Monday, October 21, 2013


Evelyn Trent was not ignored but she was not, given the importance due to her. After the demise of her second husband she returned to Auburn, California and settled down in Linden Avenue.
Albert Einstein, in his capacity as Chairman and Trustee of Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists requested for Evelyn's help and at once she responded. Einstein thanked her on behalf of his colleagues for her generous response in the great educational task undertaken by the committee. He appreciated her practical support and goodwill. Einstein expressed hope for a reasonable solution to the problem of nuclear bombs (35).
Evelyn was keen to read the memoirs of M.N. Roy, which were serialized in the Radical Humanist, a weekly. Roy did not mention anything about Evelyn though he covered exactly that period. We do not know the reaction of Evelyn sit-ice she had never expressed anything about it. (36).
Richard Park, an expert on Indian Communism referred his study to Evelyn Trent. She responded saying that there were many misinterpretations and errors. She questioned the sources and said that simply because something appeared in print, that should not be taken as authentic unless verified. She pointed out the glaring mistakes to Richard.. Park. She denied the false accusations of Mr Chakravarthy, the Indian revolutionary, and she described his writings as imaginary.
Commenting on M.N. Roy in her letter to Park, she said that Roy played a considerable role in the Indian Revolutionary movement at an intellectual level: Evelyn paid glorious tributes to Roy in commenting that Roy was the first to dignify it with a philosophy and literature which became widely recognized. Evelyn wanted to admire Roy and not vilify his great role. She said that Roy passed through many evolutionary phases in his own development and had the capacity to learn. Evelyn condemned those who accept the views of Lt. Col. Kaye, the British police agent who was not impartial in estimating Roy. She asked Park not to do disservice by hostile interpretations of Roy's integrity and sincerity in the development of the Indian revolutionary movement {3 ).
Robert C. North who studied the mission of Roy in China approached Evelyn Trent in 1957 and was in touch with her till her last days. North wanted several details from Evelyn and sent a lengthy questionnaire but Evelyn asked him to meet her personally for discussions instead of putting anything in writing. Accordingly Prof. North visited her and held discussions with her in Auburn.
Prof. Sibnarayan Ray corresponded with Evelyn in 1958. Ellen Roy, the second wife of M.N. Roy, recommended Sibnarayan Ray to Evelyn. Robert C. North wanted to bring M.N. Roy alive without doing any violence to the truth and at the same time wished to protect Evelyn who wanted to keep her privacy. Prof. North sent her many questions about Roy's trip to Tashkent, Spain, Europe and Russia. Evelyn never failed to respond to Prof North and pointed out the mistakes and questioned the authenticity of the sources. But she always admired the work of North.
Several scholars in the world tried to reach Evelyn through Prof. North. Nathaniel Weyl, who published several critical books on communist movements, approached North for help from Evelyn. Similarly, Muzaffar Ahmed too approached Prof North through correspondence. Prof North forwarded the letters to Evelyn but she did not respond to their directly.
Mr. P.C. Joshi, who was in Jawaharlal Nehru University wanted to write a book: on the Indian Communist movement tried to contact Evelyn through Walter Hauser, professor at the University of Virginia. North referred all those letters to her. Sibnarayan Ray requested Evelyn to write her memoirs but she never obliged. Evelyn informed Prof. North that her apartment in Auburn was burnt down in 1963 and all her papers were destroyed in fire. She asked him to be discreet in giving her address to others. She later used the post box address system. When she was in her 70s, Evelyn attended night school in Auburn to learn some courses and she worked for Placer country welfare department. Evelyn never retired from work till her death!
Innaiah Narisetti

EVELIN TRENT-continued--


When M.N.Roy was arrested by British Authorities in India, Einstein issued a statement. Einstein as a great physist, and Nobel prize winner was known to M.N. Roy in Germany. During late 1920s M.N. Roy had contact with Einstein. With that background Einstein took note of Roy's arrest and made a public statement.
The Text of Einstein's Statement :
"M.N. Roy, in a cultural point of view, a valuable personality is threatened with death. "In the general interest of humanity, it is essential that the political fight, inevitable in its way, avoid the primitive method of extermination. Only in this way the political fight can be beneficial in longer term for the general public."
Einstein issued this statement from Princeton University on 26 September 1931 (33).
M.N. Roy, an intellectual Communist, returned to India after 16 years. He toured in India under the name of Mahmood and continued the fight against the British rule . M.N. Roy was already indicted in several cases in absentia and the conviction was pending. The Indian Communists already launched a vicious campaign against
Roy under the direction of Moscow. They leaked the news of Roy's whereabouts to the British police. In the middle of July 1931 Roy was arrested in Bombay. The charge was "waging war against the King."
