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Sarojini Naidu 141st Birth Anniversary: Facts to Know About ‘Nightingale of India’ Who Played Key Role in Anti-Colonial Struggle


File image of Sarojini Naidu | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

New Delhi, February 12: Sarojini Naidu, one of the pioneers of women role in India’s freedom struggle, was born on this date, February 12, in the year 1879. She played a key role in the anti-colonial movement, after returning to India from her education in the United Kingdom. She lived to see the day when the nation finally achieved independence from the British monarchy. On her 141st birth anniversary, key facts to know about the ‘Nightingale of India’.

Naidu was born in Hyderabad, then a princely state under the dominion of British India. She obtained her early education from Chennai, and then went on to study science at the Edinburg University in the United Kingdom. For pursuing higher education, she was also enrolled in the prestigious Cambridge University. Sarojini Naidu’s Birthday is Celebrated as National Women’s Day of India.

During her stay in the UK, she actively campaigned with political groups and students’ bodies who were against imperialism and colonialism. She also marked her voice in support of the suffrage movement — which took Europe by a storm in early 20th century seeking voting rights for the women populace.

Naidu returned to India in 1905, when the passions were at peak during the anti-partition movement in Bengal. She became an active member of the Indian National Congress, after Mahatma Gandhi became a prominent member of the organisation. Between 1915 and 1918, she was also an active votary of the Home Rule movement — seeking autonomous status under the British dominion.

In 1919, Naidu returned to London to lend her support to All India Home Rule League. A year later, in 1920, she returned to India to be part of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. This was the phase when she also undertook organisational role in the Congress. In 1925, the party appointed her as the national president.

Apart from being a political activist, Naidu was also a poet — with her working ranging from poems for children to those related to life, romance, tragedy and patriotism. Her work as a poet also earned her the title of Nightingale of India.

After the country attained independence from British rule, Naidu was appointed by the first Prime Minister – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – as the Governor of the United Provinces. After serving for a year, she breathed her last in Lucknow. The independence era leader died on March 2, 1949 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

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