India House

Indian Comforts Fund

About: 

The Indian Comforts Fund provided humanitarian relief by British women for Indian soldiers and seamen. The Fund was initiated by Viscountess Chelmsford in December 1939 to provide for the war needs of Indian troops and Indian Seamen in Europe. The Fund was maintained uninterruptedly on an ever-growing scale throughout the war years. It was closed in December 1945. The Indian High Commissioner Firoz Khan Noon made space available for the fund at India House, Aldwych.

It was a voluntary organization that at the height of its activities in 1943 had mobilized around 100,000 individual knitters, providing woollen clothing for Indian POW’s, merchant seamen and others. It made a number of appeals for funds to buy wool for distribution to women who were organizing knitting parties. Once funding was secured, wool was supplied by the Personal Service League. It also provided ‘comforts’ for the Indian Contingent in France and relief for Indian seamen survivors and released POW’s from German and Italian camps. By April 1940 the Fund also cooperated with the Merchant Navy Comfort Service.

The Fund coordinated the packing of over 1.5 million food parcels for Indian POW’s in Europe, which would be sent to the Red Cross in Geneva for distribution. It also worked together with the Indian POW reception unit in the UK. The Fund made provisions for entertainments for Indian troops in Britain by supplying gifts such as gramophone records, books, and sports materials. The Fund also provided financial assistance to the large number of Indian seamen arriving at British ports.

The work of the Fund was a team effort where Indians and Britons interacted and collaborated to alleviate the plight of Indian soldiers and sailors as POWs and while stationed in the UK. The Fund worked in cooperation with the British Red Cross, Order of St John of Jerusalem, Director of Voluntary Organisations, Shipwrecked Mariners Society, and the Missions to Seamen and also cooperated with the Indian Red Cross. It was officially recognised by the Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry in 1940.

Cornelia Sorabji donated her royalties from Queen Mary's Book of India to the Fund.

Published works: 

Shepherd, Claude, War Record of the Indian Comforts Fund, December, 1939 to December, 1945 (London: Indian Comforts Fund, 1946)

Example: 

Shepherd, Claude, War Record of the Indian Comforts Fund, December, 1939 to December, 1945 (London: Indian Comforts Fund, 1946)

Content: 

In the brochure published by the Fund in 1946 the Indian High Commissioner S. E. Runganadhan hails the contribution of the Indian Comforts Fund.

Date began: 
01 Dec 1939
Extract: 

The Indian Comforts Fund marks a glorious chapter in the history of Indo-British relations during the war, and its mission of goodwill and practical help will ever be remembered with affection and gratitude by the people of my country.

Key Individuals' Details: 

Mr F. J. Adams (1940-5), Mrs Waris Ameer Ali (1940), L. S. Amery (1940-5), Duchess of Atholl (1940-5), Lady Atkinson (1942-5), Lady Benthall (1940-5), Field Marshall Lord Birdwood (1942-5), Lady Doris Blacker (1940-5), Lady Bonamjee (1940-5), Lt. General Sir Ernest Bradfield (1940-5), Captain J. J. Cameron (1940-5), Lady Chatterjee (1940-5), Dowager Viscountess Chelmsford (founder), Lady Croker (1940-5), Lady Currie (1940-5), Duchess of Devonshire (1940-2), Lady Donington (1940-5), Mrs D. N. Dutt (1940-5), Lord Erskin (1940-5), Lady Marjorie Erskine (1940-5), Miss Christian Gretton (1940-5), Mrs Gupta (1940-5), Viscountess Halifax (1940-5), Lady Flora Hastings (1940-5), Lady Hodges (1940-5), M. Azizul Huque (1942-3) (Indian High Commissioner), Mrs Husain (1940-5), Mr S. Lall (1940-3), Mrs S. Lall (1940-3), Mrs G. A. Leslie (1940-5), Lady Lloyd (1940-5), Lady MacCaw (1940-5), Lady Meek (1940-5), Lady Middleton (1940-5), Mrs James Mills (1940-5), Mrs Monahan (1940-5), Mrs John Monck (1940-5), Marie, Countess of Munster (1943-4), Mrs Nation (1940-5), Firoz Khan Noon (1940-1), Lady Pears (1940-5), Lady Runganadhan (1944-5), Samuel Runganadhan (1944-5)(Indian High Commissioner), Sir Hassan Suhrawardy (1940-3), Admiral Sir Reginald Tupper (1940-4), Miss Irene Ward, MP (1940-5), Lady Wheeler (1940-5), Marchioness of Willingdon (1940-5), Earl Winterton (1940-5), Countess Winterton (1940-5), Marquess of Zetland (1940). 