American communists (majority group) reacted immediately and The Revolutionary. Age, a weekly published the news of the arrest. They commented on the shameful silence of official communist press in India and Russia. The International Commu­nist opposition took initiative and wanted to save Roy from the bloody claws of British Imperialism. Revolutionary Age commented that "The Indian agents of English Labor" government have arrested comrade Roy and have thrown him into prison. They appealed to the International opinion to be built up sufficiently to hold the heavy hand of The British.
The official Communist Party of India had been carrying on the most shameful attacks on Comrade Roy who was working illegally in India. The paper said that "these 100% communists" declared that the renegade Roy must be fought with all means at hand, even denunciations to the police! "The International Red Aid, organized specially to defend revolutionary class and prisoners refused to do anything about the arrest of Comrade Roy. "Let the renegade rot in prison" is what a responsible official of the German Red Aid remarked. The Red Aid is ready to help German Fascists but can do nothing for Comrade Roy!
In spite of the fact that the official communist leaders have organized a veritable conspiracy of silence about the case, The Revolutionary Age commented about a large public mass meeting called in Hamburg under the auspices of the Communist Party of Germany which voted unanimously in favor of a resolution against the arrest of Manavendranath Roy.
Resolutions for the release of Roy poured in from Germany, Sweden, Alsace, Czechoslovakia and communist opposition organizations. Revolutionary Age requested that every labor organization, every organization of oppressed colonial peoples or national minorities, every liberty loving man and woman should unite to demand the release of M.N. Roy from the claws of British imperialism (Sept. 12, 1931). When Roy's trial was set for October 1931, several intellectuals, including Einstein, appealed for the release of Roy. They were :
Henri Barbusee,. Editor of French Communist Leader, Prof. Jerome Davis of Yale University, Dr. \Y1.E.B. DuBois, editor of Crisis and a Black leader, Waldo Frank, author, Garfield Hays, attorney, John Haynes Holmes, Minister of the community church, Prof. Robert MorssLovett, University of Chicago, A..J Muste, Brookwood Labor College, Julia Lethrop, former chief of Federal Children's Bureau, Norman Thomas, Director of the League of Industrial Democracy, Oswald Garrison Villard, Editor of Nation and Roger E. Baldwin issued an appeal which was carried in Revolutionary Age {Nov. 14, 1931).

Several organizations also demanded the release of Roy: The teachers and students of Public High School of Tinz. The Functionaries Conference of the Chemical Workers Union, The Braunschweig Teachers Union, he Nuremberg Building Traders, workers union and the metal workers union of Sommerda, the central traders and labor councils of Schoningen, the Nature-friends of Jena and the League for the Struggle against Reaction and Fascism.
M.N.Roy appealed from Cawnpore prison to the workers, peasants and radical intellectuals of the whole world to come to the support of the Indian masses striving for freedom and to demand the release of the thousands of Indian revolutionaries from the dungeons of the British prisons. He also condemned the, crimes of British labor government. He pointed out the suicidal policy of the executive of the communist international and of the "Loyalite Communists" of India. Roy sent this message on 23 August 1931, which was fully carried in The Revolutionary Age, New York.
The American Communists (majority group) cabled to Gandhi in London with a request to intervene on behalf of Roy but he declined. Gandhi was attending the Round Table conference at that time. Gandhi was asked to issue a statement, but he refused. Roy's arrest was discussed in Canadian Labor Defence League where they wanted to wire to Berlin to ascertain the facts. Frederick Inter-Racial Club of Brooklyn, New York, and Boro Park Workers Youth Club of Brooklyn in New York too passed resolutions
for the release of Roy. Revolutionary Age carried articles from Independent India, a weekly from Bombay about defense committees formed to fight for Roy in India. AITUC established a defense fund in. support of Roy. The paper also carried the news that how demonstrations and agitations in favor of Roy were suppressed by the police in India. They have noted the details of the various defense committees organized in Cawnpore, Bombay, Calcutta, Lucknow and Delhi. Mr B. Singh, the secretary of Roy Defense Committee, informed the world about the condition of Roy and the ill treatment to him in British prisons. In the various defence committees there were Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Tayyab Shaik, Y.B. Karnik, R. S. Ruiker, Purushotham Das Trikamdas and several prominent leaders. Mr B. Singh also revealed how Roy was treated in jail, and condemned the attack on Roy in the German Press (in an article) that Roy was arrested as an accomplice of imperialism and for purely diplomatic reasons. He stated that Roy was not permitted to receive books, newspapers and even a typewriter was refused though the court sanctioned one. Roy was not allowed any ventilation to his room and even ice and hot water were not allowed. M.N. Roy was sentenced to twelve years of imprisonment. American Communists described the sentence as savage and as a severe blow to the liberation movement. They resolved to continue the struggle for the release of Roy. Ajoy Kumar Gosh described the details of Roy's trial. The magistrate came to the jail' instead of taking the prisoner to the court. The Local Bar association took up the case of Roy's defense. Viceroy Lord \Xiillingdon himself personally took interest in deciding the prison cell of Roy.
