Annie Besant is a name featured prominently in Indian history text books and rightly so. A British woman who came to India and made it her home, she was instrumental in the Indian freedom struggle.

And Google India has now showcased Annie Besant’s contribution to the country for all to see with a Google Doodle celebrating her 168th birth anniversary.


The Doodle shows a caricature of a gray-haired Besant reclining on a rocking chair with New India, the newspaper she served as editor during the First World war.

The design was created by Doodler Lydia Nichols who described it as the ‘Woman at the center of our logo looks perfectly content rocking sweetly in her chair, (but) her powerful speeches could whip an audience of thousands into a frenzy.’

Here’s what Google had to say about the Doodle: “A fierce advocate of Indian self-rule, Annie Besant loved the language, and over a lifetime of vigorous study cultivated tremendous abilities as a writer and orator. She published mountains of essays, wrote a textbook, curated anthologies of classic literature for young adults and eventually became editor of the New India newspaper, a periodical dedicated to the cause of Indian Autonomy and featured in today’s Doodle by artist Lydia Nichols.

Besant, a renowned socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer and orator, came to India in 1893 and stayed here till her death in 1933. While in India, the freedom fighter’s biggest achievements were establishing the Central Hindu College at Benares, and being the first woman and European President of the Indian National Congress.

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Google celebrates Annie Besant’s 168th birth anniversary with a charming doodle