When Sarojini Naidu Stood By Harivansh Rai Bachchan After His Intercaste Marriage
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has revealed how the ‘Bharat Kokila’ Sarojini Naidu had consoled his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan when he went outside his caste and married Teji, which was looked down upon at that time in Allahabad.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a poet and writer of the ‘Nayi Kavita’ literary movement. He is best known for his work ‘Madhushala’. He married Teji in 1941.
In the 14th episode of the quiz-based reality show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ season 15, host Big B welcomed Yojana Yadav, a senior news editor from Panchkula, Haryana to the hot seat.
For the Rs 3,20,000 question, Yojana was asked: Begum Akhtar was inspired to take up a career as a performer after she was lauded by which poet? The options given were A: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit B: Mahadevi Verma C: Sarojini Naidu, and D: Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.
After using the audience poll lifeline, Yojana gave the right answer which was – Sarojini Naidu.
The 80-year-old actor said: “When Begum Akhtar presented a program in 1934 for the earthquake victims of Nepal and Bihar, Sarojini Naidu appreciated her. Later, she was given the title of ‘Mallika-e-Ghazal’ for her singing.”
Further sharing a personal anecdote, the actor said: “I’m a bit hesitant to say this but Sarojini Naidu was a great admirer of my father. My father had an intercaste marriage. My mother Teji hailed from a Sikh family. Back then in Allahabad, intercaste marriages and marrying in another religion were looked down upon. My father faced resistance when he brought my mother to Allahabad.”
“Sarojini Naidu was the first person to console him. She introduced him to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who lived in Anand Bhavan in Allahabad. I still remember the way she introduced my father to him. She said, ‘meet the poet and his poetry’,” he added.
‘In the Bazaars of Hyderabad’, published in 1912, remains one of Naidu’s most popular poems. She was also referred to as the ‘Nightingale of India’.