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PM Modi pays tribute Shyamji Krishna Varma on his Jyanti

While paying his respect to Varma, the Prime Minister recalled how he had brought his ashes from Switzerland to India in 2003.

SNS | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid tributes to Shyamji Krishna Varma, a ‘great revolutionary’, ‘freedom fighter’ lawyer and journalist on his birth anniversary.

While paying his respect to Varma, the Prime Minister recalled how he had brought his ashes from Switzerland to India in 2003.

“I consider myself blessed to have got the opportunity to bring back the ashes of Shyamji Krishna Varma back from Switzerland in 2003 and receive his reinstatement certificate during my UK visit in 2015. It is important that young India knows more about his courage and greatness,” Modi tweeted.

Tweeting in Hindi, Modi described Varma as a ‘great revolutionary’. “He had dedicated his life to free India from the shackles of imperialist forces. A grateful nation will never forget his contribution to the freedom struggle,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Shyamji Krishna Varma was born on this day in 1857 in Mandvi, Kutch, Gujarat. He founded the Indian Home Rule Society, India House and The Indian Sociologist in London. An admirer of Herbert Spencer and Dayanand Saraswati, he was a firm believer of the precept that “Resistance to aggression is not simply justified, but imperative”. He briefly worked as a lawyer and Devan of various princely states till he was dismissed over a conspiracy against British colonial officials in Junagarh and returned to England.

In 1905 Shyamji Krishna Varma founded the India House and The Indian Sociologist, which soon became a meeting point for radical nationalists among Indian students in Britain. To avoid prosecution he shifted to Paris in 1907. He died in a hospital on 30 March 1930 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Before his death, Varma had entered into a prepaid arrangement with the local government of Geneva and St Georges cemetery to preserve his and his wife’s ashes at the cemetery for 100 years and to send their urns to India whenever it became independent during that period.

Earlier, following a request by Paris-based scholar Dr Prithwindra Mukherjee, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the local government of Geneva agreed to repatriate his ashes to India.

On 22 August 2003, the urns of ashes of Shyamji and his wife Bhanumati were handed over to then Gujarat chief minister and now Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi by the Ville de Genève and the Swiss government 55 years after Indian Independence.

The urns with ashes were first brought to Mumbai and from there taken to his birthplace in Mandvi. Today a memorial ‘Kranti Teerth’ stands near Mandvi on 52 acres of land. Shyamji Krishna Varma and his wife’s ashes in two separate urns have been kept at the memorial complex.