Bharat Stories
Light of Knowledge

Swarnakumari Devi Biography

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Born in the renowned Tagore family in the year 1855, Swarnakumari Devi was the 10th child of Debendranath Tagore, and sister of famous Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. She was home schooled, and from a very early age had the knack of penning down poems and pros, something which had been a gift to the entire Tagore family.

Swarnakumari_DeviImage Source: wikiwand.com

She was married at the age of 12 to Janakiram Ghoshal, who was a deputy magistrate. It was her husband who encouraged her to abandon the system of purdah and pursue her hobby of writing. She received a lot of appreciation and popularity after she became the editor and writer for the monthly literary journal called Bharati, for over 30 years. She also published a novel in the year 1870, which was called Dipnirban.

Some of her other famous works include Snehalata ba Palita, Kahake and Chhinna Mukul.

Many of her works were translated into English and received a lot of acclaim, for instance, her work Kahake, was translated into English and called “The Unfinished Song.” She also published the first ever opera in the state of Bengal, and it was called Basanta Utsav. She had written around 25 books in Bengali language.

Apart from her journalistic and other literary works, she had also been an active personality in terms of nationalism movements and social reforms.

She was a significant member to lead to the formation of Sakhi Samiti, an initiative which was started to help widows and other women who were deeply poverty stricken. In around the years 1889 and 1890, she, along with other significant personalities like Kadambini Ganguly, Pandita Ramabai and Ramabai Ranade, participated in the Indian National Congress’ annual sessions.

This was a big step for women in politics in the country during that time, and Swarnakumari Devi was one from the two elected members who were selected to represent the state of Bengal at the session.

Her further achievements include getting awarded with the Jagattarini gold medal by the University of Calcutta in the year 1927. Another feather to her cap was added in the year 1929, when she was elected as the president of the Bangiya Sahitya Sammelan.

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