History determines political events, which in turn, demand an institutional expression. So it was with the India House in London, the rendezvous of the revolutionaries abroad. Behind it, we find the indefatigable endeavour of one Shyamji Krishna Verma. He was a Kathiawari by birth, Arya Samajist by earlier faith, turned a revolutionary by the changing events around him. Ultimately, he died, only in the physical frame, on the 31st March 1930. His wife, Bhanumati, followed her husband, also in Geneva, on the 22nd August 1923. They had no children.
Though a patriot to the core of his heart, he was not happy with the Congress. He did not join the British Committee of the Indian National Congress. It was in 1899 that one could detect his political inclination. The anti-British war had started in South Africa. Suddenly people found the name of one Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (not yet a Mahatma) practising as a Barrister in Natal. He chose to organise a pro-British Volunteer Corps. The Boer leaders were pained at it and Shyamji was ashamed because he was an Indian and both were Gujaratis. He was already an admirer of Herbert Spencer and his inspiring words; "Resistance to aggression is not only justifiable but also imperative." This became Krishna Verma's Jap-Mantra (Motto). In September 1904, standing before the grave of Spencer at his first death anniversary, he announced a few scholarships to outstanding students but on one condition that they would not accept any service under the government, which was exploiting and suppressing Indians. To facilitate his activities the India House was formally founded on a freehold land at High Gate, a healthy suburb close to tram and easily accessible to three railway stations. A galaxy of luminaries was present on the occasion, from Dadabhai Naoroji, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Madame Cama. Hyndman of the Social Democratic Federation presided and declared the House open.
Hyndman told in his stirring words;
"Unfortunately, Indians have failed to see the ruinous effect of the drain from India They have hugged their chains. They have been too content to be patronized. East India Association itself was captured by Anglo-Indians. All this will be the high privilege of the India House to largely remedy. From England herself nothing to be hoped for."
"It is the immoderate men, the determined men, the fanatical men, who will work out the salvation of India herself. The Institution of this India House means a great step in that direction of India's growth, and emancipation."
The recipient of various fellowship did not take long to join the institution and work wholeheartedly for the coming revolution. The most outstanding was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who arrived in the middle of 1906. Weekly meetings of Abhinav Bharat Mandal were held on Sundays. The tone of his speeches became more and more inspiring, even inciting. Those less interested in revolution slowly dropped out. Outstanding Indians in London were called in to protest against British Barbarism at a political conference at Barisal, (in Bangladesh now). Those Indians included V.J.Patel (the elder brother of Sardar Patel), and Bhai Parmanand. Indian students from the Cambridge and Oxford universities thronged to listen and strengthen the process. These ardent members of the India House were Veer Savarkar, Madame Cama, Sardar Singh Rana, V.V.S. Iyer and Virendranath Chattopadhaya. Of the younger ones was one Madhanlal Dhingra who became the first Indian martyr on the British soil. He had murdered Sir Curzon Vyllie on the 1st July 1909 and hanged in the Pentoville jail on the 17th May 1909.
With Dhingra's action, the wrath of our rulers was quick in descending on the India House. The leaders had already shifted to Paris and their revolutionary activities found a new leader, Champak Raman Pillai who was already in Berlin. They had a new organisation, the Berlin Committee. Some words may be said about the Indian Sociologist. Long before the UNESCO Preamble wrote the immortal words that 'War starts in the minds of men' Shyamji Krishna Verma did think of it and realised that 'revolution also start in the minds of men' and came out with his one-penny pamphlet, 'The Indian Sociologist' on 1st January 1909 to propagate the cause of liberty and resistance to aggression. His emphasis was the fight for Indian Independence through an armed revolution abroad.
In the very first page were written in bold letters Spencer's inspiring words; "RESISTANCE TO AGGRESSION IS NOT SIMPLY JUSTIFIABLE BUT IMPERATIVE." But the tone and tenor of the pamphlet were such that he had to shift it to Paris. Himself, he had changed his own residence and centre of other activities to the home of French Revolution. The pamphlet continued its publication, with many obstacles in its way, till the middle of 1914. The paper, in English and French, continued till it stopped regular publication due mostly to the First Great war. But some occasional publication had been there even when he shifted to Geneva. But due mainly to the infirmity of age, the publication was finally stopped in 1923.