The communist parties appealed for books, money to help the legal defense of Roy. When the money came they sent some amount to Roy in prison but the postal authorities returned it saying that Roy refused it. Actually the authorities never brought this to the notice of Roy. The class distinctions in prisons in India were also exposed abroad when Roy was treated as a third class prisoner, forced to wear heavy prison clothing, eat coarse prison food. Roy lost much weight in prison and suffered physically as well as mentally.
When rumors were spread that Comrade Roy was shifted from Canpore jail, thousands of railway workers gathered in Lucknow station and demonstrated. They found that the prisoner was not Roy and then they raised slogans in support of Roy. The Communist press in USA carried the news of Roy until the sentence was reduced to six years and Roy was treated as a political prisoner. The Workers Age carved full reports about Roy {34) .
by Innaiah Narisetti

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


After the formation of Communist Party of India in Tashkent Evelyn took active interest in Indian affairs. The role of 1\I N. Roy as a communist was recorded extensively by several scholars. I am not repeating them. But the- activities of Evelyn Roy were not appreciated.
Evelyn suddenly landed in England in May 1921. She traveled in a ship from Estolia Port Revel Talon. Evelyn, adopted the pseudonym Allen and reached with a -Mexican passport. Obviously Evelyn had a message to the British Communist Party from MN. Roy. But the British police did not allow her to do anything in England. They recognized her as the wife of MN. Roy, the famous Communist in Soviet Union.
The British authorities deported Evelyn from Plymouth Port to Panama.. Michael Lvovitch Gobermann, a member of the Soviet delegation received Evelyn in Revel earlier.. Mr W.E. Kasper, Estonian communist, sent telegrams about the deportation of Evelyn and asked Tnasaq (P) to treat her well. He arranged for the transfer of her bank account to New York and informed about it to her sister, Helen Power, who was in Piedmont, California.. He also informed Menbroson in Montreal about Evelyn's bad health saying that she was traveling alone and should be treated well.
Similar telegrams -went to Mexico too. The reference to her bad health is only a make believe since the authorities were watching her. Ratrierez, the Mexican delegate to the Third International in Moscow also sent telegrams to Valodes in Mexico about Evelyn.
Evelyn did not go to USA or Canada. Instead she returned to Soviet Union and plunged into hectic Communist activity, along with M.N. Roy. But the mission of Evelyn Trent in England remained as a mystery till this day and has to be probed further.
Stalin and M.N. Roy founded the University of the Workers of the East in Moscow. It was meant to train the cadre of different Communist Parties of various countries. M.N. Roy and Evelyn taught in this university. Roy was the director of this university. The university started functioning in 1921 and closed in 193$. M.N. Roy and Evelyn were constantly moving in European countries. They established contacts with Indian Communists. They Were publishing journals in English under various titles and dispatching them to India. Evelyn adopted the name Shanti Devi and contributed articles to the journals. Her famous article was on Lenin when he died. It was written under the title "The loss of Lenin to the world Revolution".
Evelyn contributed a critical article on Gandhi. She wrote another manifesto on "Hindu-Muslim question". She addressed a lengthy letter to AITUC under the caption "Where are the Masses?" during the Lahore session in 1923. Her article "Will the British Labor Government stand for this?" had brief life sketches of Dange, Muzaffer Ahmed, Nalini Gupta, Singaravelu and M. N. Roy. Evelyn also wrote about Bombay textile strike under the caption "Long drawn Bombay textile strike 1924"
Apart from writing articles Evelyn was editing journals like Vanguard, Advanced Van Guard, The Masses of India, and also assisted M.N. Roy in many ways. As M.N. Roy was in top positions in the international Communist movement he was constantly traveling in the Soviet Union. Hence, very often Evelyn brought out the journal alone and dispatched the copies to India.
