Sarojini Naidu: The Fearless Indian Political Activist

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Sarojini Naidu

The Nightingale of India, 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 biography, quotes, poems, achievement, and works of the fearless Indian political activist – Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India.

Born 13 February 1879 in Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British India (now in Telangana, India)
Died 2 March 1949 (aged 70) in Lucknow, United Provinces, Dominion of India
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Alma mater King’s College London
Girton College, Cambridge
University of Madras
Occupation Political activist, poet
Notable works The Golden Threshold
“In the Bazaars of Hyderabad”
Nickname(s) Bharat ki BulbulNightingale of India 

Revisit the Landmarks of Indian Independence Struggle!

Sarojini Naidu Biography

Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh on February 13, 1879. She went to Madras University and later moved to London, UK for higher education. Sarojini Naidu was the first of many women, she was the first woman to become the governor of India and also president of the Indian National Congress. Sarojini Naidu’s father was Aghornath Chattopadhyaya and Barada Sundari Devi and her husband were Dr Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu. Sarojini Naidu had 5 children. Her birthday is celebrated as a women’s day to recognize all the women of India that changed history and as a day to empower and inspire millions of other women. Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India received Kaisar-i-Hind Medal from the British government but later returned after the Jallianwala bagh incident. Sarojini was an active activist during the essential national movements in India, poet, feminist.

Credits: Brut India

Sarojni Naidu’s Education

Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India was born in a Bengali family and entered college at the age of twelve. Sarojini Naidu entered Madras university. She was excellent in academics and her father wanted to become a mathematician but her interest was always in poetry. Sarojini Naidu knew about 5 languages Hindi, English, Persian, Urdu, Telugu, and Bengali. She started writing at an early age, at 12 she started writing her first fiction. After graduating from Madras University, Sarojini Naidu shifted to the UK to study at King’s College London and later at the University of Cambridge

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10 Things to Learn from Sarojini Naidu

Here are the 10 amazing things to learn from the Nightingale of India- 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.

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

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, Nightingale of India 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.

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

Women Empowerment 

Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India 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

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. 

“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…”

Credits – National Film Archive of India

Know The Power Of Unity

Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India 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. 

“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.”

Credits – GandhiServe

Have Integrity and Hope

Another important lesson to learn from Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India 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. 

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

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, Nightingale of India 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, Nightingale of India
Credits- mkgandi.org

Loyalty

Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India 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.

Now that we are quite familair with 10 inspirational things to learn from Sarojini Naidu, let’s have a quick galnce at her life to know her better!

Sarojini Naidu President of INC

Sarojini Naida joined the Indian national congress after the Bengal partition in the year 1905. Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, and many other leaders were the inspiration behind the Sarojini Naidu joining India’s freedom movements. Sarojini Naidu was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party and became the first-ever woman to become the president of INC in 1925. 

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

Sarojni Naidu

Also Read: Sarojini Naidu Biography in Hindi

Writing Style

Every writer has a unique writing style. Some use heavy words while some use simple and easy words. Some write only fiction while some are interested in non-fiction. Naidu’s poems and writings were more on everyday life and the world. Readers can picture everything just by reading the sentence written by Sarojini Naidu that’s the power of her writing. Sarojini Naidu’s writing style is more subtle, traditionally combined with patriotism.

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Awards & Achievements

Sarojini Naidu was a famous poet, feminist, activist, and who still inspiring millions of women around the world. Sarojini Naidu’s birthday is celebrated as women’s day to recognize all the women in India. On the life of Sarojini Naidu, a documentary was created by Bhagwan Das Garga and produced by the Government of India’s Films Division. She also received an award from the British government for work in the plague epidemic in India. The award was  Kaisar-i-Hind Medal which she returned after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Also Read: Kiran Bedi, A Fearless Women of Many Firsts

Legacy of Sarojini Naidu

“One among India’s feminist luminaries,” as Naidu is called in India, the Women’s Day is observed on February 13th on the occasion of her birthday, to honour the tremendous voices of women throughout India’s history. Naidu was renowned as the “Nightingale of India” as a poet. In 1919, Edmund Gosse dubbed her “India’s most accomplished living poet.” The Golden Threshold, an off-campus annexe of the University of Hyderabad named after Naidu’s first volume of poetry, is dedicated to her. The University of Hyderabad’s Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication is now housed at Golden Threshold. Eleanor Helin found asteroid 5647 Sarojininaidu at Palomar Observatory in 1990, and it was named after her. Eleanor Helin discovered asteroid 5647 Sarojininaidu at Palomar Observatory in 1990, and it was named in her honour. On August 27, 2019, the Minor Planet Center published the official naming citation. In 2014, Google India created a Google Doodle to honour Naidu’s 135th birthday.

Top 10 Sarojini Naidu Quotes for your Daily Dose of Inspiration

We want deeper sincerity of motive, greater courage in speech, and earnestness in action.

When there is oppression, the only self-respecting thing is to rise and say this shall cease today, because my right is justice. If you are stronger, you have to help the weaker boy or girl both in play and in the work.

Sense of justice is o­ne of the most wonderful ideals of Islam because as I read in the Quran I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.

A country’s greatness lies in its undying ideals of love and sacrifice that inspire the mothers of the race.

My heart is very weary and sad and alone, For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone, And why should I say behind.

Sense of justice is one of the ideals Islam, because as I read Quran I find those dynamic principles of life not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.

The new has come and now the old retires. And so the past becomes a mountain cell. Where lone apart old hermit memories dwell.

In a consecrated calm, forgotten yet. Of the keen heart that hastens to forget old longings in fulfilling new desires.

I am not ready to die because it requires infinitely greater courage to live.

Hark to a voice that is calling, to my heart in the voice of the mind.

Best Poems by Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu Poems
Sarojini Naidu Poems

Sarojini Naidu Books

Fascinated by the life of Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India and want to explore more about her achievements? There are several books written on her by famous authors. Here is the list of the few most popular Sarojini Naidu books:

Essential Reader: Sarojini Naidu Buy Here
The Broken Wing – Songs of Love, Death & Destiny – 1915-1916 Buy Here
The Bird of Time; Songs of Life, Death & the Spring Buy Here
Sarojini Naidu – The Golden Threshold: ”Your name within a nation’s prayer, Your music on a Nation’s tongue” Buy Here
The Golden Threshold – With a Chapter from ‘Studies of Contemporary Poets’ by Mary C. Sturgeon Buy Here

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Sarojini Naidu’s Speech

Credits: DD News

Essay on Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India was born in Hyderabad, India, on February 13, 1879, to a Bengali family. She began writing poems at a young age. She went on to study at both King’s College and Girton, Cambridge, for her higher education. During her childhood days, not many Indian families supported their daughters participating in the protest for independence. But, Sarojini Naidu’s family had always held progressive beliefs. As a result, she grew up believing in the power of protest in the pursuit of justice. Sarojini Naidu, also known as The Nightingale of India, was given this title for her remarkable contributions in the field of poetry. Her poems, which were rich in imagery, dealt with a variety of subjects, including love, death, and separation, among others.

Her poems were acclaimed by politicians, statesmen, and poets from all around the world. One of her most well-known poems is “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad.” Sarojini Naidu continues to be an inspiration to all women. Sarojini Naidu will be remembered as one of the most important figures in India’s liberation and women’s rights movements.

Check out more Sarojini Naidu Essay Samples

These were 10 crucial lessons taught by Sarojini Naidu, Nightingale of India 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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