Sarojini Naidu 142nd Birth Anniversary: In India National Women’s Day is celebrated on February 13 every year on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu, who is also popularly known as ‘The nightingale of India’.
Sarojini Naidu was one of the most prominent and popular political figures at the time when Indians were struggling for freedom from British rule in India. She was also a popular poet and her distinct work earned Naidu the name of ‘Nightingale of India’.
Born in a Bengali family in Hyderabad on February 13, 1879, Sarojini Naidu was drawn towards Indian National Congress’ movement to liberate India from colonial rule. With this, she became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas of swaraj. In 1925, Sarojini Naidu was appointed as the first woman President of the Indian National Congress and later the first woman to be a governor of a state.
Sarojini Naidu: The poet and staunch politician
Sarojini Ji’s mother Barada Sundari Devi Chattopadhyay, was a writer who used to write poetry in Bengali. Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyay, with a doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University, was settled in Hyderabad, where he administered Hyderabad college, which later became Nizam College in Hyderabad. Sarojini was the eldest of 8 brothers and sisters.
Following India’s independence from British rule in 1947, Sarojini Naidu was appointed as the governor of the United Provinces, today known as Uttar Pradesh today, making her India’s first woman governor.
In 1930, Sarojini played a major role in Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha in Gujarat. When Gandhiji was arrested in 1930, Sarojini ji replaced Gandhiji and took command of the movement. She was also jailed for 21 months with Gandhiji in 1942 for his key role in the Quit India movement.
Apart from her glorious political career, Sarojini Naidu is widely known for her poetry which included both children’s poems and others written on more serious themes including patriotism, romance, and tragedy.
In 1912, the poem “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad” was published and it became one of the most famous poems written by Naidu.
On March 2, 1949, while working in the office in Lucknow as Governor of United Provinces, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died.