‘In the battle for liberty, fear is the one unforgivable sin’
She always wanted to be wild and free like the birds, but she became much more: the Bulbul-e-Hind or the Nightingale of India. A child prodigy, Sarojini Naidu née Chattopadhyay grew to be so fearless and gifted that she was an example to all. Gopal Krishna Gokhale led her to devote her song and speech, thought and dreams to ‘the Motherland’ and she never wavered in leading or following the cause, right into jail several times. Wise, lyrical and feisty, Sarojini Naidu brought intelligence, energy and intensity to the independence movement. She was the first woman to become President of the Indian National Congress, and later the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
Her frequent ill health never subdued her spirit. Her irreverence was legendary – she was the one who gave Mahatma Gandhi the endearing nickname of ‘Mickey Mouse’. A staunch patriot, a unique poet, an efficient administrator, a progressive reformer and a women’s activist, she was hailed as a fiery public speaker. It is not surprising then that Women’s Day in India is celebrated on the birthday of Sarojini Naidu, a heroine then, and an inspiration now and forever.
This book brings together her outstanding work and words, and highlights the main tenets of her life. From her stellar role in the difficult times she lived in, you too can learn to be a little bit like Sarojini Naidu.