Wanted Your Information! A Memorandum on the Life of Mr. Virendranath Chattopadhyaya

(Draft Only)


A Wounderful News From India: One important book, Chatto: The Life and Times of an Indian Anti-Imperialist in Europe

by Nirode K. Barooah (Oxford University Press) was at last published!

Spies, sex and an Indian anarchist

Aditya Sinha

(Hindustan Tomes, Delhi Edition,August 14,2004)

I married an artist, a revolutionary in a dozen different ways, a man of truly gfine frenzyh, nervous as a cat, always moving, never at rest... a thin man with much hair, a tongue like a razor and a brain like hell on fire.\ Smedleyfs letter, pg 230

The oxford Book of Spy Stories contains W. Somerset Maughamfs eGiulia Lazzarif, a story based on the 1915 British attempt to murder Virendranath Chattopadhaya (nicknamed gChattoh) on the Swiss border with France or Italy. Maugham was in the British Secret Service during the first world war, and he based seven stories on his experiences (Winston Churchill reportedly advised him to burn 14 other stories), modelling the main character John Ashenden after himself. Not just that: Alfred Hitchcock used two of the Ashenden stories for his 1936 film Secret Agent; and Ian Flemingfs James Bond novels draw many inspirations from Maughamfs spy stories.

Chatto: The Life and Times of an Indian Anti-Imperialist in Europe
Nirode K. Barooah
Oxford University Press
Rs 645

It is telling that we know all this, but very few of us know much about Chatto (Chandra Lal in Maughamfs story). To many hefs nothing more than a single-line footnote: the younger brother of Sarojini Naidu who lived in Germany during WW I and advocated insurrection against the British Empire; the man who drew Nehru into the League Against Imperialism but then was disappointed with Nehrufs and Subhash Chandra Bosefs gcompromiseh with ereactionariesf in the Congress; and the man who was executed by Stalin in 1937. Till now there have not been many details about Chatto himself.

Why is it therefs been no book on a man regarded by the British Empire as a dangerous anarchist who needed to be bumped off? Part of the problem is that Chattofs life in Germany and finally in the Soviet Union meant that his writings and correspondence have been inaccessible to the majority of historians whose foreign language proficiency does not extend beyond English. Furthermore, the Soviet files were not available till the demise of the USSR (and then only in 1998 due to the efforts of our Ambassador in Moscow then, Ronen Sen).

So Nirode Barooah has given Chatto his due with a fascinating biography. One lesson that emerges from it is the brilliant efficiency of the British Secret Service. Chatto, whofd gone to England in 1902 at the age of 22 to study, came under the influence of Bipin Chandra Pal and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, and was immediately put under watch by the British. The screws tightened after the assassination of Curzon Wyllie in 1909, and Chatto eventually landed up in Germany, where he came to head the Berlin Indians, as they were known.

WW I broke out, and the Germans tried many ways to destabilise British rule in India, looking for ways to unite some of the princes with revolutionary minded Indians to rebel against the Empire. Chatto was the link between the German Foreign Office and the various Indian groups in the Americas and Europe (as well as Indian soldiers stationed in Baghdad and the Suez).

Each plan, however, was foiled by the British: they were able to recruit double agents in every cell Chatto and the Germans set up, and even intercept a shipment of arms, funded by the Germans and sent by the California-based Gadar party, in southeast Asia. Part of it might have been the traditional infighting among Indians, or instances of individual greed, but for the most part, it was masterful and awesome intelligence work by the British.

But while he was dubbed an anarchist, Chatto was always an out and out Indian nationalist. So during WW I he spurned communism, only to be derided by M.N. Roy, who founded Indiafs communist party in Tashkent. However, when a defeated Germany was pressurised by England to get rid of Chatto, he fled to Scandinavia. And when Nehru and Bose let him down, he went to the Soviet Union and finally embraced Communism (changing his name to Virendranat Agornatovich Chatopadaya, the middle name denoting Russian-style he was Aghorenathfs son). He was killed in one of Stalinfs purges because he was close to M.N. Kirov, Stalinfs number two, whose popularity rose in the early 1930s while Stalinfs declined due to the collectivisation debacle and famine (Kirov was killed in 1934).