Executive Committee: Chairman: Mrs L. S. Amery (1940-5) Members: Duchess of Devonshire (1940-2), Countess of Munster (1943-4), Lady Dornington (1940-5), Lady Katherine Nicholson (1944-5), Lady Atkinson (1942-5), Lady Currie (1940-5), Lady MacCaw (1940-5), Lady Runganadhan (1944-5), Lady Wheeler (1940-5), Mrs John Monck (1940-5), Mrs D. N. Dutt (1940-5), Mrs S. Lall (1940-3), Mrs G. A. Leslie (1940-5), Mrs R. M. M. Lockhart (1943-4), Mrs James Mills (1940-5), Mrs Nanda (1943-5) Mrs Charles Stainforth (1944), Miss P. Alison (1945), Miss M. I. Goodfellow (1941-5), Miss Terry Lewis (1940-3), Lt. General Sir Ernest Bradfield (1940-5), Sir Hassan Suhrawardy (1940-3), Admiral Sir Reginald Tupper (1940-4), Mr F. J. Adams (1940-5), Colonel H. L. Barstow (1945), Captain J. J. Cameron (1940-5), Mr S. Lall (1940-3), Colonel A. Wakeham (1944).

Treasurers: C. W. Waddington (1940), Henry Wheeler (1940-5); Secretary: Mrs John Monck (1940-1), Colonel Claude Shepherd (1941-5); Dep. Secretary: H. M. Burrows (1944-5); Assistant Secretaries: Miss M. I. Goodfellow (1940), Mrs Stainforth (1941-2), Miss P. Alison (1942-4); Accountant: Mr A. M. Menon (1940-45).

Connections: 
Date ended: 
01 Dec 1945
Archive source: 

L/I/1/837, India Offica Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Location

India House
Aldwych
London, WC2B 1NA
United Kingdom
Involved in events details: 

Henry Mayers Hyndman

About: 

H. M. Hyndman was a prominent English Socialist. He began his career working as a journalist, including on the Pall Mall Gazette. In 1881, using the London radical clubs as a model, Hyndman established the Democratic Federation, which was renamed the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in 1884. Hyndman was also the editor of Justice. He was a vocal supporter of Indian nationalism and independence from the British.

Hyndman became friends with Dadabhai Naoroji in the 1870s, after reading Naoroji’s Poverty of India. They collaborated in Anti-Famine agitation during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year. Naoroji helped Hyndman in his own work on Indian Famine. Despite their friendship, Naoroji often found Hyndman’s politics too radical and extreme, preferring a more moderate nationalist path.

Shyamaji Krishnavarma, a nationalist in favour of more radical methods, was acquainted with Hyndman. He invited Hyndman to open India House in Highgate in July 1905. Through the India House organization, Hyndman met individuals such as Madame Cama and B. G. Tilak. After the murder of Sir Curzon-Wyllie by Madan Lal Dhingra, Hyndman wrote in Justice that he had long warned that terrorism would result from the British policy of ‘despotism’ in India.

Published works: 

Indian Policy and English Justice (1874)

The Bankruptcy of India (1886)

The Records of an Adventurous Life (1911)

Further Reminiscences (1912)

The Awakening of Asia (1919)
 

Date of birth: 
07 Mar 1842
Connections: 

Madame Cama, Shyamaji Krishnavarma, George Lansbury, Dadabhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Justice
India

Secondary works: 

Boehmer, Elleke, Empire, the National, and the Postcolonial (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Masani, R. P., Dadabhai Naoroji. The Grand Old Man of India (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1939)

Schneer, Jonathan, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999)

Tsuzuki, Chushichi and Pelling, Henry, H. M. Hyndman and British Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961)

Tsuzuki, Chushichi, ‘Hyndman, Henry Mayers (1842–1921)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2006) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34088]

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

Correspondence, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London

Correspondence, Manuscript Collection, British Library, St Pancras

‘Seditious pamphlets and publications of H M Hyndman’, L/PJ/6/817, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence, Maxse Papers, West Sussex Record Office, Chichester
 

Involved in events: 

Opening of India House, Highgate, July 1905 (see Indian Sociologist 1.8, August 1905)

City of birth: 
London
Country of birth: 
England
Date of death: 
07 Apr 1923
Location of death: 
London, England
Location: 

13 Well Walk, Hampstead

Tags for Making Britain: 

Niranjan Pal

About: 

Niranjan Pal was the son of the moderate Indian nationalist Bepin Chandra Pal. He came to Britain in the early twentieth century to study in London, and lived in a boarding house with Sukhsagar Datta, Ashutosh Mitter and his father. It was to this boarding house at 140 Sinclair Road in London that David Garnett was invited to by Datta and where he was introduced to Pal, who was also known as Nanu. In The Golden Echo, Garnett described Pal's politics as not clearly defined, but more sympathetic to Indian revolutionaries in contrast to his father's moderate views.

