Sarojini Naidu Death Anniversary: Poetess Inspires Us To Celebrate Womanhood

The first woman governor of India, also known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, Sarojini Naidu left an indelible mark on the pages of history, not only for her political contributions but also for her literary prowess.

Uma Bakshi
Updated On
New Update
Sarojini Naidu image from

Image sourced from

The first woman governor of India, also known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, Sarojini Naidu left an indelible mark on the pages of history, not only for her political contributions but also for her literary prowess. Her words and actions during the Indian freedom struggle were the epitome of the saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.


A notable figure in the Indian freedom movement, Sarojini Naidu was one of the first women to assume a governorship in India post-Independence, as the governor of the United Provinces (currently Uttar Pradesh). Through her poetry, she celebrated womanhood, advocated for the rights of women, and challenged imperialism and colonialism.

She passed away on 2 March 1949 due to cardiac arrest. Let us remember the great soul on her 75th death anniversary


Born Sarojini Chattopadhyay on February 13, 1879, she was born to a Bengali family in Hyderabad, India. Her birthday is celebrated as National Women’s Day in India, as she played a crucial role in the women’s empowerment movement in India. A strong advocate for the rights of women, she was one of India's female freedom fighters and was involved in the Indian freedom struggle. She worked towards the empowerment of women through education and political participation and used her platform in later years to further the causes she supported. 

Political Associations

Naidu was closely associated with leading figures in the Indian Independence Movement, such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi (who dubbed her The Nightingale of India). Naidu was appointed the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925- the first woman to do so. She was also active in various women’s organizations, even becoming a founding member of the Women’s India Association, along with other notable women involved in the Independence movement, such as Annie Besant and Jeena Raja Dasa.


In 1928, she was chosen as the representative of the Indian freedom struggle in the United States, promoting the movement to the Americans in a speech in English -

Work in Education

Naidu’s work in promoting education for the female masses is what she was known for best. She believed that the key to the empowerment of women was education, and through education, women could be emancipated and empowered to participate in politics and help their nation. Her work in education has been long-lasting, with many of her poems being included in the syllabi of Indian boards of education, such as the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and ISC (Indian School Certificate) boards.


Her poetry was lyrical, light, and descriptive- if you read any one of her poems you are suddenly transported to the scene she’s writing about. In my experience, one of her most enduring works was ‘Bangle Sellers’. Initially, the poem centres itself on the tradition of selling bangles in Indian markets, and soon becomes a wonderful celebration of womanhood, and a telling picture of the societal expectations that were placed on women at the time she was writing. Naidu’s work, more often than not, is a celebration of girlhood and femininity free of men. She is a feminist poet, and she often explores the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, as can be seen in the poem ‘The Queen’s Rival’.


Sarojini Naidu left an indelible mark on Independent India with her words, actions, and writings. This year, as we celebrate 76 years of independence, we’re also celebrating women like her - strong, resilient, and unafraid to stand up for what is right. 

Suggested reading: Unsung Freedom Struggle Of 5 Women From Marginalised Communities

Indian freedom struggle india's female freedom fighters Feminist poet Women Of Independence Independence Day 2023