Along the way, the handsome and intensely intellectual polyglot Chatto (he knew English, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Persian and several Indian languages), made many a romantic conquest on foreign shores. He married at least three times, one being a common-law marriage to American socialist Agnes Smedley; this union was emotionally ruinous to them both, to the extent that Chattofs stock plummeted among the Indians in Europe. Even the Germans began to feel that had Lajpat Rai headed the Berlin Indians, they might have had more success with destabilising British India.

Tell that to the British, whose Secret Service agent Donald Gullick tried to lure Chatto to the Swiss border and kill him. Fortunately, Chatto was arrested by the Swiss police in Zurich and deported for violating gSwiss neutralityh. Maugham, of course, changed the ending a bit. Though Barooahfs book is a bit academic (it has over 1,000 footnotes), and though Chattofs life as a social scientist in the USSR was boring (despite his finding another lover and his disappearance-cum-execution), Ifd choose this work of fact over Maughamfs fiction any day.


This is a draft memorandum about an Indian revolutionary fighter in the 20th century, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya. He is well-known even in India, except perhaps as a brother of Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, or as an Indian husband of Ms. Agnes Smedley. I am very much interested in his life but cannot complete this paper because of the lack of his documents and other information.

So I decided to open this research draft in my Homepage, and to request you to send me any information about him that you may know. I hope that my readers could help me to complete his biography and to revive his name in the 20th century history.

A Memorandum on the Life of Mr. Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (Draft): One Historical Episode of the Relationship between India and Japan in the 20th Century

During my three months stay in India as a visiting Professor at Delhi University in 1996, I found an interesting historical connection between the Indian independence movement and the Japanese intellectuals in the 1930s in Berlin. Although I was invited as a political scientist from Japan to the Department of Chinese and Japanese Studies of Delhi University, my original major was Contemporary German History, especially the political process of the rise of Nazism from the Weimar democracy.

In 1972-73 when I was in Berlin, I had come to know of an Indian who had fought together with Japanese young intellectuals against Hitler in 1931-33, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya. I found now that he was an important leader of the Indian independence movement in Europe during and after the First World War. He was from a famous family in Hyderabad, once a close friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, and an Indian victim of the Stalinist terror in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

Perhaps for Indian readers, he will be understandable as a younger brother of Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, famous poetess and a feminist leader of the Congress, and for Japanese or Westerners, as the Indian husband of well-known American journalist, Ms. Agnes Smedley. He was once a member of the political organization founded by Japanese intellectuals in Germany against war and fascism, the Association of Revolutionary Asians.

The Association of Revolutionary Asians

These Japanese intellectuals were mainly young scholars of famous imperial universities, artists who studied in Germany, and students at Berlin University, the children of rich and famous Japanese at the time. They organized a political organization named the Association of Revolutionary Asians just after the Japanese intervention into Manchuria in September 1931, strongly influenced by the International League against Imperialism, to resist the Japanese war against China, to support the independence movement of Asian nations, and to help the Weimar democracy in Germany against the increasing power of Hitler group. V. Chattopadhyaya was an Asian member of this group together with some Chinese and Koreans.@

The origin of this group, called the "Anti-imperialist Group in Berlin" or "left intellectual group in Berlin" in the secret documents of Japanese intelligence agency at the time, goes back to the end of 1926, just after the introduction of male franchise in Japan. Some associate professors who were sent to Germany by the Japanese Ministry of Education began a reading circle of left literature. The advocate was Dr. Rouyama Masamichi, an associate professor in political science of the law department of Tokyo University at the time. But the theoretical leaders were Dr. Hiromi Arisawa in statistics of the department of economics and Dr. Teido Kunizaki in social hygiene of the department of medicine; both were associate professors of Tokyo Imperial University.

