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Biography of Sarojini Naidu, Early Life, Education, Political & Writing Career, Death

Biography of Sarojini Naidu: Sarojini Naidu, born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, was an eminent Indian freedom fighter, poet, and politician. She played a significant role in India’s struggle for independence and was known as the “Nightingale of India” for her mesmerizing poetry. Naidu was a prominent member of the Indian National Congress and worked alongside Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders.

Her eloquence and charisma made her a prominent figure in the women’s movement in India. Naidu’s literary contributions showcased her deep understanding of Indian culture and societal issues. She left an indelible mark on Indian history and continues to be celebrated as an icon of women’s empowerment and artistic brilliance. The article deals with the early life, education, political and writing career of Sarojini Naidu.

Early Life & Education of Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, India, was a renowned poet, freedom fighter, and political leader. Her parents were Aghornath Chattopadhyay, an eminent linguist and one of the first members of the Indian National Congress in Hyderabad, and Barada Sundari Devi, a Bengali poetess. Naidu excelled academically and exhibited proficiency in multiple languages, including Urdu, Telugu, English, Bengali, and Persian. She achieved recognition at the age of 12 by securing the top position in the matriculation exams of Madras University. Subsequently, she received a scholarship from the Nizam of Hyderabad to study abroad.

At the age of sixteen, Sarojini Naidu ventured to England for her studies, initially attending King’s College London and later Girton College, Cambridge. During her time in England, she actively participated in the Suffragette movement, advocating for women’s rights. Influential poets such as Arthur Symons and Edmond Gausse encouraged her to incorporate Indian themes into her writings, focusing on the picturesque landscapes, temples, and people of India. In 1905, she published her first poetry collection, titled “The Golden Threshold.” Her poems beautifully depicted everyday scenes of Indian life, capturing the essence of street markets, snake charmers, beggars, and bangle sellers. Deeply moved by the partition of Bengal in 1905, she joined the Indian National Congress, becoming an ardent supporter of women’s rights, universal education, and the unity of Hindu-Muslim communities.

Sarojini Naidu entered into an intercaste marriage with Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu, a South Indian doctor, under the Brahmo Marriage Act (1872). This union was a testament to her progressive outlook and defiance of societal norms.

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Political Career of Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu’s entry into Indian politics was facilitated by prominent figures of the freedom movement, such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi. Deeply moved by the partition of Bengal in 1905, she made the decision to join the struggle for independence. Regular meetings with Gokhale acquainted her with other influential leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Naidu’s relationship with Gandhi was marked by mutual respect and playful banter. She actively participated in various movements, including championing the cause of the Indigo workers in Bihar’s Champaran district alongside Nehru. Naidu advocated for women’s involvement in the freedom struggle and co-founded the Women’s India Association in 1917. She represented India internationally, traveling to the United States and Europe as a prominent spokesperson for the Indian nationalist movement.

Naidu was an ardent supporter of Gandhi’s initiatives, participating in the Non-Cooperation Movement, Dandi Salt March, and Dharasana Satyagraha. Her active political engagement led to multiple arrests and imprisonments. Naidu also held significant roles in the Indian National Congress, serving as its president in 1925. After India’s independence, she became the first governor of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Naidu’s contributions to the freedom struggle and her promotion of Gandhian principles earned her recognition as a global ambassador of peace.

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Writing Career of Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu’s literary journey began at the young age of 12. Her Persian play, Maher Muneer, caught the attention of the Nizam of Hyderabad, earning her recognition and admiration. In 1905, her first poetry collection, titled The Golden Threshold, was published, featuring an introduction by Arthur Symons. Esteemed politicians like Gopal Krishna Gokhale praised her poems, and American composer Helen Searles Westbrook even set one of her poems to music.

Another notable work, “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad,” was published in her collection “The Bird of Time” in 1912, receiving critical acclaim for its evocative sensory imagery. In 1961, her daughter Padmaja Naidu posthumously published The Feather of The Dawn, which included Naidu’s poems from 1927. One of her noteworthy poems, “The Gift of India,” reflects the patriotic spirit and the atmosphere of India in 1915.

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Death of Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, the prominent freedom fighter and poet, passed away on March 2, 1949. After India gained independence, she served as the first governor of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Naidu’s health had been declining for some time, and she suffered a cardiac arrest that ultimately led to her demise. Her untimely death was mourned by the nation, as she was revered for her significant contributions to the Indian independence movement and her poetic prowess. Sarojini Naidu’s legacy as a leader, orator, and advocate for women’s rights continues to inspire generations to this day.

In conclusion, Sarojini Naidu was a remarkable figure in India’s freedom struggle and a celebrated poetess. Her journey from a talented young writer to a prominent political leader showcased her unwavering dedication to the cause of independence and women’s rights. Naidu’s eloquent oratory skills and poetic prowess left an indelible mark on the Indian political landscape. Her poems, known for their vivid imagery and emotional depth, captured the essence of Indian life and garnered praise from critics and politicians alike. Naidu’s legacy continues to inspire generations, and her contributions to literature, feminism, and the fight for freedom remain an integral part of India’s rich cultural heritage.

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Who was Sarojini Naidu?

Sarojini Naidu was a renowned Indian freedom fighter, poet, and politician. She actively participated in the Indian independence movement and was known for her oratory skills and literary contributions.

When was Sarojini Naidu born?

Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, India.

What were Sarojini Naidu's literary contributions?

Sarojini Naidu was a prolific poet and author. Her notable works include "The Golden Threshold" (1905) and "The Bird of Time" (1912), which reflected her love for India and its people.

What is Sarojini Naidu's legacy?

Sarojini Naidu's legacy lies in her immense contribution to the freedom struggle, her literary works that continue to inspire generations, and her advocacy for women's empowerment and social justice in India. She is fondly remembered as the Nightingale of India.

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