A brief overview of Annie Besant’s life and work can be found here. Read about Annie Besant’s life as a Theosophist and Indian freedom fighter.

A brief overview of  Annie Besant’s life and work can be found here. Read about Annie Besant’s life as a Theosophist and Indian freedom fighter.

Biography: Annie Besant was born in: October 1, 1847
Passed on: September 20, 1933
Accomplishments: Indian Theosophical Society President; established Home Rule Association in 1916 and request self rule in India; turned out to be first lady leader of Indian Public Congress.

Annie Besant was a well-known Theosophist, social reformer, political leader, activist for women’s rights, author, and speaker. She made India her second home and was Irish. She was the first woman to lead the Indian National Congress and fought for Indian rights.

On October 1, 1847, Annie Besant, also known as Annie Wood, was born into a middle-class family in London. She was from Ireland. She was just five when her father passed away. The family was supported by Annie’s mother’s Harrow boarding house for boys. She traveled extensively throughout Europe as a young woman, which broadened her perspective.

Annie Besant married Frank Besant, a clergyman, in 1867. However, the marriage was short-lived. 1873 saw their legal separation. Annie Besant had two kids from the marriage. Annie began to question not only her long-held religious beliefs but also conventional thinking as a whole after her separation. She started to compose assaults on the Places of worship and the manner in which they controlled individuals’ lives. She specifically criticized the Church of England’s status as a faith supported by the state.

Women’s rights, secularism, birth control, Fabian socialism, and workers’ rights were among the causes Annie Besant supported. As a means of understanding God, she became interested in Theosophy. Theosophical Society preached universal brotherhood and opposed race, color, and gender discrimination. Its primary objective was to serve the entire human race. It was as an individual from Theosophical Society of India that she showed up in India in 1893.

She went on a tour of India’s entire territory. It provided her with firsthand information about India and middle-class Indians, who were disproportionately affected by British rule and its educational system. The Central Hindu College in Benares was established as a direct result of her persistent interest in education.

She likewise became engaged with Indian opportunity development. She established the Home Rule League in 1916, which advocated for Indian self-government. She turned into the Leader of Indian Public Congress in 1917. She held that position as the first woman. She started a newspaper called “New India,” spoke out against British rule, and was put in jail for sedition. Differences arose between Mahatma Gandhi and Annie Besant after Gandhiji entered the Indian national scene. She gradually stopped participating in active politics.

Annie Besant passed on September 20, 1933 at Adyar (Madras). Her ashes were buried in Benares in the Ganga in accordance with her wish.

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