At the time, Japanese government sent over 400 scholars of national universities to foreign countries for getting new academic knowledge or new scientific methods. Eighty percent of these scholars went to the European countries, and many of them chose Germany as their study place abroad. For the Japanese social scientists, Germany was the most attractive place not only by reason of the tradition in Japanese academics, but also as a new model of democracy under the Weimar constitution in 1919 after the collapse of the monarchy (for the Japanese who already experienced the Taisho Democracy). Rouyama and Arisawa thought it necessary to learn new trends of social sciences from Germany.

To this circle in 1926-29, belonged many young scholars who later led the postwar Japanese academics and culture. Rouyama, Arisawa, Kunizaki of Tokyo University and some associate professors from Kyoto University - Muraichi Horie, Yoshihiko Taniguchi, Katsuichi Yamamoto, Katsujiro Yamada - were the founding members. Between 1927 and 1930, Kisaburo Yokota, Yoshitaro Hirano, Takao Tsuchiya of Tokyo university, Itaru Kuroda, Yoshinosuke Yagi, Torazo Ninagawa of Kyoto university, and Isao Kikuchi, Junnichi Funabashi of Kyushu university joined it. Ichizo Kudo, a teacher of Judo who learned at Berlin Sport College, later became the master of Tokyo Metropolitan Police School.

In 1930-33 when this group became politically more active, Shikanosuke Miyake of the Seoul Imperial University, Makoto Ouiwa of Kyoto university, Heiji Nomura of Waseda University, Eitarou Hattori of Touhoku university, Hiroto Saegusa in philosophy were active members. In addition to these scholars, there were artists and journalists in Berlin. Koreya Senda in theatre was the first and the leading artist of this group. Seki Sano and Yoshi Hijikata in theatre, Teinosuke Kinugasa and Souzo Okada in movie films, Seiichirou Katsumoto and Seikichi Fujimori in literature, Ousuke Shimazaki in painting, and Bunzou Yamaguchi in architecture were also members when this group began political activities. Morimichi Okagami, the Asahi Shinbun correspondent, Toumin Suzuki of the Dentsu, and Yuzuru Yosano were the journalist members. Many young students of Berlin University at the time were also members. Among them, Hiroshi Kitamura, Masuo Ureshino, Tsurutaro Adachi, Kakutarou Inoue later became Japanese correspondents in Europe during the war. Yoshio Kobayashi, Shunnichi Ohno, Takayasu Senzoku and Kitamura became leading scholars in postwar Japan. Seizo Yagi and Kyoutarou Oguri were later businessman and local political leader of Nagoya Area, respectively.

These young Japanese members were politically radical in Berlin. They sent many reports to Japanese leading journals like "Kaizo," "Chuou Kouron," " Senki," etc. expressing alarm at the dangers of fascism in the West and of Japanese intervention war in the East, arranged public meetings on Asian problems for Germans, performed resistance plays on the street, and published at least five issues of a German journal "Revolutionary Asians" between March 1932 and January 1933, when Hitler finally came to power. In the "Revolutionary Asians" we can find some articles on the Indian independence movement as well as on Japanese anti-war movement and the Chinese revolution. These articles on India had no signature, but they were probably written by an Indian member of the organization, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya.

Some of Japanese members like Teido Kunizaki, Koreya Senda, Muraichi Horie, Seiichiro Katsumoto, Yonosuke Kobayahi had close connection with Sen Katayama in Moscow, a communist leader of the League against Imperialism. They joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and belonged to the Japanese language section of the KPD. As V. Chattopadhyaya was the secretary of the League against Imperialism in Berlin, Sen Katayama might have been the intermediary between Chattopadhyaya and the Japanese intellectuals.

But, ideologically speaking, they include from right to left wing in political opinions, from communists Teido Kunizaki and Younosuke Kobayashi to Katsuichi Yamamoto, later a censor of thoughts of the Ministry of Education and an LDP Dietman in postwar period, or Ichizo Kudo, later a leader of anti-communist nationalist movements of Japanese Judo.

