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Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu (February 13, 1879 - March 2, 1949), known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India), was a child prodigy, freedom fighter, and poet. Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India. She was active in the Indian Independence Movement, joining Mahatma Gandhi in the Salt March to Dandi, and then leading the Dharasana Satyagraha after the arrests of Gandhi, Abbas Tyabji, and Kasturba Gandhi.

Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad, India as the eldest daughter of scientist, philosopher, and educator Aghornath Chattopadhyaya, and Varada Sundari Devi, a poetess. Her father was the founder of the Nizam College, and also the first member of the Indian National Congress in Hyderabad with his friend Mulla Abdul Qayyum. He was later dismissed from his position as Principal and even banished in retaliation for his political activities. Sarojini Naidu learnt to speak Urdu, Telugu, English, Persian and Bengali. Her favorite poet was P.B. Shelley.

She attained national fame for entering Madras University at the age of twelve. At sixteen, she travelled to England to study first at King's College London and subsequently at Girton College, Cambridge.

At the age of 17, she met Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu and fell in love with him. He was from Andhra Pradesh. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she married him during the time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed. Her marriage was a very happy one. They were married by the Act (1872), in Madras in 1898. They had 4 children: Jayasurya, Padmaja, Randheer, and Leelamani.

Naidu's brother, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, was also a noted Indian activist. During WW I Virendranath was instrumental in founding the Berlin Committee and was one of the leading figures of the Hindu German Conspiracy. He later became committed to Communism, travelling to Soviet Russia where he is believed to have been executed on Stalin's orders in 1937.

Poetry, writings and quotes

In 1905, the first volume of her collection of poems was published as The Golden Threshold. Two more volumes were published: The Bird of Time (1912) and The Broken Wing in (1917).

Sarojini Naidu is also well acclaimed for her contribution to poetry. Her poetry had beautiful words that could also be sung. Her collection of poems was published in 1905 under the title "Golden Threshold". She published two other collections called "The Bird of Time", and "The Broken Wings". Later, "The Magic Tree", "The Wizard Mask", and "A Treasury of Poems" were published.



 

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