Annie Besant was a member of the Theosophical Society and came to India for the first time in 1893. This movement was led by Westerners who glorified Indian religious and philosophical traditions and encouraged vernacular languages and literary works to instill a sense of pride in Indian heritage and culture.

It aroused political awakening and helped Indians recover their self-confidence and get a sense of pride in their own country. The society also preached the universal brotherhood of man. It made immense contribution towards the development of Modern India.

Annie Besant became the President of the Theosophical Society in 1907. Besant opened a college for boys, the Central Hindu College at Banaras based on Theosophical principles with the aim to build a new leadership for India. The students studied religious texts along with modern science. The college became a part of the new University, the Banaras Hindu University from 1917.