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

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