Biography of Sarojini Naidu

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Indian Freedom Fighter Sarojini Naidu Biography

An ardent champion of Hindu- Muslim unity and devoted much effort in bringing the Congress and Muslim League together.

Sarojini Naidu was one of the most prominent leaders of the Congress. She had been associated with the Indian National Congress even before Gandhiji appeared on the scene in India. Her first guru had been Gokhale who fuelled in her the fire of patriotism.

For many years she was the member of the Congress Working Committee and was elect-ed as the President of the Kanpur Session of the Congress. Sarojini Naidu was an ardent champion of Hindu- Muslim unity and devoted much effort in bringing the Congress and Muslim League together.

Sarojini Naidu addressed many sessions of the Muslim League and remained on in friendly terms with Jinnah. When India became independent and Congress Ministries were formed in the Provinces, she was appointed, as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh She was a very competent Governor.

During her Gover-norship the Cabinet functioned smoothly and there were no frictions.

Sarojini Naidu was a born poet, with great felicity in English language. Her important literary works are -The Golden Threshold, The Bird of Time, The Broken Wing, The Feather of Dawn,” The Feast of Youth, “The Magic Tree”.

In most of her poems she induces the spirit of nationalism. Gandhiji has rightly described her as “the nightingale of India”.
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Sarojini Naidu was born on 1876 as the daughter of Aghornath Chattopadhyaya and Bharada Devi. Her father was a known linguist and the founder of Nizam College.

It is said that her mother spoke Bengali with her husband, Hindustani with her children and Telugu with her servants. Sarojini was sent to England to study while she was in her teens. On her return to India, she married Dr. Naidu, a non-Brahmin, under the Brahmo Marriage Act in Madras.

Four children were born to them. None of Sarojini`s children were married. One of Sarojini`s brothers, Virendranath Chattopad-hyaya, was a Communist and he was the first among India revolutionaries to contact the leaders of the October Revolution.

Sarojini Naidu another brother, Harindranath, was a poet and had married Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya. Sarojini`s sis-ter Suhasini was connected with the Communist Party and she is reported to have pulled down the National Flag at Chaupati. Mrinalini was anoth-er sister of Sarojini Naidu.

As a freedom fighter Sarojini was imprisoned many times. On one instance she was troubled by fever and frequent attacks of diarrhea. It appeared as though the authorities might consid-er releasing her on health grounds.

But it was the time of Bapu`s impending 21-day fast and she would not leave the prison at such a juncture. When the fast came, she took upon the responsibility of regulating the stream of visitors who were allowed to see Gandhiji and cutting short interviews as soon as she saw signs of fatigue in Bapu. Sarojini described Gandhi as : “A little man with shaven head, seated on the floor on a black prison blanket and eating a messy meal of squashed tomatoes and olive oil out of a wooden prison bowl.”

Sarojini Naidu was greatly devoted to Bapu. After Bapu`s release from prison a collection was made for the setting up of a memorial to Kasturba Gandhi, who had passed away in detention on February. It was Sarojini Naidu who presented the purse to Bapu.

Sarojini Naidu  presented to Gandhiji 31lakhs collected from all over India on behalf of the Collection Committee, at a mammoth public meet-ing held at Chowpatty on Bapu`s 75th birthday. It was with this money that Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust was set up by Bapu for the service of women and children in the villages.
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The activi-ties of the Trust comprised health, education, welfare, training for income-generating activities and building up among village women awareness of their potential strength and making them conscious of the rights given to them by the Constitution of Free India.

Sarojini Naidu led a strenuous and hectic life. She travelled all over India and carried India`s message to the USA and other countries. She was a participant in the Second Round Table Conference as a representative of Indian women, along with Gandhiji.

After Gandhiji`s assassination Sarojini Naidu`s health began to deteriorate. She had high blood pressure and respiratory trouble. Her condition worsened and on 2 March 1949, at Lucknow, she passed into eternal sleep.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh paid his final tribute to Sarojini in these words. “A brilliant orator, a great poetess, a person endowed with unusual charm and sense of humor as well as oratory, administrative skills and popular leadership.