Evelyn and Roy were in touch with their American friends through. VanGuard and they were sending the journal to them regularly. 127 persons in USA received VanGuard including Chandrakant Chakravarthy, Bhagawan Singh, S.I. Parekh. VanGuard was also sent to China to Sun Yet Sen and one copy was sent to Persia. Evelyn arranged to dispatch large but-idles to India through sailors. M.N. Roy and Evelyn were active in Pans during 1924 and 25.
They were rallying exile communists under the banner Comite Pro Hindu (in France) M.N. Roy was arrested and deported to Luxembourg on 30th January 1925. Evelyn too was arrested along with Roy but was allowed to stay in Paris. The famous French communist leader Mr Henri Barbusse helped the Roy's in their secret organization. Evelyn Trent participated in the colonial conference held at Amsterdam on 11 and 12 July 1925. Evelyn met and discussed her future plans of sending material to India through the sailors. She met a number of communists including Mr Joshi and held talks.
She wanted to meet Mr Chamanlal for d i s c u s s i o n s but he refused since he belonged to Saklatvala's group which opposed Roy. Evelyn wanted to pursue the matter. What happened between the Amsterdam conference and 30 July 1925, we do not yet know. But Evelyn Trent left Paris on 30th. July 1930 saying that she intended to visit her mother in USA. Georges Agabekov, former chief of the Eastern section in Russia wrote in his book "The Russian Secret Terror mentioned thus". "The first intimation of the bad faith of the Indian communist Roy came through Farouki. He suggested that Roy's wife being an English woman, might be an English spy. When the suspicion was confirmed, Roy was separated from all political activity." The federal investigation department in USA discovered the secret entry of Evelyn Trent into the country in October 1925. They wanted to deport her off but later dropped the idea. They observed her activities closely for some time and left her alone afterwards. Evelyn lived without Roy between 1925 — 1935. Evelyn Trent returned to her motherland after eight years. She led a hectic political life during those eventful eight years. When she entered USA. in 1925 she was 32 years old with a promising future.
Evelyn plunged into activity immediately by joining the Indians in Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys near San Francisco and agitated along with them. Evelyn was in touch with her mother and her sister, J D Meredith and Helen Power. She renewed her contacts with her brother Walter in New York, who was angry with her for marrying Roy.
Evelyn contacted her beloved teacher Mr David Jordan Starr who sent her "The Higher Foolishness" for review in San Francisco Chronicle. The editor had already allotted the book to someone else for review and she could not do it. She appreciated the mellow satire, wholesome pinpricking of many a lurking psychological delusion that people are prone to hug. The book was reviewed by Mr Small for San Fransisco Chronicle (27). Evelyn Trent joined San Francisco Chronicle as a feature writer and continued until 1935. She conducted "World Topics" in KPO radio station from October .1928 onwards which attracted several intellectuals in USA It was corroborated by San Francisco Chronicle too. She traveled across the Atlantic Ocean several times to cover world topics during 1928-30 (28). Evelyn wanted to take up more serious tasks and moved to New York in 1929. She contributed to Herald Tribune as feature writer she was also editor of fiction published by McLure News paper Syndicate in New York (29). She was writing on varied topics, covering from dance to women politicians. She wrote on Agnes Boone {30), the western pioneer dancer of California to Stanford Illustrated weekly she covered the topics like Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha, Palestine, Rare manuscripts of Chinese Jews, Samoa, New Caliph of Islam, Argentina, Reclamation plans of Egypt, Woman has leading role in Kuomintang, Balkan monarchy, Feminist studies of world situation, . Hungary, Napoleon and several such topics. Evelyn Trent was settling down in New York with future plans. But that was a short-lived effort. During 1931 she had many shocks. Her beloved teacher David Jordan Starr died. She had been expressing concern about his health and corresponding with him till the end. M. N. Roy was arrested in India and was treated badly. Evelyn reacted spontaneously. She wrote an article in Revolutionary Age, the Communist. weekly from New York, condemning the British Imperialist regime - in India (31). She signed as E.K'. Above all she received the news of her beloved mother's death in July 1931 in Auburn. Evelyn immediately rushed, to Auburn in California state. She gave up her plans temporarily and started taking care of her aged father. She occasionally contributed to journals from Auburn. In 1935 her father Mr Lamartine died in Auburn. After the death of her parents, Evelyn Trent left Auburn and stayed in Sacramento, the capital city of California, and contributed to local papers on various topics. Evelyn married Mr Dewitt Jones on October 10, 1936 (32). MN. Roy was released from prison in the same year. There was no correspondence between Roy and Evelyn sit-ice .1925. We do not know whether they were separated or divorced legally. Evelyn Trent and Devitt Jones lived a happy life. They had no children. Dewitt was also a writer and a businessman. Evelyn too moved to different places along with her second husband and wherever she was, her talent as journalist was recognized. She wrote a number of articles in the State Emergency Rehabilitation Bulletin in San Francisco with which her husband was connected.
