Manabendra Nath Roy, also known as M.N. Roy was an Indian philosopher, notably the founder of Mexican Communist Party and also one of the members who founded the Communist Party of India.
M.N Roy was born in a family of Sakta Brahmins — a family of hereditary priests — He was more influenced by the working class society and Indian freedom movement. He was highly influenced by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo Ghose and Jatindranath Mukherjee (Bagha Jatin) and was swiped by the idea of nationalism. During his school years, he had formed a band of free-thinkers, with his cousin Hari Kumar Chakravarti. He was influenced by politics, nationalism and freedom struggle as early as his college days. In July 1905, during the partition of Bengal, he was expelled from his high school for organising a rally and march against partition.
Attempt to bring arms revolution
M.N Roy strongly believed an armed revolution could oust the British, given the fact that the British Army was all occupied in the World War. In 1915, after the beginning of the First World War, Roy left India for Java in search of arms for organizing an insurrection to overthrow the British rule in India. From then on, he moved from country to country, using fake passports and different names in his attempt to secure German arms. Finally, after wandering through Malay, Indonesia, Indo-China, Philippines, Japan, Korea, and China, in June 1916, he landed in San Francisco in the United States of America.
His attempt to secure arms failed. His arrival in San Francisco was published in a local paper and for that, he had to go to Palo Alto, California near Stanford University. It was there, he changed his name from Narendra Nath Bhattacharya to Manabendra Nath Roy. The police force shattered the underground organisation that Roy had left behind. The news of the death of Jatin Mukherji in a police encounter also reached his ears.
In New York City public library, Roy began to develop his interest in Marxism. Bothered by British spies, Roy fled to Mexico in July 1917 with Evelyn. In Mexico, he formed the Mexican Communist Party in 1919 — the first communist party outside Russia. He became a member of Communist International. By the end of 1926, Roy was elected as a member of all the four official policy making bodies of the Comintern – the presidium, the political secretariat, the executive committee and the world congress.
He came to India in 1930, but however, he was arrested in 1931 and tried for his role in the Kanpur Communist Conspiracy Case. M.N. Roy was tried on charges of sedition, sentenced to six years and was placed in Kanpur jail.
After Release, Roy prepared a draft of basic principles of “radical democracy” before the India conference of the Radical Democratic Party held in Bombay in December 1946, which was a mixture of socialist and liberal humanitarian ideas.
On June 11, 1952, Roy met a serious accident and was moved to Dehradun for treatment. After surviving two attacks of cerebral thrombosis, on January 25, 1954, M.N. Roy died of a heart attack.
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