Niranjan Pal later rose to fame as a playwright and then film director and producer. His play, The Goddess, was performed in London in 1922. This play had a successful run, starting at the Duke of York's Theatre on 6 and 7 June 1922, it was then shown at the Ambassador's Theatre and finally moved to the Aldwych Theatre in July 1922. The play was performed 66 times in total and there were plans after the success to form an Indian Repertory Theatre Movement in London.

Niranjan Pal was married to an English woman, Lily, and they had a son called Colin in 1923. Pal then began a collaboration with the lead actor in The Goddess, Himansu Rai, and went to Bombay to produce films. He collaborated with the German silent film director, Franz Osten to film The Light of Asia in 1925 in Bombay, and then became a successful screen-writer for Bombay Talkies film studio in Bombay.

Date of birth: 
17 Aug 1889
Connections: 

Sukhsagar Datta, David Garnett, Maud MacCarthy (music for The Goddess), Franz Osten, Bepin Chandra Pal (father), Himansu Rai, Devika Rani, Rani Waller (actress in The Goddess)

 

Reviews: 

The Times, 7 June 1922

The Era, 21 June 1922

The Stage, 22 June 1922 (Reviews of 'The Goddess')

Secondary works: 

Chambers, Colin, A History of Black and Asian Theatre in Britain (London: Routledge, forthcoming)

Garnett, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953) 

Jaikumar, Priya, Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006)

Pal, Colin, ‘The Rise and Fall of Bombay Talkies’, Filmfare, (16-31 December 1983), pp. 24-28, (1-15 January 1984), pp. 24, 26-27, 29

Archive source: 

The Goddess Programmes, Victoria and Albert Theatre Museum Archive, Earl's Court, London

City of birth: 
Calcutta
Country of birth: 
India
Current name city of birth: 
Kolkata
Current name country of birth: 
India
Other names: 

Nanu Pal

Location

140 Sinclair Road
London , W14 0NJ
United Kingdom
51° 30' 4.5864" N, 0° 12' 54.3816" W
Date of death: 
09 Nov 1959
Location of death: 
Calcutta, India
Location: 

140 Sinclair Road, London

Tags for Making Britain: 

Sukhsagar Datta

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1890
About: 

Sukhsagar Datta was born in Bengal to father Dwijadas Datta and mother Muktakeshi. He was the youngest of five children. His early life and decision to move to England was very much influenced by the actions of his brother Ullaskar. In 1908, Ullaskar was arrested for making a bomb which was used in the attempted assassination of a local magistrate in Alipore; the magistrate survived but two British women died in the attack. His following death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment and he was released twelve years later. The arrest affected the careers of his father and other brother, Mohini Mohan, and as a consequence Sukhsagar was sent to England in 1908.

In London, Datta enrolled at the London Tutorial College, where he met the writer David Garnett. In The Golden Echo (1953), Garnett describes several meetings and walks with Datta and his two other Indian friends, Niranjan Pal and Ashutosh Mitter. He also describes how Datta introduced him to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar at India House, Highgate (at this time, Krishnavarma was living in Paris). After the assassination of Curzon Wyllie and once India House was closed down, Datta and Savarkar shared a flat 'over a small and extremely dirty restaurant in Red Lion Passage' (Garnett, 148). After Savarkar left for Paris, Datta stayed on a bit longer. The two must have remained in touch, though, because Savarkar persuaded Datta to join Abdul Karim’s resistance against the Spanish in Morocco. However, Datta never made it there and returned to London from Algiers. He then ended all contact with Savarkar.

Datta married Ruby Young on 25 September 1911 and the two of them moved to Milan where Datta wanted to pursue a singing career. However, they soon returned to Bristol where Datta enrolled at the Merchant Venturers' Technical College in 1913 or 1914. He graduated in 1914 and joined the University of Bristol Medical School, where he qualified as a doctor in 1920. He first worked at the Bristol General Hospital in 1920, then the Southmead Infirmary in 1921 and finally the Stapleton Institution (now called Manor Park Hospital) where he stayed until his retirement in 1956.

Datta joined the Labour Party in 1926. He was vocal during the Labour Party Conference in 1944, and passionately spoke in favour of Indian Independence. He became chair of Bristol North Labour Party in 1946. After Indian independence in August 1947, Datta founded the Bristol Indian Association. He died at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, on 3 November 1967. 

