Remembering the ‘Nightingale of India’ Sarojini Naidu on her 141st birth anniversary

The birth anniversary of the freedom fighter, politician and poet ‘Nightingale of India’ is celebrated as National Women’s Day to commemorate her contribution to the upliftment and development of women in India.

On her 141st birth anniversary, here are some facts about Sarojini Naidu-

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Nightingale of India

  • Her writing career began at the age of 13 and she primarily wrote poems.
  • At the age of 16, she received a scholarship from the Nizam of Hyderabad and went to London to study first at King’s College and later at Girton College, Cambridge.
  • The Golden Threshold, her first collection of poems, was published in 1905.
The Golden Threshold
  • Her well-known collection of poetry includes The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring, The Magic Tree, The Indian Weavers, The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, and Death and the Spring.
  • She drew her inspiration from nature and daily life. Her poetry echoed her patriotism.
  • A contemporary poet, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay quoted ‘Sarojini Naidu inspired the Indian renaissance movement and had a mission to improve the life of Indian woman.’

Female freedom fighter

  • She decided to join the Indian freedom struggle after the partition of Bengal in 1905.
  • In 1917, she helped found the Women’s India Association with Annie Besant and other prominent leaders.
  • Naidu was the first to join Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation movement.

  • She actively supported campaigns like the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the Sabarmati Pact, the Satyagraha Pledge, and the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Her political activities and role in the freedom struggle led to several stints in prison – in 1930, 1932, and 1942. Her 1942 arrest led to imprisonment for 21 months.

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Post-independence contributions

  • Naidu was the first Indian woman to be the Congress President.
  • She became the first woman governor of United Provinces, the present Uttar Pradesh.
  • She was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Indian Constitution 

Sarojini Naidu suffered a heart attack and died on March 2, 1949 at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

 

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