Shyamji Krishnavarma, Pt. (1857-1945), If the true and precise history of Indian Freedom Struggle was written and taught to the people of India after independence, the name of Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma would not have been unfamiliar to the general public of India. His name should be on the front page of the chapters of Indian Freedom Struggle in 19th century as Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma initiated the movement in London in 1905, twenty years before Gandhiji entered into the politics of Indian independence. He advocated the principle of non-cooperation & movement in his newspaper 13 years before Gandhiji put it into practice calling the movement Satyagrah. Although Pandit Shymaji preached non-violence movement for the Indian Independence, he never ruled out the use of arms and violence if required to free his Motherland from British occupation.
Pandit Shyamji Krishnavarma was a great patriot and political propagandist of Bharat -India. He will be remembered in the history of the freedom movement of Bharat as a great revolutionary journalist, writer and a maker of freedom fighters and the most inspiring genius of freedom movement for Indian youths. Fired with a deep patriotic urge and nationalist emotion, Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma launched the freedom movement in England in 1905, two decades before Gandhiji entered into freedom movement of Bharat. He was not only a great freedom fighter and inspirer but also a great and profound Sanskrit & English scholar. Professor (Sir) Monier Williams held very high respect for Shyamaji. In his testimonial he said, "Assuredly no English or European teacher could possibly be his equal in expounding the grammar of Indian languages according to the principles of native grammarians. I may add that I know no other Pandit who combines a considerable knowledge of Greek and Latin with great Sanskrit attainments. A famous indologist professor Max Muller also spoke very highly of Shyamji. Pandit Shyamaji sacrificed his whole life and earnings for the freedom of his motherland from the foreign rule of British Imperialism. He was a brave and committed comrade who made his headquarter right in the heart of British Empire, their capital, London, to fight against British Rule in India. He was one of the foremost leaders of New Nationalist Movement during the most critical years of awakening Indian mass. He carried out rigorous propaganda in Europe for the cause of Freedom Movement of Bharat.
Shyamji was born in a historic year of 1857 when the first war of Indian Independence was fought against British Imperialism, where thousands of freedom fighters sacrificed their life to liberate their Motherland from foreign rule. Shyamaji was borne 30th October 1857 in Mandavi of Kutchh province, according to the official register in Geneva. His Father, Karasan Bhanushali, known by nickname " Bhulo Bhanushali" was economically poor. He worked as labourer for cotton Press Company exporting cotton abroad. His mother, Gomatibai was very brave and pious lady. Shyamji was very intelligent from his childhood. He completed his primary and secondary education in Mandavi and Bhuj in Kutchh Province. He came to Mumbai for further education and joined Wilson High School. He had a great love for Sanskrit from his childhood. He acquired his preliminary lessons in Sanskrit language from Shri Bhu Bhu Pandya in Mandavi. He acquired further knowledge of Sanskrit language in great depth from Shashtri Vishvanath of Mumbai & mastered the language.
In 1876, he came in touch with Swami Dayanand Saraswati, an exponent of Vedas, radical reformer, and staunch nationalist and founder of Arya Samaj. He became his disciple. Swamiji was very impressed with Shyamji's knowledge of Sanskrit and religious literatures. He guided and inspired Shyamji to conduct lectures on Vedic Philosophy and Religion. In 1877, Shyamji toured all over Bharat propagating the philosophy of Vedas. This tour secured him a great public recognition all over Bharat and many prominent scholars admired him for his knowledge and speeches. He was the first non-Brahmin, who was conferred the prestigious title of Pandit by the Pandits of Kashi. Professor Monier Williams, learned Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, attended the lecture of Pandit Shyamaji in Mumbai. He was so impressed with Shyamaji's deep knowledge, mastery and his oratory excellence over Sanskrit Language and literatures. He saw a great potential in this young man and offered Shyamaji a job as his assistant in first instance.
Shyamji arrived in England in 1879 on invitation of professor Monier Williams of Oxford University. He joined professor William as his assistant. Shyamji also joined Balliol College on 25th April 1979 with the recommendation of professor Williams. He passed his BA in 1883. He was invited to read papers on "the origin of writing in India" by the secretary of Royal Asiatic Society. Pandit Shyamji's speech was very well received there and he was elected as a non-resident member of the society. In 1881 he was sent by the secretary of state for India to represent the learned of his country at Berlin Congress of Orientalists. There he not only read his own paper on the subject of "Sanskrit as a living language of India", but also he read the patriotic Sanskrit poem sent by RamDas Sena, a learned Zamindar of Behrampur, and translated it into English for audience. This patriotic poem might have created the spark of patriotism in Shyamji. In 1982 Shyamji was elected as honorary member of "Empire Club". In England, he came across many thinkers, Philosophers and scholars and they all admired this genius young man from India. Indologist Max Muller and vice chancellor of Oxford University, Dr B Jowett thought very highly of Shyamji. He returned to India in the end of 1883 and came back with his wife Bhanumati.
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