Sarojini Naidu 1879-1949.
Indian feminist, poet and politician.
Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949 – The Nightingale of India.) was a confidant of Mahatma Gandhi. Naidu was a key figure in the independence movement and had repeated in captivity. During 1915-1918, she traveled across the India lecturing on social welfare, women empowerment, emancipation and nationalism.
In 1924, she became a delegate to the East African Indian Congress. In 1925, Sarojini Naidu was the first woman President of the Indian National Congress. In 1929 she represented India at the International Women’s Congress in Berlin.
She was the first governor of any state in India, from Uttar Pradesh, 15 August 1947, the day of India’s independence from Great Britain, until her death in 1949. She died of a heart attack while working in her office.
Sarojini Naidu came from a Bengali Brahmin family. She was the eldest of eight children of a scientist Aghorenath Chattopadhyay. Her younger siblings include the revolutionary Virendranath Chattopadhyay (1880-1937) and the poet and actor Harindranath Chattopadhyay (1898-1990). She studied at the University of Madras, the King’s College London and Cambridge Girton Woman College.
Her poems have been translated into several languages. Her father arranged a marriage with Govindarajulu Naidu, whom she married in 1898. With him she had four children, including Padmaja Naidu (1900-1975) who has also been a politician, she became the Governor of West Bengal.