Sarojini Naidu (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Naidu demonstrated that strong-willed women can develop the statesmanship necessary to assume leadership of a nation. Her poetry, while overlooked in the West, is regarded as some of the most important in India.
Sarojini Chattopadhyay was born in Hyderābād, the capital of the princely state of Hyderābād (Deccan) in the south-central part of India, on February 13, 1879, to Aghorenath Chattopadhyay and Vardha Sundari. Her parents were members of an old priest-caste (Brahman) family in the northeast province of East Bengal (now called Bangladesh). Her parents migrated to Hyderābād because of a teaching position that Sarojini’s father, who had received a doctor of science degree from the University of Edinburgh, had obtained. Her father, an ardent educationist, considered radical by his contemporaries because of his advocacy of education for women, hired private tutors to teach English, French, and, later, Persian to his daughter. Sarojini proved to be a child prodigy. She was graduated from one of the toughest school systems in the country with a first class education when she was eleven years old and won a scholarship from the King of Hyderābād (the Nizam) to continue her college education in England. England found the sixteen-year-old too young for college, so Sarojini was asked to attend classes in King’s College, London, for a year; later, she was formally admitted to Girton...
(The entire section is 1829 words.)
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