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On Women’s Education – Sarojini Naidu


Education knows no distinction of caste or creed or province. In matters of education you cannot say thus far and no further. Neither can you say to the winds of heaven blow not where ye list, nor forbid the waves to cross their boundaries nor yet the human soul to soar beyond the bounds of arbitrary limitations.

The word education is the worst misunderstood word in any language. Instruction being merely accumulation of knowledge might, indeed, lend itself to conventional definition, but education is an immeasurable, beautiful, indispensable atmosphere in which we live and move and have our being.

Does one man dare to deprive another of his birthright to God’s pure air which nourishes his body?
How then shall a man dare to deprive a human soul of its immemorial inheritance of liberty and life?

Therefore I charge you, restore to your women their ancient rights, for, as I have said it is we, and not you, who are the real nation-builders, and without our active co-operation at all points of progress all your congresses and conferences are in vain.

Educate your women and the nation will take care of itself, for it is true today as it was yesterday and will be to the end of human life, that the hand that rocks the cradle is power that rules the world.

Sarojini Naidu
The National Week April 1907