Cardiff Theosophical Society

206 Newport Road,

Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 -1DL



Theosophy and the Great War



India and England


Annie Besant


First Published October 13th 1914



Return to Homepage



EDUCATED India has never desired to throw off her allegiance to the Crown; she has only asked for the self-government enjoyed by the Colonies. Her loyalty is not a change of opinion; it is not an approval of the Arms Act, and the Press Act, and the many badges of racial inferiority branded upon her; she hates these things as she has ever hated them, but, of her own free will, she chooses now to put them on one side. And why? Because she loves England for having aroused her from the sleep of centuries by holding up before her the ideal of liberty, for having sheltered the oppressed of every nation. She rallies to her because England is the mother of free nations; because, if England fell, tyranny would stalk unchecked over prostrate peoples; because England is the most sanely progressive nation on earth, and, with what­ever temporary vagaries, her face is steadily set towards the goal of liberty. India has been inspired politically by the glorious history of England's struggles for freedom.


She has read, with breathless interest, how England, step by step, won constitutional  liberty; how she curbed her kings; how she lifted her serfs; how she refused the payment of unjust taxes; how her merchants built up her prosperity; how she educated her masses; how she has widened the sphere of self-­government by Act after Act; how her Commons have twice honestly cancelled their own resolutions when they infringed on popular liberty; how she has declared that "taxation without representation is rob­bery"; how she has freed her press; how she has won full liberty of speech. All this has created the ideals of educated India, and her clear vision has seen the real England through the thick fog of autocracy and bureaucracy which shroud her here. The danger of teach­ing English history to boys under an auto­cracy has been recognised of late years in the efforts to check the teaching, but the check comes too late; it has already inspired educated India, the India which believes in old England, the real England, despite the new-fangled Anglo-England, and with pathetic intensity believes that if England only knew and understood her grievances all would be redressed. And she is right. How, save in amity with England, how, save with Eng­land's help, can she build up the fair fabric of India's liberty, and become that which her voice, her Congress, has persistently demanded, a self-governing nation within the Empire?


The war broke out with a thunderclap, and the Mother of Freedom, waking from her lethargy, sent out her ringing call for help to maintain national honour, international faith.  All her admiration for England's past, all her hopes for work with England's future, all her loyalty to a King who had shown her honour and sympathy, all her ingrained feel­ings of chivalry and truth and faith, brought India springing to her feet, and made her pour out her all for the guarding of the Empire's life - the Empire which is the ark in which all the hopes of the world's freedom are embarked, and which is tossing on the stormy waves of war. India's freedom is in that ark; France, the standard-bearer of ideas, is in that ark; where else can India be?


By her quick answer to the call of the King, India won instantaneous recognition. And  now, to make new discord, to re-arouse the sense of injury so magnanimously thrown aside,  the strident voices of ungenerous effort to use against India India's magnanimity arise, and  thinly veiled dislike of the advocates of liberty endeavours to misrepresent her motives, and  to use her loyalty to buttress autocracy.


Does Ireland, in rallying to the Empire, proclaim that in the Penal Laws, in the destruction of her manufactures, in the famine-compelled exile of her once-numerous  population, in the suspension of the Habeas Corpus, in the hanging of Emmet, in the  imprisonment of Davitt, England ruled her well? Does Russia, in silencing every voice of reproach and rallying round the Tsar­dom which has knouted, exiled, starved, imprisoned, hanged her noblest sons and daughters, declare that she approves of all these things? Nay. Both nations forget the evils, because loyalty and patriotism, and belief in the splendid immortal soul of Eng­land, of Russia, outweigh all transitory wrongs. Oh! let not the fair opportunity of the present union of hearts be flung away by the covert insinuations of those who have tried to build England's rule in India on the ignorance of peasants and the servility of office-seekers, instead of on the rock of the loyalty of free men! Let it be remembered that, under the influence of the spirit of the age, there is no safety for any empire, for any throne, unless it be, like the throne of Britain, in Britain, "broad-based upon the people's will". - New India, October 13, 1914.







