidu in captivity for 21 months.
In 1947, following the India’s Independence Sarojini Naidu became the India’s first woman governor, of the United Provinces, presently called Uttar Pradesh. On March 2 1949, she passed away due to heart attack while working in her office in Lucknow.
In honor of Sarojini Naidu, Asteroid 5647,discovered by Eleanor Helen at the Palomar Observatory in 1990, was named Sarojini Naidu in her memory. In 2018, to mark the 150 years since women entered higher education in the United Kingdom, Sarojini Naidu earned place in the List of “150 Leading Women” published by the University of London.
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