10 Things to Learn From the Fearless Indian Political Activist – Sarojini Naidu

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Sarojini Naidu

The Nightingale who touched a million hearts with her timeless compositions, Sarojini Naidu was one of the fierce freedom fighters in India. She was the daughter of Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya- a scientist and Barada Sundari Devi- a Bengali poetess. Since her childhood, Sarojini was a literary prodigy and was proficient in Hindi, English, Persian, Urdu, Telugu, and Bengali. She studied at the University of Madras, King’s College London, and also pursued her studies further at Girton College, Cambridge. Apart from being an extraordinary child, Sarojini Naidu was desirous of an Independent India. She made valiant efforts by joining the Indian independence movement and Gandhi’s Satyagraha Movement; and also became the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and went on to be appointed an Indian state governor. Her poetic charm and political devotion give us a lot to gain. Let’s look at the 10 Things to learn from the fearless Indian political activist – Sarojini Naidu.

Be Passionate About Your Career 

At the age of 12, Sarojini Naidu impressed the Nizam of the Kingdom of Hyderabad with her play- Maher Muneer, written in Persian. Having had an educated and encouraging family, she used every opportunity to excel in her passion. She explored and made her mark in the political world but kept writing concomitantly, without lowering her mark in either of her careers. Her literary works are admired by various people all over the world. Some of her renowned creations include “In The Bazaars of Hyderabad”, “The Golden Threshold”, The Bird Of Time, The Queen’s Rival, The Royal Tombs of Golconda, etc. 

Also Read: Passion Paves Career by Harjeet Khanduja

Patriotism 

The sense of responsibility and belongingness to her motherland made her fight for its independence. She made it her mission to help the citizens of the land where she belonged which showed her sincere patriotism. She was prisoned multiple times for joining the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement but come what may, she showed courage against the British and helped the citizens by motivating them and keeping their hopes high.

Credits – Brut India

To the comrades who fought in your dauntless ranks,
And you honour the deeds of the deathless ones,
Remember the blood of thy martyred sons!

– The Gift of India by Sarojini Naidu

Actions, Not Just Words

“We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action” 

Another essential lesson from the philosophical lady is to practice what you speak. Great revolutions don’t occur based on mere speeches and words, there has to be a firm execution. Sarojini Naidu practised her preachings by participating and initiating strong movements and rallies for the welfare and Independence of India against the British Raj. We often plan several things and make many decisions that lack execution. It is important to remember that all great leaders weren’t just good at speaking in public, but also living up to what they say.

Women Empowerment 

Sarojini Naidu was a lady who deeply understood and revolted for the emancipation of women and strived to create awareness. She witnessed the injustice against women in political and legislative bodies. She helped to establish the Women’s Indian Association (WIA) in 1917 which gained votes for women and the right to hold legislative office. This was a significant achievement for women in India contributed by Sarojini Naidu. Our country surely has developed to grant women their rights that they deserve. Yet,  we have a long way to go.

Here are some sample Essays on Women Empowerment!

Use Your Voice

“As long as I have life, as long as blood flows through this arm of mine, I shall not leave the cause of freedom…I am only a woman, only a poet. But as a woman, I give to you the weapons of faith and courage and the shield of fortitude. And as a poet, I fling out the banner of song and sound, the bugle call to battle. How shall I kindle the flame which shall waken you men from slavery…”

It is important to speak in your own way whenever you witness anything erroneous. Sarojini Naidu used her writings to voice out on issues like gender roles, inequality, etc. that are deeply rooted in the Indian culture. She also went on and fought for the farmers in Bihar who were forced to grow indigo instead of the food crops that they required to survive. 

Credits – National Film Archive of India

Know The Power Of Unity

“No Indian could be loyal to the country and yet be narrow and sectarian in spirit… No matter whether it was temple or mosque, church or fire shrine, let them transcend the barriers that divide man from the man.”

Sarojini Naidu was one of the people who were deeply dismayed by the rift between the Hindus and the Muslims who formed the majority of the population in India. She knew the power these people had against the oppressive rule of the British once they were united. Under the guidance of Lokmanya Tilak, Naidu played a vital role in bringing about cooperation and harmony between Congress and the Muslim league. The day Indians eradicate their differences and find a common ground, we will surely find harmony and success. 

Credits – GandhiServe

Have Integrity and Hope

 “In the battle for liberty, fear is one unforgivable treachery and despair, the one unforgivable sin.”

Another important lesson to learn from Sarojini Naidu is to have integrity. It takes immense courage to stand up for what is right in the face of powerful people. Even though she was surrounded by people who tried to falsely influence and impose ideas, she never showed a moment of weakness. There will be times of facing moral dilemmas but it’s better to stand alone with what’s right than be with the herd which is wrong. Often, we too face situations where it is easy to take the easier but wrong move. It is during these times our integrity is tested. 

Gratitude

Sarojini Naidu always expressed gratitude for each and everything. No matter how small the occasion was, she was grateful to have experienced life as a whole. No matter how hard life gets, we must be grateful it isn’t worse. We have ample blessings bestowed every day which we often take for granted. Having an attitude of gratitude not only keeps our mind positive but also shifts our perspective during hardships. Despite having faced life fighting for justice, Sarojini Naidu was happy to have been given such an honorable opportunity. 

“If all Indian politicians are like Mrs Naidu, then the country is fortunate indeed.”
–  English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley on Sarojini Naidu.

Do People a Good Turn

Another beautiful lesson by Sarojini Naidu was to help others and be courteous. It is rare to come across people who care for the common ones when they attain power. Naidu was not just bold and strong, but also generous with people. These qualities were recognized by the citizens of India that gained her the respect and love of the people. Whenever we get a chance, we must use whatever way possible, to help others. No good will ever go wasted. There are ways of receiving it back in unimaginable ways at unexpected moments. 

Sarojini Naidu with Mahatma Gandhi
Credits- mkgandi.org

Loyalty

Sarojini Naidu was a true-blue which made people trust her undoubtedly. Every time her faithfulness was tested towards the nation and her people, she didn’t pull back or give up. She fought for the underprivileged and helped women prosper after promising them emancipation. Being hypocritical can ruin great nations and creates mistrust among people. It is important that we stay true to our companions and what we believe in.

“Here was a person of great brilliance – vital and vivid. She infused artistry and poetry into our national struggle…she represented in herself a rich culture into which flowed various currents which have made Indian culture as great as it is.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru in his homage to Sarojini Naidu.

These were 10 crucial lessons taught by Sarojini Naidu during her fearless life journey. She made exceptional contributions during the history of the freedom movement which was replete with the saga of courage and sacrifice of great people like her. She was truly a source of hope and inspiration for many Indians. For more inspirational lessons, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

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