WHEN the British ruled over almost all the world, there were also people in the world who questioned their rule and Dr. Besant was one of them.

Dr Besant had the quality of compassion and empathy as she could feel the pain of others.

''She was secular and believed that religion and politics should not be mixed and should be kept separate from each other. She was also a human rights activist and upheld Labour's rights and women's rights.

She was also against the Hindu caste system and believed that all of mankind was born equal and should be treated as such,'' said Dr. Mubarak Ali, dean of the faculty of social science and education at a university.

''To make her beliefs known, she wrote and brought out pamphlets.''

Dr. Besant came from an Irish family and knew only too well the sufferings of her family at the hands of the British.

''When Ireland was colonised by the British, they drove out the farmers there to take over their lands. The indigenous Irish were left without any say or rights of their own.

Things became so bad for them that they didn't even have anything to eat except potatoes. It was also a time when great Irish poets such as William Butler Yeats highlighted the struggle of their people through poetry and literature.

And they also played a part in Annie's intellect and mindset and in her being a part of the movement for freedom in Ireland,'' he explained.

Dr. Annie Besant was the greatest of voice in Indo-Pak sub continent against child marriages, class divides and in promotion of education.

''It is relevant in today's polarised and divided society to talk about Dr. Besant and her ideas and lessons. There are many of her writings which we need to read and revisit.''

The World Students Society honours Dr. Annie Besant.


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