Sarojini Naidu

 

Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879, in a house of intellectuals, poets, philosophers and revolutionaries. She was the eldest daughter of Aghornath Chattopadhyaya and Varasundari. Aghornath was a pioneer in education and established Nizam’s College in Hyderabd in 1878 and Varasundari was a Bengali poetess.

Imbibing virtues and cultures from her family, Sarojini was a combination of all – a good poetess, intelligent, philosopher, singer and a true freedom fighter. She was also called bulbul because she possessed a sweet voice. She completed her matriculation in Madras Presidency and received scholarship to study abroad. At the age of 16, she went to England for further studies and at the age of 21 she got married to Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu.

Sarojini joined the Indian independence movement in 1905 and came in contact with various other freedom fighters. In 1916, she met Mahatma Gandhi and was motivated to start her career as a freedom fighter. She woke up women of India from sleep and re-established self esteem within them. To do so, she traveled from state to state and city to city, asking for women’s rights.

In 1925, she presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress and later participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. She was arrested in 1942 during the Quit India Movement and was imprisoned for several months.

She was the first Indian woman to become the Governor of the largest state of the union, Uttar Pradesh. Naidu vibrantly fought for the freedom of the country but she could not enjoy the freedom for long. She died in her office on March 2, 1949.

 
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