Margaret Noble, called Margot by her family and friends, came to India in 1898 inspired by Swami Vivekananda. She took the vows of celibacy and devoted the rest of her life to the cause of India. During her stay in India, she impressed many famous national figures and even influenced the ending of Rabindranath Tagore’s novel Gora.
Reba Som in her compelling biography of Sister Nivedita traces the development of Margaret from an Irishwoman into Sister Nivedita and finally into ‘Lok Mata’ or ‘People’s Mother’—a title bestowed on her by Tagore.
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Sister Nivedita.
She lived up to her given name and devoted herself fully to the cause of India.
She wrote over 800 letters to her friends.
After her death, Josephine MacLeod decided to share Nivedita’s personal papers and letters with Lizelle Reymond for a definitive biography of Sister Nivedita in French, which was translated into English as The Dedicated: A Biography of Nivedita (1953).
She took him under her wing, reassured him in moments of despair, invited financial assistance for his work and constantly edited and helped in the writing of his manuscripts.
She wished to learn the culture of faraway India so she could contribute towards the education of women in the light of their own civilizational values.
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