Annie Besant (1 October 1847, London – 20 September 1933, India) was a British woman who became one of the leaders of the Indian freedom struggle. In 1885, Annie Besant joined the Fabian Society and later became a member of 'Marxist Social Democratic Federation'. She joined the Theosophical Society, a religious movement founded in 1875 and based on ideas of karma and reincarnation. As a leader of the Society, Besant helped to spread Theosophical beliefs around the world. She established the 'Olkot Panjama School' in 1894. She was the founder of Central Hindu College. Later this college developed as the Hindu University of Benarus. Annie Besant started the India Home Rule movement in 1916 and became its president. In 1917 she became a leading member of the Indian National Congress.
- "BBC – History – Historic Figures: Annie Besant (1847 - 1933)". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 December 2010.