13 February in History of India: Remembering Sarojini Naidu, Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Sarojini Naidu | Source: http://www.theopenpage.co.in/
13 February is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Srimati Sarojini Naidu (13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949). She was a political activist and ardent supporter of Civil rights and women’s emancipation. She was famously known for her struggle during the Indian independence movement. She was bestowed upon the title of “Nightingale of India” or “Bharat Kokila” by Mahatma Gandhi because of her lyrical quality.
She was born in Hyderabad. She got her education in various parts of the World including Madaras, London, and Cambridge. After completing her education, she joined Indian National Congress and became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. She was elected as President of Indian National Congress in 1925 and later became Governor of United Province in 1947, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
Sarojini was the eldest of their eight siblings. She married at an age of 19 with Paidipati Govindarajulu Naidu – a physician. This was an inter-caste marriage. Despite numerous limitations at that point of time, their family approved their marriage. The couple had five children. Their daughter Padmaja also joined the independence movement and was part of the Quit India Movement. She was appointed the Governor of the State of Uttar Pradesh soon after Indian independence.
She also had an interest in writing and her first work was a collection of poems, The Golden Threshold, which was published in 1905. Her other notable works are “The Feather of The Dawn”, “The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & the Spring”, “Muhammad Jinnah: An Ambassador of Unity” and “The Feather of the Dawn”.
She died of cardiac arrest on 2 March 1949 at the Government House in Lucknow.
13 February is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (13 February 1911 – 20 November 1984). He was born in British India and a famous poet who has written extensively in Urdu and Panjabi. He had a wide variety of experiences. He had been a teacher, an army officer, a journalist, and a broadcaster.
He was born in Punjab, British India. He was from an affluent academic family and known for literary circles. After his education, he served British Indian Army. After Pakistan’s independence, Faiz became the editor to The Pakistan Times and a leading member of the Communist Party before being arrested in 1951 as an alleged part of a conspiracy to overthrow the Liaquat administration and replace it with a left-wing government. Faiz was released after four years in prison and went on to become a notable member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement and eventually an aide to the Bhutto administration, before being self-exiled to Beirut.
He married Alys Faiz, a British national and a member of Communist Party of the United Kingdom, who was a student at the Government College University where Faiz taught poetry. Together, the couple gave birth to two daughters Salima and Moneeza Hashmi.
His notable works in field of literature are “Hum Dekhenge”, “Sheeshon ka Maseeha”, “Kuchh Ishq kiya Kuchh Kaam”, “Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan”, and “Ye Dagh Dagh Ujala”. Faiz was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and won the Lenin Peace Prize.
He died on 20 November 1984 at age of 73.
13 February is also the death anniversary of O. N. V. Kurup (27 May 1931 – 13 February 2016). His full name is Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup. He was a poet and lyricist from Kerala, India.
He was born at Chavara, Kollam in Kerala. In the early childhood, he lost his father. He was educated in the various parts of Kerala and after his education, and became a lecturer at various universities like Maharajas College – Ernakulam, University College- Trivandrum, Government Women’s College – Trivandrum.
He received Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honors from the Government of India. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Kerala, Trivandrum.
His remarkable pieces of works are “Daahikunna Paanapaathram”, “Marubhumi”,” Daahikunna Paanapaathram”, “Oyenviyude Ganangal”, and “Ee Purathana Kinnaram”
He died on 13 February 2016 at KIMS hospital in Thiruvananthapuram due to age-related illnesses at an age of 84.