on February 13, 1879 and
passed away on March 02, 1949.
Born as Sarojini Chattopadhyay in Hyderabad in a family of
achievers, she peaked right at her young age in academics, won the scholarship
and found herself in the best of campuses in England, first at King's College
London and later at Girton College, Cambridge. She found her partner at an early
age, got married and turned out to be a proud mother of her daughter who went
on to become the Governor of West Bengal.
It was in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905, Sarojini
Naidu joined the Indian national movement. This brought her in contact with the
tall leaders such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali
Jinnah, Annie Besant, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal
Nehru. She travelled the length and breadth of the nation delivering lectures
on social welfare, women's empowerment and nationalism. She 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.
In 1925, Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian
National Congress at Kanpur as the Congress party president. She presided over
East African Indian Congress in South Africa in 1929. Her gritty presence saw
herself as one of the women protesters at the Dharsana salt works, Gujrat in
1930 during the salt satyagraha. She went to play a leading role during the
Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhi and other leaders.
Sarojini Naidu served as the first governor of the United Provinces of Agra and
Oudh from 1947 to 1949. This made her the first woman to become the governor of
an Indian state. She was also the second woman to become the president of the
Indian National Congress in 1925 and the first Indian woman to do so. Her
courage and contributions were not confined to the fields of politics only. She
was a renowned poet and contributed through her writing too. Her play
"Maher Muneer" that she wrote at an early age of 12, fetched a
scholarship to study abroad. The collections of her poems named "The
Golden Threshold", "The Feather of The Dawn", "The Bird of
Time" and "The Broken Wings" were published and admired by many.
This is a SoulPrints tribute to Sarojini Naidu, the
nightingale of India.