Contributions to periodicals: 

Bristol Labour Weekly, 2 December 1944; 20 January 1945

Precise DOB unknown: 
Y
Connections: 

Stafford Cripps (Datta supported Cripps' campaign for election to Parliament), Madan Lal Dhingra, David Garnett, Shyamaji Krishnavarma, Niranjan Pal, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Secondary works: 

Barot, Rohit, Bristol and the Indian Independence Movement (Bristol: Bristol Branch of the Historical Association, The University, 1988)

Barot, Rohit, 'Datta, Sukha Dagar [Sukhsagar] (1890-1967)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/73197]

Datta, David, Farewell to Empire (Monmouth: Clarke Printing, 2007)

Datta, Ullaskar, Twelve Years of Prison Life (Calcutta: Arya Publishing House, 1924)

Esmail, Aneez, 'Asian Doctors in the NHS: Service and Betrayal', The British Journal of General Practice, 57 (2007), pp. 827-34

Garnett, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto and Windus, 1953)

Hardie, Peter, Rammohan Roy: Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of His Death in Bristol on 27th September 1833 (Bristol, 1983)

Labour Party Annual Report (1944), pp. 185-9

Nandi, S., 'Datta, Ullaskar, 1885-1965', in S. P. Sen (ed.) Dictionary of National Biography (Calcutta: Institute of Historical Studies, 1972-74)

Nelson, Jean, A History of Manor Park Hospital: 150 Years of Caring, 1832-1982 (Bristol, 1982)

Political Agitators in India ([s.n.]: s.n., 19--) [http://www.archive.org/details/politicalagitato00slsnuoft]

Srivastava, Harindra, Five Stormy Years: Savarkar in London, June 1906-June 1911 (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1983)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)

Involved in events: 

Labour Party National Conference, 1944

City of birth: 
Bengal
Country of birth: 
India
Other names: 

Sukha Sagar Datta

Sukhsagar Dutt

Locations

Stapleton Hospital, Bristol , BS16 2DD
United Kingdom
51° 28' 38.3808" N, 2° 32' 33.0792" W
140 Sinclair Road
London, W14 0NJ
United Kingdom
51° 30' 4.5864" N, 0° 12' 54.3816" W
Date of death: 
03 Nov 1967
Location of death: 
Bristol, England
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1908
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1908-67

Location: 

Merchant Venturers' Technical College, Bristol

Bristol General Hospital, Bristol

Southmead Infirmary, Bristol

Manor Park Hospital, Bristol

Lala Har Dayal

Published works: 

Forty-Four Months in Germany and Turkey. February 1915 to October 1918 (London: P. S. King & Ltd, 1920)

The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (London: Kegan Paul, 1932)

Hints for Self-Culture (London: Watts & Co., 1934)

Twelve Religions and Modern Life (Edgware: Modern Culture Institute, 1938)

Date of birth: 
14 Oct 1884
About: 

Lala Har Dayal was the son of M. Gaure Dayal, Reader in Government Service.

After a MA in English and History at Punjab University, Har Dayal earned a state scholarship to study in Britain. He joined St John's College, Oxford, in October 1905 to study Sanskrit. He was the Boden Sanskrit Scholar in 1907 and the Casberd Exhibitioner (awarded £30 by the trustees at St John's College). He was a member of the St John's College debating society as well. During his Oxford student days, Har Dayal would visit India House in Highgate. He began corresponding with Shyamaji Krishnavarma and in 1907 resigned from his state scholarship on ideological grounds. His wife was also studying at Oxford with Krishnavarma's financial assistance.

He returned to India in 1908 then left again in 1909 for Paris. He travelled and lived in various countries and eventually moved to the USA in 1910 to take up a job as lecturer in Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit. In 1913 he set up the weekly paper, Ghadr, in California and was one of the founding members of the Hindustan Ghadr Party.

In 1927, Har Dayal returned to London to prepare for a doctorate in Sanskrit at the University of London. He lived in Edgware. He received his PhD in 1930 and returned to the USA. He died in Philadelphia in 1938.

Connections: 

Shyamaji Krishnavarma

Ghadr Party (California)

Precise DOB unknown: 
Y
Contributions to periodicals: 

Ghadr

Indian Sociologist

Modern Review

Secondary works: 

Brown, Emily C., Har Dayal, Hindu Revolutionary and Rationalist (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1975)

Dharmavira, Lala Har Dayal and Revolutionary Movements of his Times (New Delhi: Indian Book Company, 1970)

Dharmavira (ed.), Letters of Lala Har Dayal (Ambala Cantt.: Indian Book Agency, 1970).

Gould, Harold A., Sikhs, Swamis, Students and Spies: The India Lobby in the United States, 1900-1946 (New Delhi: Sage, 2006)

Kapila, Shruti, Har Dayal: Terror and Territory (Delhi: Routledge, 2009)

Paul, E. Jaiwant & Paul, Shubh, Har Dayal: The Great Revolutionary (New Delhi: Lotus Collection, 2003)

Archive source: 

L/PJ/6/732, L/PJ/6/732, L/PJ/6/737, L/PJ/6/822, notes relating to scholarship and resignation from scholarship, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Delhi
Country of birth: 
India

Locations

St John's College, Oxford OX1 3JP
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
Edgware HA8 2ES
United Kingdom
51° 36' 5.3136" N, 0° 16' 27.6528" W
Date of death: 
04 Mar 1939
Location of death: 
Philadelphia, USA
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1905
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1905-8, 1927-30

Tags for Making Britain: 

Madame Cama

Date of birth: 
24 Sep 1861
About: 

Madame Cama is known as the 'Mother of Indian Revolution'. She was married to Rustom Cama, a wealthy lawyer based in Bombay. Having worked as a social worker during the Bombay Plague epidemic in 1897, she became ill herself and was sent to Britain in 1901/2 for treatment.

