Shyamji Krishna Varma of Gujarat contributed a lot to the Indian freedom movement. In 1905, he established the India House in London, which became a source of inspiration for many revolutionary Indians living abroad.
Varma was born on 4 September 1857 at Mandvi, Cutch State (now Kutch, Gujarat) as Shamji, the son of Krushnadas Bhanushali. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Swami Dayanand Saraswati influenced him from a younger age. He participated as India’s representative in two education conventions held in Germany and England in 1918. He published a monthly magazine called The Indian Sociologist in Geneva and England.
Also, Varma founded the Indian Home Rule Society in 1905. Along with the India House, he inspired youngsters in Britain to take up revolutionary activities against their own representatives in India. Then his monthly Indian Sociologist became an outlet for nationalist ideas, which criticised the British rule in India.
Varma was an assistant professor at Oxford University and was well known for his Sanskrit expertise. India House hosted Indian students in London and became a center of discussion. He helped many revolutionaries like Madanlal Dhingra.
Shyamji Krishna Varma died in Geneva on 31 March 1930. For years, Geneva’s Saint George Cemetery preserved his remains. In 2010, his ashes were brought to India, and a memorial was set up in his mother’s hometown, Mandvi.
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