Sarojini Naidu’s biography is inextricably interwoven with the personalities and public events of her time. On the one hand are the complex currents of modern Indian history: Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Gokhale, the Congress, Satyagraha, Home Rule, Partition, and Independence. On the other is a fascinating world of letters: Gosse, Symons, Pound, Dutt, Commaraswamy. Set amidst all these are the people and places in Sarojini Devi’s personal life: her father Aghorenath, her mother varadasundari, her three brothers and four sisters, Hyderabad, Madras, London, Cambridge, her husband Govindarajulu, their four children, Ceylon, Africa, America.
Sarojini Devi’s interests and passions were many: books, poetry, people conversation, food, gardens, folklore, handicrafts and travel. As a poet, she had perhaps the finest ear among Indians for the English language. As a public speaker, she impressed the most sophisticated
audiences. As a political worker, her courage and conviction embarrassed her detractors. As a proponent of women’s rights, she won over numerous chauvanists.
Dr Naravane offers us here what is probably the most balanced, extensively researched and compact study of her life, work and poetry published so far.
1. Recollections 1
2. Background and Preparation
3. Promise and Fulfilment
4. Friendships: Gokhale, Gandhi, Nehru 56
5. Vision of 73
6. Sarojini and the Women of 90
7. Poetry of Nature 106
8. Assessment 128