Doctoral dissertation on the Theosophical Society’s contributions to education and politics
Per-Olof Fjällsby, Department of History and Political Science, Karlstad University, defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Indien som utopi och verklighet. Om den teosofiska rörelsens bidrag till indisk utbildning och politik 1879–1930” (India as Utopia and Reality. On the Contributions by the Theosophical Society to Indian Education and Politics, 1879–1930) on Friday 1 June 2012. The faculty opponent was Dr. Henrik Chetan Aspengren, Department of History, Uppsala University.
In the study P-O Fjällsby tries to explore the various ways in which the past was used by the Theosophist in order to construct a national identity in India. Three subjects are in focus; their national political ambitions, efforts in the field of a national education and in the women's movement. The first attempt from the Theosophist's to interact with the nationalist movement in India was taken already in 1879. Contact was than established with the Hindu revival movement, Arya Samaj and its leader Dayananda Saraswati. In 1885 A O Hume, at that time a theosophist, was (one of) the founder to the Indian National Congress. In 1909 more than 10 000 were members in TS, mostly people from the middle class in the Anglo-Indian society.