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

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