Sarojini Naidu

Karishma Mishra
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Sarojini Naidu (13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949) was an Indian political activist and poet. A proponent of civil rightswomen's emancipation, and anti-imperialistic ideas, she was an important figure in India's struggle for independence from colonial rule. Naidu's work as a poet earned her the sobriquet 'Nightingale of India' by Mahatma Gandhi. She was called 'Bharat Kokila' by Rabindranath Tagore.

Born in a Bengali family in Hyderabad, Naidu was educated in ChennaiLondon and Cambridge. Following her time in England, where she worked as a suffragist, she was drawn to Indian National Congress' movement for India's independence from British rule. She became a part of the Indian nationalist movement and became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his idea of swaraj. She was appointed the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925 and later became the Governor of the United Provinces in 1947, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.

Naidu's poetry includes both children's poems and others written on more serious themes including patriotism, romance, and tragedy. Published in 1912, "In the Bazaars of Hyderabad" remains one of her most popular poems. She was married to Govindarajulu Naidu, a general physician, and had five children with him. She died of a cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949.


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Personal life

Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad to Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, a Bengali Brahmin who was the principal of the Nizam's College in Hyderabad. Her parental home was at Brahmangaon in Bikrampur (in present-day Bangladesh).[1] Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, with a doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University, settled in Hyderabad, where he administered Hyderabad college, which later became Nizam College in Hyderabad. Her mother, Barada Sundari Devi Chattopadhyay, was a poet and used to write poetry in Bengali.

Sarojini Naidu in 1912

She was the eldest of the eight siblings. Her brother Virendranath Chattopadhyay was a revolutionary, and another brother Harindranath was a poet, a dramatist, and an actor. Their family was well-regarded in Hyderabad, not only for leading the Nizam College of Hyderabad but also as Hyderabad's most famous artists at that time. Being an artist in the era of British rule in India was considered a risky career, yet with their progressive values, they pursued them anyway.[2]


Sarojini Naidu, having passed her matriculation examination from the University of Madras, took a four-year break from her studies.

In 1895, H.E.H. the Nizam's Charitable Trust founded by the 6th NizamMahbub Ali Khan gave her the chance to study in England, first at King's College, London and later at Girton College, Cambridge.[3]


Sarojini met Paidipati Govindarajulu Naidu - a physician, at the age of 19, after finishing her studies, she married him. At that time, Inter-caste marriages were not as common as they are today, but both their families approved their marriage. As Sarojini was from Bengal, while Paidipati Naidu was from Andhra Pradesh, this was an inter-regional marriage of East and South India, with two different cultures.[2] The couple had five children. Their daughter Paidipati Padmaja also joined the independence movement and was part of the Quit India Movement. She was appointed the Governor of the State of Uttar Pradesh soon after Indian independence.


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