Jayanta Guha, Chicotoumi


Our heartfelt condolences to you and the family…  I still have an excellent memory of your father’s [Daya’s] kindness and encouragement in support of my artistic activities.

Kabir Sheikh, Delhi


I am in London for a meeting and just heard the news off the internet although mum had told me about frailness. Feeling very sad. I remember the first time I spent some time with him – walking in a park in Montreal in 2002, when I was there for a conference…Now that I think about it, that afternoon was formative for me. It confirmed that it was both necessary and possible to think about public health through a social science lens, and at the same time to combine the compassion of a healer with the zeal of an activist. His utter modesty masked his eminence for me as a callow youth and made him approachable. Only later I learnt of all his achievements and multifaceted career, including his immense efforts for the Bhopal gas victims. He did me the honor of inviting my comments on his recent book, which was a tour de force…I am one among probably many people on whom Daya had a profound and quiet impact.


Bernard Robaire, Montreal 


We were very saddened to learn of Daya’s passing.  His presence, contributions, kindness and support were very important and appreciated by both of us.  Our “neighbour” on the ground floor of the McIntyre stimulated to always think beyond the traditional limits.  He was a pillar we could always count on, whether for discussing data, politics, or for teaching any topic he was asked to.  He always had firm convictions and had an inner sense of what was right and what was wrong.  He was admired by many in the Department.  It is hard to believe that he will not be dropping for another conversation in the near future.


Rosalind Boyd , Montreal


I am so sorry to learn of Daya’s death…He and I first met during the demonstrations related to General Chaudhuri’s military research at CDAS in 1969. From that time on, I always had great respect for his political commitments, his activism, and his kind compassionate manner.


Sudhir Joshi, Toronto


It is with great regret and sadness, I announce the passing away of my friend, my mentor and my political guru, Daya Varma. I learned from him the way to think and analyse. A tireless worker, a poor peasant’s son who went on to accomplish so much. I mourn for him!


Leonard Chindelevitch, Boston/Cambridge, MA


I just found out from Tamara about your father’s [Daya’s] passing – he was a very inspiring man, who was the one who made me discover the story of Bhopal, and I know that it will not be possible to replace him. My thoughts are with you and your entire family at this difficult time, and please accept my most heartfelt condolences!


Cheryl Braganza, Montreal 


I do not check FB very regularly but was shocked to see this morning that your dear father [Daya] had passed away.  Please accept my very sincere condolences to the whole family for this sad loss….His passing is meaningful for me as we were connected through Reason & Medicine, a powerful and detailed book that he worked on so diligently.   Also I am grateful for the time I spent at their home in St. John’s in 2010 and took special note of his devotion to his family pet whom he lost a few months later.


Anjali Abraham, Montreal


I heard the sad news about Daya and am writing to send my condolences, along with Peter. Even though I didn’t have a chance to see Daya over the last few years, I will miss him.   I was just thinking how Daya was one person who was so supportive about my work as a Math teacher…and would have been happy to know that I’m back in the high school math classroom these days.


But above all Daya was a huge inspiration on so many other levels, especially in those first few years when I moved to Montreal. I will miss his activism, his humor, his gentleness and care for those around him.  I feel so fortunate to have known and learnt from him.


T.K. Gopalan, Chennai


I recall my meeting Daya in 1993 and being impressed by his self effacing modesty which camouflaged his learning, besides his other great traits.  I join Raghu in offering my deepest sympathies…


Adrian Sculptoreanu, San Francisco


I am so sorry. Daya was very dear to me I thought of him as a substitute father. He was always helpful and supportive. I will always remember him. Please accept my condolences!

Muriel Gold Poole, Montreal


I was very sorry to learn the sad news…Daya’s death.  I know that all the members of our MCRTW committee will want to be informed of this news, and in the meantime, I send…my personal condolences.  We can see from the tribute enclosed that Daya was an important and influential man, both as a social activist, and an academic.


May Chiu, Montreal

I didn’t know Daya very well but I do know well all the people in Montreal on whom he made a great impact, and the progressive community in Montreal has been left with a gaping hole.


In his memory, we will continue to demonstrate against the austerity measures in Quebec, and for all the forms of social justice that he had held so dearly.


Raja (Prasun Lala), Montreal 


I am very sad to hear about the passing of Daya…I feel very privileged that I not only had the chance of knowing Daya and being exposed to his ideas in a social / political setting but also had the chance of being taught by him at McGill and learning from him in an academic environment. His vital approach to any task at hand, his commitment to the betterment of those around him, and unique way of thinking are all qualities that will be sorely missed – as of course will he.


Lalita Rajan, Hyderabad


it is shattering to think Daya is no more. I am struggling to type words on to the screen and can’t think of anything to say except I will miss him, his warmth and generosity, his humor and eternal commitment to radical politics. He will be missed by everyone.


Aftab Niazi, Delhi

Another good old time friend gone. I cannot help recall the days when he was a student and later as a full fledged doctor at King Georges Medical College, Lucknow. I was from Kanpur, studying in Aligarh and later in Bangalore and Kanpur. We came together as members of the Students Federation and the Communist Party as well as because of my sister Bano who was his senior in the college.

He left for Montreal when I was in Bangalore. The contact of 1950s got broken and after that we met only occasionally when he came to India. I, however, kept myself informed about him and his activities.

He will be remembered for what he did and for what he was.

Irfan Engineer, Mumbai


I didn’t meet Daya Varma. Had only heard about him and his passion for peace, secularism and justice for the oppressed. We are losing committed human beings one by one. I don’t know how the loss can be overcome. But we have to carry on the legacy and great work. Proud of Daya Varma’s life well lived. Something for all of us to learn. May his soul rest in peace and his inspiration make us all restless and inspire us to achieve the objectives we all share.


Ram Puniyani, Mumbai

Very sad to hear about Dr. Varma’s passing away. My heartfelt condolences.  Its a big loss to our movement.


Javeed Mirza, New York


I am extremely sad to hear the passing away of Daya. He will be remembered for his unstinting work in the service of India’s Poor. May his effort likewise encourage us to strive hard.


Muslim Harji, Montreal


Daya was a great soul, and will be missed dearly. Our prayers for his soul to rest in eternal peace, Ameen.


Catherine Pappas, Montreal


I was so saddened to learn about Daya today, and have been thinking about you since.  You and Daya have been such an inspiration in my life, and probably in many others. He will always remain in our hearts.

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