Cama met Shyamaji Krishnavarma and became involved in European revolutionary circles. She met Dadabhai Naoroji, a moderate nationalist, and worked for him in his unsuccessful campaign to contest Lambeth North in the 1906 General Election. However, Cama identified with more radical politics than Naoroji's, in particular the Indian Home Rule Society and Krishnavarma's India House. In 1907, she attended the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart. Cama addressed the delegates at Stuttgart and unfolded the Indian Tricolour Flag (green, yellow and red) with Bande Mataram written on the middle. This was the first time an Indian flag was displayed in a foreign country and was part of the template for the tricolour adopted by the Indian nation.

In 1909, Cama settled in Paris and began publishing a monthly journal called Bande Mataram after the assassination of Sir Curzon-Wyllie. Her house became a meeting point for various revolutionaries and exiles (Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, V. D. Savarkar, members of the Ghadr Party) and she met many Indians when they came through Europe (Jawaharlal Nehru, Herabai Tata, Mithan Lam). Cama herself was an exile from India until she renounced seditionist activities. The portrayal of the revolutionary Indian wife Kamala in Alice Sorabji Pennell’s Doorways of the East appears to be based on the life and character of Madame Cama. In November 1935, she returned to Bombay and died nine months later.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Bande Mataram

Secondary works: 

Mody, Nawaz B. (ed.), The Parsis in Western India: 1818-1920 (Bombay: Allied Publishers Ltd, 1998)

Saha, Panchanan, Madame Cama 'Mother of Indian Revolution' (Calcutta: Manisha, 1975)

Sethna, Khorshed Adi, Madame Bhikaiji Rustom Cama (New Delhi: Govt. of India, 1987)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Visram, Rozina, Women in India and Pakistan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992)

Yajnik, Indulal, Shyamaji Krishnavarma (Bombay: Lakshmi Publications, 1950)

Archive source: 

India Office intelligence files, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Bombay
Country of birth: 
India
Current name city of birth: 
Mumbai
Other names: 

Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

Bhikai Sorab Patel

Location

44 St Marks Road
North Kensington, London, W10 6JT
United Kingdom
51° 31' 8.8896" N, 0° 13' 2.5968" W
Date of death: 
13 Aug 1936
Location of death: 
Bombay (Mumbai), India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1901
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1901-9 (on and off)

Tags for Making Britain: 

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

About: 

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born in 1883 in Bhagur village to father Damodarpant and mother Radhabai; he had two brothers, Ganesh and Narayan, and a sister, Mainabai. He was educated at the local Shivaji High School before he enrolled in the Ferguson College, Poona, in 1902. Here he involved himself in Indian nationalist politics before being expelled from college for his activities. He was permitted to take his BA degree and with the help of Shyamaji Krishnavarma attained a scholarship to study law at Gray's Inn in London.

He embarked for London on 9 June 1906 and arrived in London on 3 July where he immediately found lodging at India House in Highgate. He became a protege of the founder of India House, Shyamaji Krishnavarma. Savarkar soon founded the Free India Society, based on the thoughts of the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini (Savarkar had written a biography of Mazzini). The Society held regular meetings every Sunday where they celebrated Indian festivals and patriots, discussed Indian political problems, and how to overthrow the yoke of the British in India. Savarkar also sent bomb manuals off to India. Savarkar advocated a war for independence and in 1909 his work The Indian War of Independence was published, but it was immediately banned by the British government. The militancy of Savarkar left him and Gandhi at odds when Gandhi visited the House in October 1906.

In early May 1907, Savarkar organized the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 at Tilak House, 78 Goldsmith Avenue, Acton, London. Students wore badges with the legend 'Honour to the Martyrs of 1857'. Skirmishes broke out and the press blamed Krishnavarma who subsequently left London for Paris and left management of the House to Savarkar. Savarkar aligned the cause of Indian independence with the Irish and other overseas freedom movements andnotably met V. I. Lenin.

