Sarojini Naidu’s Awake is a patriotic lyric that was first published in 1912. It is a call to action for the Indian people to unite and fight for their independence from British rule. The poem is written in the form of a prayer to Mother India, urging her to wake up from her slumber and lead her children to victory. Read More Inter 2nd Year English Summaries.
Sarojini Naidu (13 February 1879 2 March 1949)was an Indian political activist and poet. A proponent of civil rights, women’s emancipation, and anti-imperialistic ideas, she was an important person in India’s struggle for independence from colonial rule. Naidu’s work as a poet earned her the sobriquet ‘the Nightingale of India’, or ‘Bharat Kokila’ by Mahatma Gandhi because of colour, imagery and lyrical quality of her poetry.
Few of his notable works in English:
1905: The Golden Threshold, London: William Heineman
1917: The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring
1961: The Feather of the Dawn, edited by Padmaja Naidu, Bombay: Asia Publishing House
The poem,”Awake” is written by Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India. It is a patriotic Song. It is the last poem in the first section of “The Broken wing: Songs of Love”. It is dedicated to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a trusted friend of Sarojini Naidu, It was revived at the Indian National Congress Meetings in Bombay, 1915. In this poem, the worshippers of all Indian religions are brought together to the alfar of mother India to hail her as a “Queen” and a “Goddess”.
It conveys the idea that mother India could be awakened from her slumber and emancipated from her bondage by the united efforts of her sons. To get Independence from the British rule Indians must forget their religions and communal differences and rise like one against the British tyranny. It is a call for unity and action.
In the first stanza, the poetess speaks on behalf of the children of India who implore her to awake from her sleep and who worship her and are ready to serve her. She must lead their prays the dark night of slavery is now about with the hope of freedom. She must awake and cut the chains of slavery which cause so much grief to her children. Their hands will be purified by her blessings. So, that their holy cause may triumph.
They are the true children of their beloved Bharata Mata, and they have inherited her own pride and her own moral and spiritual courage. They will never fail to protect her. Thus will never desert her and they will ever sing the story of her greatness and glory. Their united efforts make her great and stories once again. Such as the dedication of her children and she must respond to their call.
In the next four lines, the followers of different Indian religions assure her that they would serve her with devotion to the best of their ability. The Hindus assure her that they will always worship her as they have been doing so far the parsees assure her that the fire of hope burning on their hearts will be dedicated to her service. The musalmans assure her that they would defend her with the sword of their love. The Christians assure her that they will show the same devotion and faith in their as they have in Jesus and Mary.
In the last two lines, having assured her separately of their devotion and service, the followers of all the different religions call upon their great mother, their green and their goddess to listen to their prayer and awake from her present slumber. Their fearless united and devoted efforts shall certainly be sufficient to free her from her present bondage. The lyrics a soul – stirring call for unity and action. It came from the heart of the poetess and so goes straight to the hearts of her readers.
Awake is a powerful and moving poem that has inspired generations of Indians. It is a reminder of the importance of patriotism, unity, and sacrifice in the fight for freedom.