Interesting is the fact that in this organization both the associate professors in Tokyo University and Kyoto University studied together, or both the later Koza-ha leaders like Yoshitaro Hirano, Katsujiro Yamada and the Rounou-ha leaders of Hiromi Arisawa , Takao Tsuchiya communicated with each other. But most of them were democrats or liberalists at the time, and later played important roles in various areas in the democratization of postwar Japan.

Although the Japanese members were at the heart of this organization, the other Asian members in Berlin were also important. Chinese members were mainly young communist leaders in Berlin who had close contact with the Paris organization which was founded by Chuu Woung Raii. They became important figures of postwar Chinese diplomacy. One Korean member Lee Kang Kuk and Japanese member Shikanosuke Miyake were arrested at the same time in Seoul in 1934 on the charge of anti-Japan activities in the coloized Korea. Miyake was Professor of Theory of Finance at Imperial Seoul University at the time, and Lee was a research assistant of the Law Department of the same university. Japanese political police knew their connection in Berlin before they became members of the staff of Seoul University.

Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, the only Indian in the organization by my research, was perhaps the eldest member. The main Japanese members were born in the 1890s or 1900s; he was born in 1880 in Hyderabad. He belonged to the early generation of Indian independence movement which was strongly inspired and influenced by the Japanese victory against Russia in 1905. His activities for Indian independence can be divided into three periods. The first period is from his joining the movement at Oxford University to becoming the leader of Berlin Indian Committee before and during the First World War. The second period is from 1921 when he approached the Soviet Union and Comintern but failed in the nomination of the Indian representative (by his young rival M.N. Roy) to 1933 when he moved to Moscow. The third and last period is a tragic story from 1933 to his death during the Stalinist purge in the Soviet Union.

I knew his name, as "Shatto Bajyaia"in German pronunciation, in and interview with Mrs. Frieda Retlich in Berlin in 1975. She was the German wife of Dr. Teido Kunizaki, former Associate Professor in social hygiene of Tokyo University and the leader of Japanese section of KPD in 1929-32. He moved to Moscow Sept. 1932, and was shot in the Stalinist terror, falsely charged as a Japanese spy on 10 Dec.1937. This case became clear for the first time from the Soviet Secret Documents in my Japanese book in 1994.


Historical Facts and Activities of V. Chattopadhyaya

V. Chattopadhyaya ( known as Chatto) was one of the most important leaders of Indian independence movement in Europe during the 1910s-1930s, the leader of German Indian Committee. He was from a famous family of India, younger brother of Mrs. Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949), and once a close friend of Nehru as an Indian revolutionary exile.

His wife (1921-28) was a famous American journalist on People's China, Agnes Smedley (1892-1950), but his last years in Moscow are not clear. I suppose that he was killed by Stalinist terror in 1937. His connection with young Japanese Intellectuals as a member of the Association of Revolutionary Asians in Berlin 1931-33, is my finding in the 1970s.

The First Period (1902 or 1903 to 1921, in London, Paris and Berlin)

His life and nationalist activities are relatively wellknown and clear. He went to England, and entered Oxford University.

Aug. 1907: He attended the 12th Stuttgart Conference of the Second International as a observer, with Madame Cama and Sardar Singh Rana of Indian delegation, met Hyndman, Karl Liebknecht, Jean Jaures, Rosa Luxemburg, Ramsey Macdonald etc . Lenin also attended it, but they could not meet him. Chatto was on the editorial staff of "Indian Sociologist."

Dec. 1908: secretary of the Indian Nationalist Journal "Swaraj" in London, 1909 (or 1910). Leader of Indian revolutionary group in Paris, published "Bande Mataram" and "Talvar". Joined the French Socialist Party. According to Bose's book (p.29), he discussed, on 15 May 1910, the possibility of securing Japanese help, as Anglo-Japanese relations were strained over Japan's policy toward Korea, but no effective step was taken in this direction.

