Sarojini Naidu was born on 13 February 1879 in Hyderabad , India. Sarojini was the eldest daughter of Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, a Bengali Brahman who was principal of the Nizam’s College, Hyderabad, and mother Varada sundari devi..
In 1891, at the age of twelve, she passed her matriculation exam to be eligible for university study, receiving the top position. On a scholarship from the Nizam of Hyderabad, she studied in England from 1895 to 1898, first at King’s College in London and subsequently at Girton College in Cambridge. She encountered creatives from the Aesthetic and Decadent movements in England. She had a quick trip to Europe.
In 1898, sarojini naidu went back to Hyderabad. She became engaged to Govindaraju Naidu, a doctor, in the same year. They met while she was living in England. Their long-lasting, blissful marriage received the blessing of both of their families. They had five kids together. Their daughter Padmaja, who served in several government roles in independent India, also joined the Quit India Campaign.
Political career of Sarojini Naidu:
Naidu began to gain popularity as a public speaker in 1904, advocating for Indian independence and women’s rights, particularly women’s education. Her speeches frequently used Nyaya reasoning’s five-part rhetorical structures to frame their arguments. In 1906, she spoke to the Indian Social Conference and the Indian National Congress in Calcutta. In 1911, she received the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for her social services in flood relief; however, she later returned it in opposition to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in April 1919. She first met Muthulakshmi Reddy in 1909, and then she met Mahatma Gandhi in 1914. She attributes Gandhi with encouraging her to take up political activism again. She presided over the INC convention as the organization’s first Indian woman and second female president. She collaborated with Reddy to create the Women’s Indian Association in 1917. During that year, Naidu accompanied her colleague Annie Besant, who was the president of Home Rule League and Women’s Indian Association, to urge universal suffrage in front of the Joint Select Committee in London, United Kingdom. At the Madras Special Provincial Council, she also backed the Lucknow Accord, a joint Hindu-Muslim call for British political change. Naidu was a well-known public speaker who included her poetry into her speeches and was noted for her charisma.
President of the Indian national congress:
Naidu attended the East African Indian National Congress in 1924 on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Naidu served as the Indian National Congress’s first female president in 1925. Naidu was a founding participant of the All India Women’s Conference in 1927. She made a tour of the United States in 1928 to advocate for peaceful protest. Naidu also presided over the 1929 meeting of the East African and Indian Congress in South Africa.
Gandhi initially opposed allowing women to participate in the 1930 Salt March because he felt that it would be physically taxing and dangerous for them to be arrested. He was convinced otherwise by Naidu and other female activists, such as Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Khurshed Naoroji, who joined the march. Gandhi named Naidu the new campaign leader after his incarceration on April 6, 1930. Due to the arrests, the Indian National Congress made the decision to skip the First Round Table Conference that was held in London. Yet after the Gandhi-Irwin pact, Naidu and other Congress Party leaders took part in the Second Round Table Conference in 1931, which was presided over by Viceroy Lord Irwin. The British imprisoned Naidu in 1932.For her involvement in the Quit India Movement, the British put Naidu in prison once more in 1942. She spent 21 months behind bars.
Naidu became India’s first woman governor when the country gained independence from British rule in 1947 when she was named governor of the United Provinces (modern-day Uttar Pradesh). She served as president until her passing in March 1949.
Why is called Sarojini As Nightingale of India:
Because of the vivid imagery and strong emotions in her writings, she was known as the Nightingale of India or Bharatiya Kokila. Her poetry avoids fancy language and is primarily built of straightforward phrases that could be sung. Her works were vivid in imagery and dealt with a range of subjects, including love, death, and separation, among others. Many of her literary works such as The Golden Threshold, The Bird Of Time, The Broken Wing, Autumn Song have been read widely and critically acclaimed. She earned the moniker “The Nightingale of India” due to the natural rhythm, the beauty of her sensual imagination, and the cadence that effortlessly flowed from her.
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