- Roy, Manabendra Nath
- (1887–1954)One of the first Indian communists, Roy was notable for his involvement in the Communist International and his contribution to Marxist thought on colonialism. Born in Bengal, India, Roy was initially a nationalist revolutionary working to oust the British from his homeland. He spent some time in the United States where he discovered Marxism, and, also influenced by the 1917 Russian Revolution, he switched from nationalist to communist. By this time he was living in Mexico and he became general secretary of the Mexican Socialist Party in 1918 and was then invited to the Second Congress of the Communist International in Moscow. Staying in the Soviet Union he was sent to Tashkent to organize a training center for Indian revolutionaries, and he also contributed to the drafting of Vladimir Ilich Lenin’s Theses on the National and Colonial Question. In 1924 Roy was made a full voting member of the executive committee of the Communist International, and in 1927 he headed a Communist International delegation to China. The lack of success of this mission and increasing disagreements over policy led to his expulsion from the Communist International in 1929.Roy returned to India in 1930 where he was soon jailed for six years for communist conspiracy. On his release he joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and formed the League of Radical Congressmen. He disagreed with what he saw as the conservatism of the leadership of the Congress and its Gandhian ideology, but he had faith in the revolutionary potential of the rank and file members. He supported the British government in World War II against fascism, and in 1940 left the INC to form the Radical Democratic Party. Roy hoped to unite workers, peasants and the petty bourgeois in a fight against feudalism, capitalism and imperialism, but the party had very little impact and was dissolved in 1948. At this point he made his final break with communism when he founded a new radical, humanist movement.
Historical dictionary of Marxism. David Walker and Daniel Gray . 2014.