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

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