S. R. Rana
Sardar Singh Rewabhai Rana (1878–1957), often abbreviated 'S.R. Rana', was an Indian political activist, founding member of the Paris Indian Society and the vice-president of the Indian Home Rule Society.
Singh Rewabhai Rana was born to a high-caste Rajput family in the Kathiawar district, and was a claimant to the throne of the princely state of Limbdi, hence also Rana's title of 'Sardar'. Rana was educated at Elphinstone College, graduating with a baccalaureate from Bombay University in 1898.
In 1899, Rana left for Paris, where he began a jewellery business trading in pearls. He is known to have lived with a German woman who – although she was not married to him – came to be known as Mrs. Rana. It was at this time that Rana came to associate with Indian nationalist politicians, including Lala Lajpat Rai who is known to have visited Paris and stayed with the Ranas. In 1905, Rana became one of the founding-members of the Indian Home Rule Society, of which he was the vice president. Together with Munchershah Burjorji Godrej and Bhikaji Cama he founded the Paris Indian Society that same year as an extension of the Indian Home Rule Society on the European continent. As Shyamji Krishna Varma did also, Rana announced three scholarships in memory of Rana Pratap Singh for Indian students, each worth Rs 2,000.
Together with Cama he came to develop close links with the French and Russian Socialist movements. and with her attended the second Socialist Congress at Stuttgart in 1907. From then on, he was a regular contributor to Bande Mataram (published by Cama from Paris) and The Talvar (from Berlin), which were then smuggled into India.
The years immediately prior to World War I were however the turning point for Rana's personal and political life. Along with his dying son Ranjit and his German Wife, he was expelled by the French Government to Martinique in 1911. The activities of the Paris Indian Society were curtailed under pressure from the French Sûreté, and finally suspended in 1914. His wife was also refused permission to enter France for a cancer operation.
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