Dewitt Jones died on 20 February 1949. Evelyn Trent then permanently returned to her parent's place Auburn and settled there doing odd jobs and Writing occasionally. She lead a peaceful life until her death on 21st November 1970.
by Innaiah Narisetti

Monday, October 14, 2013


Evelyn Trent and M.N. Roy met at Dhan Gopal Mukerji's place and fell in love. As per the American custom, they were dating for one year to understand each other before marriage. Dhan Gopal Mukerji and Ethel Rae Dugan also were dating and they got married in New. York in 1918. After meeting Roy in Palo Alto, Evelyn changed her plans, stopped applying for jobs. Instead, she planned to go to Europe along with Roy. M.N. Roy was in touch with Germans but he could neither get the promised money nor arms from the Germans. At one stage, M.N. Roy planned to go to Germany in U-53 submarine. But Evelyn's parents did not like that idea. Hence they dropped the plan (13). M.N. Roy and Evelyn must have visited Los Angeles in July 1916 where Evelyn's parents and sisters lived. Evelyn applied for a passport to visit European countries. Those were the days of the First World War and the American Government was not willing to issue passports to its citizens. Evelyn requested Mr David Jordan Starr for a recommendation letter to the State Department. He readily sent her that letter. Even before receiving that letter, Evelyn applied for the passport. She thanked David Jordan Starr for his letter and said that she would keep his letter as a memento (14).
T-\4.N. Roy was active in Palo Alto. Mr S.P. Sarkar, another Indian revolutionary, was staying with Roy in Palo Alto. Roy- patronized the cleaning and pressing establishment of a Japanese firm in Palo Alto (15). He was in touch with Indian revolutionaries in USA.
He was also receiving regular mail from Mr Kelly of U.K. M.N. Roy stayed in Palo Alto for six months. He then moved to New York with Evelyn. January 1917 onwards the police were hunting Roy. Hence the Roys quite often moved from one place to another in New York to escape the police surveillance.
M.N. Roy was in touch with Dhan Gopal Mukerji from New York. He was enquiring about Sailen Ghosh, another Indian revolutionary. Sailen demanded money from Roy and was angry with Roy for not sending it on time. He expressed his anger through telegram when Roy was staying in 2117 Daly Avenue in New York. Roy himself was hard pressed for money and at last he could only manage to. send $ 25 to Sailen Ghosh.
Mr WY/alter Edwin, brother of Evelyn, was in New York but he was reluctant to help Evelyn. Hence Evelyn was forced to go in for odd jobs and she was for a while employed by American Society in 131 E. 23rd St. Roy changed his residence as often as possible, stayed in 239 E 19th St. and later rented an apartment in 19th West 44th St. in New York. He gave the Ceylon restaurant as his care of address (672, 8th Ave) to receive his mail. M.N. Roy came in touch with Lajpat Rai and attended some of his meetings. Roy was also visiting New York Public library, meeting some professors in Columbia University and a few others in New York. Lajpat Rai was impressed with the Roys and employed Evelyn for a couple of months and paid her some amount as a token help (16). But the net was closing in over USA Pro German revolutionaries of India were rounded up in

the States. Charges of sedition were framed. At that juncture, M.N. Roy was also arrested and taken into custody for questioning. The U.S. attorney of New York district questioned him. Scenting the danger, M.N. Roy and Evelyn quickly arranged for their ,wedding and got married in the Jail (17). Roy was released on bail for -want of sufficient evidence. He thought that it would be the best opportunity to escape. He, along with Evelyn, travelled to Texas state and acquired a USA passport, crossed the border and safely reached Mexico on 15 June 1917. Roy had come to USA at the same time exactly one year ago (18). Police in New York approached Mrs. Blanchard to get information about the Roys. The police pretended to be journalists from Saturday Post and told her that Roy set-it - some story to their paper and they want some clarification regarding the article before publishing it. But they could not get any information from Mrs. Blanchard as Roy was no longer staying with her and she informed them that Roy had left the place (19). In the absence of Roy, the San Francisco court indicted him oil. 7th July 1917. Lajpat Rai noted it, and perhaps informed Roy. The British Consul immediately intimated the arrival of the Roys to the USA police.. They wanted to deport the Roys to USA but the Mexican-government was against that move. Roy and Evelyn were staying in Calls Cordoba 33 in Mexico City. Hirendanatl Sen, another revolutionary from India, stayed there with Roy for some time (20).

