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Sarojini Naidu: India’s Iconic Nightingale

Sarojini Naidu: India's Iconic Nightingale


Sarojini Naidu: India’s Iconic Nightingale

Sarojini Naidu or Sarojini Chattopadhyay, popularly known as “Bharat Kokila” or “the Nightingale of India”, was a political activist, a poet, a feminist who being the first Indian women elected as the President of Indian National Congress. She also presided over the designation of Indian State Governor.

Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, was the principal of the Nizam’s College of Hyderabad. Sarojini Naidu able to enrol herself in the University of Madras at the age of 12, being a topper in her matriculation. She studied from King’s College, London and subsequently at Girton College of Cambridge.

Sarojini was a sharp and brilliant student since her childhood. She has mastery over various languages like Bengali, English, Persian, Telugu, and Urdu. It was her father’s desire that she must opt for mathematics as her career choice to be a scientist although young Sarojini had an inclination towards poetry. She proved her exceptional literary skills by writing a 1300 lines poetry ‘The Lady of the Lake’ in English. Mesmerized by her expressed emotions with the opportune selection of words, her father, motivated her for writing. She wrote a skit called “Maher Muneer” in Persian. Later, during her college, she took guidance from famous authors Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse to write about India. They encouraged her to be a genuine poet of Indian Deccan, rather turning into machine-made impersonator of English classics. Following their advice, her writings were instilled with the essence of the natural beauty of India, its religious pluralism along with India’s social culture.

Sarojini stepped into Indian politics by Gopal Krishna Gokhale and M.K. Gandhi, the iconic partisans of Indian freedom struggle. She was hurt emotionally by the partition of Bengal in 1905, and hence decided to join the Indian freedom struggle. Gopal Krishna Gokhale advised her to apply her acumen and learnings for the cause. She took a pause from writing and immersed herself into the political cause.

Sarojini Naidu (after marriage) played a huge role in depicting the nuances of the Indian non-violent combat for independence to the world. To propagate Gandhian conventions, she traveled to Europeans nations along with the US and is somewhat responsible for making Gandhi the preacher or icon of peace. Her poetries are filled with the ethos of her patriotism for India. In the year 1905, her work was published under the title “Golden Threshold”. Her other works include “The Bird of Time”, “The Broken Wings”, “Words of Freedom.

She lived her magnificent life, on the lines of her own words, “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…”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official position of Tersebox. Article had been published on as-is basis and Tersebox does not assume any responsibility or liability for any information(s) on this article.

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