On 1 July 1909, on the steps of the Imperial Institute in London, Sir William Curzon Wyllie was shot by Madan Lal Dhingra; Captain Cawas Lalkaka tried to defend Curzon-Wyllie and was also shot. Savarkar was not present but had according to some sources provided Dhingra with the revolver (Srivastava, p. 151). While most of the Indian community condemned Dhingra's action, Savarkar applauded it. Dhingra was sentenced to death. After the assassination, life became more difficult for Savarkar in London and he finally left London for Paris in early January 1910. Meanwhile, a warrant was issued for Savarkar's arrest in England. He returned to London on 13 March 1910 and was immediately sent to Brixton Jail. It was decided that he should stand trial in India, and on 1 July he embarked on the S.S. Morea. As the ship lay outside Marseilles, Savarkar escaped to French territory. The British tried to recapture him on French soil and the incident became a celebrated case in international law. He eventually arrived in Bombay on 22 July and was immediately taken to jail. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

He arrived in the Andaman Islands in July 1911 where he stayed until 1921, when he was moved to Ratnagiri, Bombay Presidency, where he was imprisoned until 1924 and interned until 1937. During his imprisonment, he wrote Hindutva: What is a Hindu?.  After 1937, Savarkar continued his anti-Muslim, anti-British politics and became the ideological alternative to Gandhi's non-violence politics, as President of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha. He remained a huge political influence until his death in Bombay in 1966.

Published works: 

The Indian War of Independence of 1857 (London: [S.I.], 1909)

Who Is a Hindu?, 4th edn (Poona: S. P. Gokhale, 1949) [1923]

An Echo From Andamans (Bombay: V. V. Kelkar, 1924)

Hindu-Pad-Padashahi; or, a Review of the Hindu Empire of Maharashta (Madras: B. G. Paul & Co., 1925)

Presidential Speech (Lahore: Central Hindu Yuvak Sabha, 1938)

Hindu Sanghatan: Its Ideology and Immediate Programme (Bombay: N. V. Damle, 1940)

Presidential Address at the 23rd Session of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Bhagalpur, 1941 A.D. (Poona: Maharashtra Provincial Hindusabha Office, 1942)

Hindu Rashtra Darshan: A Collection of the Presidential Speeches Delivered from the Hindu Mahasabha Platform (Bombay: L. G. Khare, 1949)

The Story of my Transportation for Life (Bombay: Sadbhakti Publications, 1950) [1927]

Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya, 6 vols (1963–4) [collected works, vols. 1–4 in Marathi, 5–6 in Eng.]

Historic Statements, ed. by G. M. Joshi (Bombay Popular Prakashan, 1967)

Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History [by] Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, trans. and ed. by S. T. Godbole, 1st edn (Bombay: Bal Savarkar; New Delhi: Rajdhani Granthagar, 1971)

Savarakara Samagra (Dilli: Prabhata Prakasana, 2000-)

Date of birth: 
28 May 1883
Connections: 

Mirza Abbas (India House), M. P. T. Acharya (India House), Asaf Ali, Senapati Bapat (Pandurang Mahadev) (India House), Subramanya Bharati, Bhikaiji Rustom Cama, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Hemchandra Das, Sukhsagar Datta (Dutt) (shared a flat in Red Lion Passage), Madan Lal Dhingra, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, David Garnett, Komre Gavarkar, Campbell Green (a correspondent for the Sunday Chronicle; met Savarkar at India House), Shyamaji Krishnavarma, Lala Hardayal, Sikandar Hayat (visited Savarkar in jail),  B. P. S. Iyer, J. C. Mukharji (India House), I. G. Mukherji, Niranjan Pal, Bhai Parmanand (India House), W. P. Phadke, T. S. Rajan, Sardar Singh Rana (India House), Harnam Singh (met on the Persia going to London), M. P. Sinha, K. V. R Swami, Gyanchand Varma (India House), Hotilal Varma, Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie (met at the India Office)

Secondary works: 

Anand, Vidyasagar, Savarkar: A Study in the Evolution of Indian Nationalism (London: Woolf, 1967) 

Bakshi, S. R., V. D. Savarkar (New Delhi: Anmol Publications, 1993)

Chaudhary, S. K., Great Political Thinker: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (New Delhi: Sonali Publications, 2008)

Chitragupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar (Madras: B. G. Paul & Co., 1926)

Deshpande, Sudhakar, Savarkar: The Prophetic Voice (Pune: Dastane Ramchandra & Co, 1999) 

Fryer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984) 

Garnett, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953)

Godbole, V. S., Rationalism of Veer Savarkar (Thane, India: Itihas Patrika Prakashan, 2004)

Gosain, Saligram, Stormy Savarkar: The Revolutionary Who Jumped the Ship (Delhi: Vijay Goel, 2005)

Islam, Shamsul, Savarkar: Myths and Facts (Delhi: Media House, 2004)

Keer, Dhananjay, Savarkar and His Times (Bombay: A. V. Keer, 1950)

Longuet, Jean, Mémoire Présenté à la Cour d'Arbitrage de La Haye au nom de M. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar par Me J. Longuet (Paris, 1911)

Misra, Amalendu, Identity and Religion: Foundations of Anti-Islamism in India (New Delhi; London: Sage Publications, 2004)

Noorani, Abdul Gafoor Abdul Majeed, Savarkar and Hindutva: The Godse Connection (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2002)