Mexico was a safe place even for Germans.. They sent the promised money to Roy. $6151) and 15,000 pesos (1 /1exican currency) were kept in the bank in the name of Evelyn Trent. Evelyn artfully juggled several aliases like--Martin, Roy, Allen, Trent etc. (21).
M.N. Roy formed "The Friends of India" League and started propagating for the freedom of India. Evelyn was the director of the league (22). Evelyn was in touch with her mother and corresponded with her. She informed her about the lectures delivered by Roy in Mexico which evoked much sympathy. Evelyn herself expressed the desire to visit India. She wished that the wasted American millions should pour into India to build schools, factories and universal cities.
Evelyn had an introductory letter to Alvarado Salvarado, the Governor of Yukaten state in Mexico. She proposed to take up some educational programmes (23).
Dr. John Met, a German socialist who was in Mexico, became a close friend of Roy. But he soon left Mexico to escape Kaiser's army. Roy learnt Spanish language very fast and wrote a number of articles and published a few pamphlets.
Roy was in touch with Laj pat Rai in New York and also constantly contacting other Indian revolutionaries like Chandra Kant Chakravarthy.
MN. Roy continued to be an aggressive nationalist in Mexico until Borodin arrived. Even on 27 March 1918, Roy sent an article to The Young India, a monthly edited by Lajpat Rai from New York and asked him to publish it. He wanted Lajpat Rai to respect the other viewpoint on the cause of India. In the article, MN. Roy expressed. his views as member of a Revolutionary Party. Roy wanted Free India and not a Home Rule. He opined that the young India was reflecting the opinion of the party but not the ideals of the Indian people. He said that Annie Besant and such other leaders can never be our leaders in the cause of Indian Liberty and the restitution of Indian rights. He blamed Lajpat Rai for pleading for Home Rule. Lajpat Rai expressed the view that India cannot stand as an independent nation. M.N. Roy said that Lajpat Rai was mistaken. In expressing such an opinion Lajpat Rai was damning every hope of attaining freedom for India.
Lajpat Rai wanted to put forth the Home Rule proposal in the peace committee. But M.N. Roy said that England can lightly dismiss such begging by placing two Indian dummies in the lobby of Peace Parliament. That will be the answer of England to the plea of representation as envisaged by Lajpat Rai. M.N. Roy expressed the view that England will never grant India real Home Rule nor fiscal autonomy because it is the economic, not political, control of India which is vital to England's position as a great power. Lajpat Rai's pleading for Indian representation in the Parliament not necessarily composed of Indians was a meek request. He asked
Lajpat Rai to stand boldly for complete independence as a right. M.N. Roy asked him: By what right spirit of patriotism are you prompted to insinuate those, who are working for revolution in India to overthrow British rule, as ramifications of German conspiracy? M.N. Roy said that India's 315 000 000 people are human beings and do not need England or any other nation to give home rule, autonomy, self government or any other form of political concessions. Only a revolution would make India free and a self- respecting nation. Obviously Lajpat Rai did not publish the article. (24)
M.N. Roy came closer to the President of Mexico, Mr Enustiano Carratzza. The Germans and the Mexicans generally opposed United States. Roy was getting German funds and support. Germany was defeated in the First World War and the flow of funds stopped. But he had received enough funds for his political activities. Several Radical Americans arrived in Mexico, with whom Roy developed close contact. They often met at Roy's place and the Roys slowly and gradually changed them to absorb socialist thought. Roy and Evelyn were very good hosts too. For the radical socialists in Mexico, Roy founded the Socialist Party and became the Chairman of the Conservative Socialist Party. Its convention was held in Mexico from 25th August to 4th September 1919.
Michael Borodin arrived in Mexico as a pauper and Roy came to his rescue. On the suggestion of Borodin, Mexican socialist Party was converted in to the first communist party outside Soviet Union. On the suggestion of Borodin, Lenin invited M.N. Roy and Evelyn to the International congress in Moscow. M.N. Roy attended it as a Mexican delegate whereas Evelyn attended the congress as an Indian delegate
Roy and a Evelyn founded the exile Communist Party of India in Tashkent on 20 October in 1920. They attended a rally in Petrograd. Evelyn was reporting her views and experiences to her mother through letters and personal messages. She was in all praise for the social conditions in the Soviet Union.
