For decades, female leaders have motivated women to speak up for themselves. They have always urged women to defend their rights and speak out against injustice. Sarojini Naidu is one such leader who has served as an inspiration and source of encouragement.
Sarojini Naidu was a political leader, feminist, activist, and poet. She became India’s first female president of the Indian National Congress, the oldest political organisation in the country.
Sarojini Naidu, also known as the Nightingale of India, was born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad. She began writing when she was quite young. She has written numerous poems in English, and her first Persian drama, Maher Muneer, drew the attention of the Nizam of Hyderabad at the time. Naidu was initially called the ‘Nightingale of India’ by Mahatma Gandhi. She earned this nickname for herself because of her contribution to poetry.
One of her best poems includes the metaphorical poem titled ‘Autumn Song’. In the poem, Naidu relates the fall season with the condition of her heart after losing a dream. The poem read:
‘Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.
Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?’
Let us look at some inspirational quotes from the great lady of India on the occasion of her birth anniversary:
‘A country’s greatness lies in its undying ideals of love and sacrifice that inspire the mothers of the race.’ She was a political leader who battled valiantly for her nation. She has always thought that a country’s foundation is built on the love and sacrifices it has witnessed.
People who consistently feel like giving up on life should recall Sarojini Naidu’s quote, ‘I am not ready to die because it requires infinitely greater courage to live’.
‘Oh, we want a new breed of men before India can be cleansed of her disease’. Sarojini Naidu described the men of the period as gentle and naive who didn’t stand out for their nation in a letter to Gopal Krishna Gokhale. With this comment, she was implying that India requires more daring men in order to achieve freedom.
‘The new has come and now the old retires. And so, the past becomes a mountain cell. Where lone apart old hermit memories dwell’. We must let go of the old in order to begin something new. Sarojini Naidu, speaking on the new India, urged people to start over by establishing a new India and forgetting about the past.