On a normal Thursday morning, on October 1, an old woman was found comfortably wrapped up on a rocking chair that leaned on the L of Google, on the Google homepage. On looking at the paper in her hand, New India, it took no time to realise that Google Doodle dedicated this day to Annie Besant. She was once the editor of that newspaper which she had used to ingrain patriotism among Indians. Today is her 168th birth anniversary.

Source: Google

Here are a few things about Annie Besant, that may reinstill the patriotic fire within you:

‘Knowledge is vitality’, with this motto she founded Central Hindu College.

She was one of the founders of The Banaras Hindu University which was then known as Central Hindu College. She had a dream of creating a school that gave sound secular education, combined with moral and religious instruction, based on the fundamental tenets of Hinduism, as Heavy reports carried.


She played an active role in India’s Home Rule Movement:

Besant was one of the founders of the Home Rule Movement. It was a political organisation which demanded self government in India to obtain a dominion within the British Empire. She was among those very few English people who were British born but cared for the condition of the Indians.

The Viewspaper

Although British- born, she cared for India’s freedom.

Besant was the editor of a newspaper named New India , which she used as an organ to instill patriotism among Indians.


Did you know she and George Bernard Shaw had similar perspectives?

Besant’s decision in favour of socialism had developed a close relationship with author George Bernard Shaw who was a leading light of the Fabian Society. Shaw had sponsored Annie to join the Society which was a gathering of people who explored spiritualism, rather than political, alternatives to the capitalist system as mentioned on a report by LiveIndia .


Then political opponents, the Congress and the League came together for Besant’s Freedom.

On June 1917, when Besant was arrested, the Congress and the Muslim League together threatened protests if she was not set free. She was also made the first woman president of the Indian National Congress.