Evelyn's parents were staying in Washington D.C. area. Evelyn used to send letters to them. She expressed her desire to work for the Indian Revolutionary Party (25). Ten years after M.N. Roy had left Mexico, Serge Eisenstein (1898-1948)) visited Mexico, studied the society and made a film QUE VIVA MEXICO. At the outset, M.N. Roy was shown as one of the main builders of Mexican society. Stalin lost interest in Eisenstein (famous film producer from Russia) and Roy by that time which he expressed to Sinclair Lewisin a telegram. The picture was not released during the life time of Eisenstein. though he was honored with the Lenin's award in Russia. Later, it was released and got awards {26).

Innaiah Narisetti

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Who is Evelyn Trent? part 1

Evelyn Trent was the first wife of M.N. Roy. Though she played great role in the life of Roy, he did not mention her in his memoirs. Among Radical democrats in India very little is known about Evelyn. From Mexico to Russia Evelyn played important role the international communist movement. I did research about her in USA and placing on record the relevant historical material.
"To my Goddess from her loving worshipper"
M. N. Roy inscribed the above on the back of his photograph, which was meant for Evelyn Trent. This was found in the papers of Evelyn Trent, which were donated to the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace by Diven Meridith, the nephew of Evelyn Trent in 1970. They were very few and mostly belong to post 1950 and contain very few biographical details.
The house of Evelyn Trent was burnt down in 1963 and all her records were destroyed. She died on 21st November 1970, without leaving any documents behind. (1).
MN. Roy did not mention anything about Evelyn in his memoirs, thus leaving many gaps to be filled and many questions to be answered. Several scholars attempted to extract details from Evelyn after 1956 but she chose to remain silent. All these things made my task much more difficult, but I could get some information from archives, Library of Congress, University's rare collections, and from some personal contacts.
IVI.N. Roy did not go to USA to marry Evelyn Trent. He wanted to get arras, and money from Germany so that he could fight against the British Government in India.
USA changed M.N. Roy from a bachelor to a married man. In several other aspects too, USA helped him as a catalyst. I want to give some details about Roy, and Evelyn particularly in USA and also about their life in Mexico. I restrain from repeating anything that other eminent scholars had already said in their studies on Roy.
M.N. Roy was a lie-hunter but he had to lie to the American authorities to conceal his identity. He escaped the British police in India, acquired a fake passport and traveled from Yokahoma (Japan) in Nippon Maru (a ship). He was still Naren but the alien passenger record gave the following details: "Martin Chas Allen.
2$ years male, single, missionary. Nationality: French. Permanent address: Church, Pondicherry, India. No friend or relative. Height 6 foot. Dark, brown eyes, beard. Place of birth: Haites. City: Ionainis. Final destination: Paris (2).
Nippon Maru started from Yokahoma on 2$ May 1916. M.N. Roy (Naren) while talking to the co-passengers in the ship said that the blacks in USA should rebel against the white supremacy and assert themselves {3). Bhagawvan Singh, another terrorist revolutionary from India also traveled along with M.N. Roy {4) .
The ship had to reach San Fransisco on 14th June according to the Daily Commercial News. But the ship reached on 15 June 1916 (again the news announced in the Daily Commercial News.).
Roy stayed in Bellevue hotel in San Francisco. On his arrival the press reporters called on him.
San Francisco Examiner, a daily from San Francisco, reported: "Rev C.A. Martin, a native of Pondicherry, India, is at Bellevue.
The visitor who is a Roman Catholic has spent the last two years as a missionary and a student in China. He is en route to Paris where he will enter one of the Seminaries. He describes the condition in China as one of "unlimited chaos" (16 June 1916, page 11 column 5. Notables at the hotels)
San Fransisco Chronicle, a leading daily from San Francisco reported: "C A. Martin, a Roman Catholic priest who has spent several years in India, is at the Bellevue on his way to Paris, where he will enter a theological seminary. For the last two years he has been in China and Japan." (16 June 1916, page 7. Personal and Hotel gossip)
M. N. Roy, in his memoirs, mentioned about reports and headings in papers saying that there was a German spy in the city. The three dailies mentioned above did not report any such matter. V.B. Karnik in his "M.N. Roy-a Political Biography" mentioned about the Daily News. But that daily was published as campus newspaper in Berkeley, away from San Francisco, and did not report anything about Roy.