Return to Homepage



Cardiff Theosophical Society

206 Newport Road,

Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 -1DL



Try these links for

more info about Theosophy




Cardiff Theosophical Society meetings are informal

and there’s always a cup of tea afterwards




The Cardiff Theosophical Society Website




The National Wales Theosophy Website



Theosophy Cardiff’s Instant Guide to Theosophy


Cardiff Theosophical Archive


Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

A Theosophy Study Resource


Theosophy Cardiff’s Gallery of Great Theosophists


Dave’s Streetwise Theosophy Boards

The Theosophy Website that welcomes

absolute beginners


Blavatsky Blogger

Independent Theosophy Blog


The Most Basic Theosophy

 Website in the Universe

A quick overview of Theosophy 

and the Theosophical Society

If you run a Theosophy Group you 

can use this as an introductory handout.


Quick Blasts of Theosophy

One liners and quick explanations

About aspects of Theosophy


The Blavatsky Blogger’s

Instant Guide To

Death & The Afterlife


Blavatsky Calling

The Voice of the Silence Website


The Blavatsky Free State

An Independent Theosophical Republic

Links to Free Online Theosophy 

Study Resources; Courses, Writings, 

Commentaries, Forums, Blogs




Visit the Feelgood Lodge

The main criteria for the inclusion of

links on this site is that they have some

relationship (however tenuous) to Theosophy

and are lightweight, amusing or entertaining.

Topics include Quantum Theory and Socks,

Dick Dastardly and Legendary Blues Singers.



The New Rock ‘n Roll

An entertaining introduction to Theosophy


Nothing answers questions

like Theosophy can!

The Key to Theosophy


Wales! Wales! Theosophy Wales

The All Wales Guide To

Getting Started in Theosophy

For everyone everywhere, not just in Wales


Brief Theosophical Glossary


The Akashic Records

It’s all “water under the bridge” but everything you do

makes an imprint on the Space-Time Continuum.


Theosophy and Reincarnation

A selection of articles on Reincarnation

by Theosophical writers

Provided in response to the large number

of enquiries we receive on this subject


Theosophical Glossary

prepared by W Q Judge


The South of Heaven Guide to

Theosophy and Devachan


The South of Heaven Guide to

Theosophy and Dreams


The South of Heaven Guide to

Theosophy and Angels




No Aardvarks were harmed in the

preparation of this Website


Theosophy Avalon

The Theosophy Wales

King Arthur Pages


The Tooting Broadway

Underground Theosophy Website

The Spiritual Home of Urban Theosophy


The Mornington Crescent

Underground Theosophy Website

The Earth Base for Evolutionary Theosophy




H P Blavatsky’s Heavy Duty

Theosophical Glossary

Published 1892




Complete Theosophical Glossary in Plain Text Format





Classic Introductory Theosophy Text

A Text Book of Theosophy By C W Leadbeater


What Theosophy Is  From the Absolute to Man


The Formation of a Solar System  The Evolution of Life


The Constitution of Man  After Death  Reincarnation


The Purpose of Life  The Planetary Chains


The Result of Theosophical Study




The Occult World

By Alfred Percy Sinnett


Preface to the American Edition    Introduction


Occultism and its Adepts    The Theosophical Society


First Occult Experiences   Teachings of Occult Philosophy


Later Occult Phenomena    Appendix



Try these if you are looking for a

local Theosophy Group or Centre



UK Listing of Theosophical Groups


Worldwide Directory of 

Theosophical Links


International Directory of 

Theosophical Societies




Pages About Wales

General pages about Wales, Welsh History

and The History of Theosophy in Wales


Wales is a Principality within the United Kingdom

and has an eastern border with England.

The land area is just over 8,000 square miles.

Snowdon in North Wales is the highest mountain at 3,650 feet.

The coastline is almost 750 miles long.

 The population of Wales as at the 2001 census is 2,946,200.