Sarkar, Sumit, 'Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar (1883–1966)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/47751]

Singh, K. Jagjit, Savarkar Commemoration Volume (Bombay: Savarkar Darshan Pratishthan, 1989)

Srivastava, Harindra, Five Stormy Years: Savarkar in London (June 1906-June 1911) (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1983)

Srivastava, Harinda, 'The Epic Sweep of V. D. Savarkar : An Analytical Study of the Epic Sweep in the Life and Literature of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar' (PhD Thesis - Nagpur University, 1989., Savarkar Punruththan Sansthan, 1993)

Trehan, Jyoti, Veer Savarkar: Thought and Action of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications, 1991)

Vaidya, Prem, Savarkar: A Lifelong Crusader (New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd, 1996)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)

Archive source: 

Nehru Memorial Library, New Delhi

City of birth: 
Bhagur
Country of birth: 
India
Other names: 

Veer Savarkar

Locations

Red Lion Passage, London
WC1R 4SE
United Kingdom
51° 31' 8.8608" N, 0° 7' 1.1532" W
65 Cromwell Avenue, Highgate
N6 5HH
United Kingdom
51° 34' 12.9684" N, 0° 8' 29.1084" W
Date of death: 
26 Feb 1966
Location of death: 
Bombay
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
03 Jul 1906
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

3 July 1906 - 1 July 1910

Tags for Making Britain: 

Madan Lal Dhingra

Example: 

Daily News, 18 August 1909

Date of birth: 
18 Sep 1883
About: 

Madan Lal Dhingra was the sixth of seven children of a civil surgeon. All six sons studied abroad. In June 1906, Dhingra left Amritsar for Britain. He enrolled in University College, London, to study engineering.

Dhingra arrived in London a year after the foundation of Shyamaji Krishnavarma's India House. This organization in Highgate was a meeting place for Indian radicals. They had weekly meetings, which Dhingra would often attend. V. D. Savarkar became manager of India House and inspired Dhingra's admiration in the cult of assassination. However, Dhingra became aloof from India House and was known to undertake shooting practice at a range on Tottenham Court Road. On 1 July 1909, he attended an 'At Home' hosted by the National Indian Association at the Imperial Institute. At the end of the event, as the guests were leaving, Dhingra shot Sir Curzon-Wyllie, an India Office official, at close range. His bullets also hit Dr Lalcaca, a Parsee doctor, who was killed.

Dhingra was immediately arrested. At his trial, Dhingra represented himself, although he did not recognize the legitimacy of the court. He claimed that he had murdered Curzon-Wyllie as a patriotic act and in revenge for the inhumane killings of Indians by the British Government in India. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed at Pentonville Prison on 17 August 1909.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Daily News, 18 August 1909

Content: 

The end of the statement written by Dhingra that was published after his execution.

Connections: 

Curzon-Wyllie, David Garnett (met briefly at India House and arranged publication of Dhingra's statement in Daily News), Shyamaji Krishnavarma, V. D. Savarkar.

Extract: 

The only lesson required in India today is to learn how to die and the only way to teach it is by dying ourselves, and so, I die and glory in my Martyrdom. Bande Mataram.

Secondary works: 

Datta, V. N., Madan Lal Dhingra and the Revolutionary Movement (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1978)

Dhingra, Leena, ‘Dhingra, Madan Lal (1883–1909)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/71628]

Garnet, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

Criminal Files, National Archives, Kew

L/P&J/6/986, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

Assassination of Sir William Hutt Curzon-Wyllie at Imperial Institute, South Kensington, 1 July 1909.

City of birth: 
Amritsar
Country of birth: 
India

Locations

Pentonville Prison London, N7 8TT
United Kingdom
51° 32' 52.1304" N, 0° 6' 47.4012" W
108 Ledbury Road Bayswater
London, W11 2AG
United Kingdom
51° 30' 59.8968" N, 0° 11' 59.4528" W
Date of death: 
17 Aug 1909
Location of death: 
Pentonville Prison, London, England
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1906
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1906-9

Shyamaji Krishnavarma

Published works: 

Editor of Indian Sociologist, 1905-14, 1920-2

Introduction to Richard Congreve’s pamphlet, India [Denying England’s right to retain her possessions], first published in 1857; reprinted with Krishnavarma’s introduction (London: A. Bonner, 1907)

Various articles on Sanskrit and Indology

Date of birth: 
04 Oct 1857
About: 

Shyamaji Krishnavarma first came to Britain in 1879 as a Sanskrit scholar and assistant to Professor Monier Williams at Oxford. He graduated from Balliol College in 1883 and was called to the Bar in 1884. In 1881, he attended the Berlin Congress of Orientalists.