After a couple of days in Bellevue, Roy left for Stanford University campus in Palo Alto and met Dhan Gopal Mukerji. Roy met him through an introductory letter from Jadu Mukerji, Dhan Gopal's brother, who worked with Roy in the nationalist movement. Dhan Gopal was already a Stanford graduate (1914) and was staying in the Campus: 861, {5) Ramona, Palo Alto. Soon after Roy rented a house nearby and stayed there for six months: At that time Roy did not know that he was staying in a place owned by the landlady of 245 Ramona Street, Palo Alto who was the mother of the Police chief of Palo Alto. In the beginning the police did not know who Roy was. By the time they got the information Roy had already left. But Mrs. Noble told them that Roy used to get lots of mail, especially from England (6).
Roy stayed in Ramona Street so that he could meet Dhan Gopal often. Dhan Gopal Mukerji was a contact for Bengali revolutionaries. He was essentially a poet, writer and academician. He carne to USA in 1908 and later joined Stanford University and graduated with history in 1914. He loved another Stanford graduate, Ethel Rae Dugan. She graduated from Stanford in 1915. When Roy arrived in Palo Alto, Dhan Gopal and Ethel Rae were dating. Ethel was an Irish-American and a close friend of Evelyn Trent. Evelyn and Roy met accidentally at Dhan Gopal's residence and fell in love with each other.

Evelyn Trent was not merely the first wife of M.N. Roy; she played a great role in the International politics and also in developing the Indian Communist movement. Yet, none remembered her in India and celebrated her centenary in 1992. One cannot find her name in the who is who of USA since she was a Communist! Humanists in India were not particular about her as she left Roy long before he evolved as a humanist. Despite all this, Evelyn had played an important role in shaping the life and thought of M. N. Roy in the early stages.
Evelyn Trent was the seventh child in the family of Lamartine-Mary DeLome Macleod. She was born in USA on 20 October 1892 in the Salt Lake City, Utah state (7). Lamartine Cavaignac Trent was a famous mining engineer. He migrated from England in 1860. Lamartine was born on 13 December 1848 to Edwin and Augusta S. Luckett in London. It was not known why he left London at the age of 12 and sailed to USA as a cabin boy and worked on the high seas for three years. Lamartine also participated in the civil war and was wounded. Then he worked in engineering firms and became an engineer. He perfected the Frue Nanning Machine (It is an Engineering Technology), which he introduced in USA and abroad. Lamartine got married on June 5, 18 `8. On the invitation of Japan, Australia and Tasmania he visited those countries as mining advisor. At the time of Evelyn's birth, Lamartine was organizing his own firm L.C. Trent & Co Engineers, which he sold out later (8). As Lamartine was constantly moving from place to place,
Evelyn had to have her Evelyn Trent joined Girls' Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in 1908 and completed the course in 1911. Then she joined Stanford University and it was a turning point in her academic career. Her brother Edwin Walter was already in the university. Stanford was a prestigious university, though conservative in certain respects. David Jordan Starr was the Chancellor of the University. He was a scientist and a peace lover. Evelyn later developed close contact with him {9). When Evelyn was studying, women in USA did not have the right to vote.
Evelyn Trent was very active in Stanford University between 1912 and 1915. She belongs to Alpha Phi sorority in which her close friend Ethel Rae Dugan was also with her (10). Evelyn was in women's athletic association as one of the directors. She was in fencing sport and tennis club. She was the associate editor of Quad, Stanford University annual, in 1914 and 1915. Evelyn took English as her main subject and philosophy and French as her optional. During her second year, Evelyn acted as Ethel, the Duchess of Carbondale in the three act. comedy "On the Quiet" by Augustus Thomas. Her rare histrionic ability made a deep impression on the viewers and her performance was rated as very high (11).
Evelyn discussed Tagore in the University with Bengalis and Mexicans. While continuing her studies, Evelyn also taught poor children an hour a -day. She pitied the poor children in the campus. Evelyn wondered that millions of dollars were poured to be spent on munitions and on the horrors of war while the needy children were left in desperate condition (12). Evelyn and Ethel Rae Dugan often called on Jessie Louise Knight, the second Wife of David Jordan Starr, the Chancellor of Stanford University There they met the Chancellor too.
Evelyn used to express her feelings, and write her experiences in the university to her mother. Evelyn completed her graduation and started applying for jobs in the early part of 1916. She wanted to earn through her writings and wished to concentrate on problems of unem ployment, poverty and other economic issues. At that juncture Evelyn met MN. Roy. Events took a different turn from then on.
By Innaiah Narisetti