Annie Besant


A great woman, patriot and a true fighter, Annie Besant, was born in London on October 1, 1847. She was the daughter of an Irish businessman, William Press Wood and an Irish woman, Emily Mary Ruche. Annie was given private education and later in 1867 got married to an Anglican clergyman, named Frank Besant. At the age of 23, Annie had two children but the marriage proved to be a failure and they got divorced in 1873.

In 1870, Besant along with Charles Bradlaugh edited the weekly National Refomer. This weekly was dedicated to spread the ideas of birth control, trade unions, women’s right and national education. In 1888, she organized a strike for female workers in a London based company who were working more than they were paid and were highly affected by the factory fumes. The strike proved to be successful and she became more dedicated to women’s sufferings and rights.

In 1875, Annie joined the religious movement, Theosophy that was based on Hindu ideas of karma and reincarnation. Completely involved in the Hindu beliefs, she widespread the ideas around the world. India was one country with maximum Hindus and so she visited the country in 1983 to spread the ideas and principles of Theosophy. Later on, she settled down in India with her girl child whom she brought along with her during divorce.

During her stay in India she was actively involved in the Indian Nationalist Movement and Home Rule League. Like Gandhiji she was not fully satisfied with non violence, so being a good orator she tried to put influence on Indians by her speeches and write ups.

Fighting for a noble cause she expired in India on September 20, 1933.

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