Krishnavarma returned to India to work in service to the Indian Princely States and then returned to England in 1897, settling with his wife at Highgate. They first lived at a house he bought at 9 Queenswood Avenue. He endowed an annual lecture in honour of Herbert Spencer in 1904, after attending the funeral service of Herbert Spencer in Golders Green in December 1903. He also created scholarships for Indian students to study in Britain from 1905, on the condition that they would not work for the British Government.

In February 1905, Krishnavarma founded the Indian Home Rule Society. He then established India House in Highgate (at 65 Cromwell Avenue) in the same year (July 1905), as a hostel for Indian students, which became a meeting-place for Indian revolutionaries in London. Krishnavarma fled to Paris in 1907 to avoid arrest and censure by the British Government in relation to his published inflammatory material, such as the journal The Indian Sociologist, and the political activities of India House. He was also disbarred from Inner Temple. After a lapse between 1914 and 1920, Krishnavarma began to publish The Indian Sociologist again from Geneva until 1922. He died in Geneva in 1930.

Connections: 

Madame Cama, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Sukhsagar Datta, Charlotte Despard (through India House), Maud Gonne, H. M. Hyndman (through India House), Benjamin Jowett (from his time in Oxford), Monier Monier Williams, Max Müller, Dadabhai Naoroji (through India House), V. D. Savarkar (India House), Herbert Spencer (attended his funeral).

Secondary works: 

Padhya, Hemant, 'Shyamji Krishnavarma' (unpublished, contact author) [H. Padhya also holds an archive of material relating to Krishnavarma]

Yajnik, Indulal, Shyamaji Krishnavarma: Life and Times of an Indian Revolutionary, foreword by Sarat Chandra Bose (Bombay: Lakshmi Publications, 1950)

Varma, Ganeshi Lal, Shyamji Krishna Varma: the Unknown Patriot (New Delhi: Govt. of India, 1993)

Involved in events: 

Foundation of Indian Institute, Oxford, 2 May 1883 (see The Oxford Chronicle and Berks and Bucks Gazette, 5 May 1883)

Foundation of India House, Highgate, 1 July 1905 (see The Indian Sociologist, August 1905)

Archive source: 

IOR/L/I/1/1432, India Office Records, Asian and African Collections Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Private collection, Hemant Padhya

City of birth: 
Mandavi, Kutch, Gujarat
Country of birth: 
India
Other names: 

Shyamji Krishnavarma

Locations

Balliol College, Oxford OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
65 Cromwell Avenue, Highgate
N6 5HH
United Kingdom
51° 34' 12.9684" N, 0° 8' 29.1084" W
9 Queenswood Avenue (60 Muswell Hill Road), Highgate
N10 3JE
United Kingdom
51° 35' 8.8512" N, 0° 8' 48.6564" W
Date of death: 
30 Mar 1930
Location of death: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Apr 1879
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Y
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1879-85, 1897-1907

David Garnett

About: 

David Garnett, the son of Edward Garnett and Constance Black, was well-connected in literary circles and with Socialist and revolutionary European exiles in his youth. Garnett was a writer and publisher, and involved with the Bloomsbury Group. He was editor of the New Statesman from 1932 to 1934.

Garnett met his first Indian while preparing for the London Matriculation at the London Tutorial College in Red Lion Square. He met a young Bengali, Dutt (Sukhsagar Datta), who introduced him to his friends, Ashutosh Mitter and Niranjan Pal (playwright and son of Bepin Chandra Pal). Garnett became close friends with these young Indians, meeting them at various times in London and taking them down to his family's home in Caerne. At some point after 1907, Dutt took Garnett to India House in Highgate, where he was introduced to V. D. Savarkar and spoke to Madan Lal Dhingra briefly.

After the murder of Curzon Wyllie in July 1909, Savarkar asked Garnett to publish Dhingra's statement, which Garnett passed on to Robert Lloyd at the Daily News where it appeared the next morning. Attracted by Savarkar's 'extraordinary personal magnetism', Garnett would meet him regularly, and when Savarkar was arrested and put into Brixton Gaol, Garnett visited him there. Garnett takes credit for hatching a plan to help Savarkar escape from prison, enlisting the help of Indian exiles in Paris. The plan was foiled when his family found out about it, despite Maud Gonne's attempts to warn Garnett. When Savarkar returned to India, Garnett severed all ties with him.

Published works: 

The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953)

Date of birth: 
09 Mar 1892
Contributions to periodicals: 

Daily News

New Statesman

Secondary works: 

Partridge, Frances, ‘Garnett, David (1892–1981)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2009) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31138]

Archive source: 

Papers, University of Texas, Austin

Correspondence with Constance and Edward Garnett, Eton College, Berkshire

Correspondence, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Correspondence, University of Reading

Involved in events: 

Aborted attempt to help V. D. Savarkar escape from Brixton Gaol, 1910

City of birth: 
Brighton
Country of birth: 
England
Date of death: 
17 Feb 1981
Location of death: 
France
Subscribe to RSS - India House