The sweet-toned voice yet reminiscent in her speeches, a dominant yet a tender-at-heart leader, often regarded by the sobriquet as the ‘Nightingale of India’ or “Bharatiya Kokila.” Meet Sarojini Naidu who was one of the greatest poets and an activist par excellence India had. Her eternal poems are embedded in Indian cultural and literary works. Her poetry and proverbs have been regarded in the most distinguished stance by all her readers.
Sarojini Naidu was born on 13th Feb. 1879 in Hyderabad and was the daughter of Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya, a Bengali Brahmin who was the principal of Nizam’s College in Hyderabad. Her mother was herself a great poet and used to write poems in Bengali. Having a well-educated backdrop, Sarojini went to study early in 1895 at King’s college, London, and later at Girton College Cambridge.
Sarojini had been the strongest advocate of the Father of the Nation “Gandhiji”, and had supported him in every ideology to free India from British rule. From “Civil Disobedience” to “Quit India” movement, Sarojini had supported Gandhiji in every juncture. In fact, during the ‘Quit India’ movement she was also jailed for 20-21 months along with Gandhiji.
5 most interesting facts about the Indian Nightingale-“Sarojini Naidu”
- Started literary career at the age of 12
Sarojini Naidu stepped into the literary career at the early age of 12 when she embarked on a journey to pursue higher education in London and Cambridge. Her first piece of literary work that poured innumerous recognitions and praises from all over the world, was the play titled as “Maher Muneer” which impressed the Nawab of Hyderabad then.
- Her England stay and transition into Indian-themed-poetry
When after receiving the scholarship at the age of 16 from the Nizam of Hyderabad, she went to King’s College in London, during her stay in England, Nobel Laureates Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse advised her to stick to Indian themes of writing. Taking their advice on the serious note, Sarojini took Indian Contemporary life and events to depict in her poetry. With the great articulation of feelings, emotions and experiences of her life through poems, Sarojini Naidu turned out as an incredible poet of the 20th century.
- Fell in love and married at 19!
During her college in London, Sarojini fell in love with a non-Brahman and a doctor Govindarajulu Naidu. She was highly brave and honest to marry her love of life then. She got married at the age of 19 and led a happy life with four children Jayasurya, Padmaj, Randheer, and Leilaman.
- First women governor in India from U.P
Sarojini Naidu was the first ever women from India who serves as a Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh from 1947 to 1949. She then went on to become the first women President to head Indian National Congress.
- Her immortal notary works
Having been an exemplary figure in Indian literature, Sarojini’s works are spread in every nook and corner of India. A few of her best notary works are The Indian Fantasy, Ecstasy, The Queen’s Rival, The Royal Tombs of Golconda, The Snake Charmer, Indian Dancers* The Indian Gypsy, Damayanti Nala in the Hour of Exile etc.
Sarojini Naidu has been amongst the most influential personalities of India that she certainly deserves to be. She has also been commemorated through various medical and educational institutions like Sarojini Naidu College for Women, Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Commuication.