April 1914: Moved for Berlin, established the Berlin Indian Committee.

1915: Leader of Indian Independence Committee, supported German Government, at the time. Secret British Intelligence report said that Chatto wrote a booklet against Japan (Chopra, p.15<its not true, by Sareen>). Inn Bose's book (p.87) , their group sent Narain S. Marathe on 22 Sept.1914 to USA and Japan to investigate the possibilities of securing arms 9only as a passenger, by Sareen). According tp Prof. Narasimha Murthy, in 1915 Herambalal Gupta arrived in Japan through USA, sent reports to Berlin(p.92-93).

1917: Central European Committee of Indian Nationalists founded the Bureau in Stockholm.

1918: Approached the Russian communists, esp. K.M.Troinovski, Madam Balavanova and the Russian Propaganda Centre in Petrograd.

Dec. 6. 1918: Dissolved the Berlin Indian Committee.

May 1919: Secret conference of Indian Revolutionaries in Berlin.

Nov. 1920: First visit to the Soviet Union to ask for financial as well as political support to movement.

May 25. 1921: Attended the Indian Committee of the Third Congress of Communist International in Moscow (Aklar,p.194) with Dr. Bhupendranath Dutta, Agnes Smedley etc. (until Sept.). But Moscow finally chose not the Chatto. group, but M.N. Roy as the representative of the Indian independence movement, because of Roy's loyalty to Moscow and Chatto's idea of nationalism first, communism second, strongly influenced by Agnes Smedley. (Roy, Memoirs)

The Second Period (1921-33 in Berlin)

His life is ambiguous. From 1921-28, he lived with Agnes Smedley. She left a long essay and one novel (Daughter of Earth) on their cohabitation.

Dec. 1921: Founded the Indian News and Information Bureau in Berlin , connected with USA, Afghanistan, and Japanese Group (led by Rash Behari Bose), etc. Also organized the Indian Association of Central Europe for youth and students.

1923: Chatto joined the German Communist Party (KPD) (by Sareen, 1978, p.73), but other sources supposed he joined the KPD in 1926.

Nehru wrote in his Autobiography that in 1927 he met two impressive intellectual Indian revolutionaries in Europe, M.N.Roy in Moscow and V. Chattopadhyaya in Berlin. Chatto and Nehru attended together the Brussels Conference of the League against Imperialism. Chatto was one of the general secretaries of the League. (Agnes also met Nehru)

1927 (or 1928): Chatto's younger brother Harindranath visited Berlin with his wife, Kamaladevi, and met Viren and Agnes. (In 1927, he was already a member of the Communist Party of Germany and perhaps the head of the Indian language section of KPD, just as T.Kunizaki who was the head of the Japanese language section, 1929-32)

1929: When Jawaharlal Nehru was elected President of the Indian National Congress, Chattopadhyaya, as his friend and the general secretary of the League against Imperialism, sent him letters which expected him to split the Congress and carry a more revolutionary program of full independence from British mperialism (S. Gotta, p.70, many letters to Nehru)

27 Feb.1930 to 3 Dec.1932: For the ultra-leftist sectarian turn of the Communist Party of India CPI), Chatto wrote 28 articles in the Comintern's organ "Inprecor." They are notorious in the CPI history.

His anti-Hitler activities in Berlin 1930-33 were not known in India. He struggled for the Asian emancipation from Western powers, for the independence of India, and against the Japanese intervention into Chinese revolution. Probably as a leader of the League against Imperialism. He was a member of the Association of Revolutionary Asians in Berlin (1931 to 1933) together with many Japanese intellectuals at the time in Berlin (Teido Kunizaki, doctor, Koreya Senda, stage director, Seiichiro Katsumoto, literary critic, Seki Sano, stage director Ousuke Shimazaki, painter, Seikichi Fujimori, novelist, Younosuke Kobayashi, revolutionary, Kazuo Waida in German literature, Hiroshi Kitamura, economist, Heiji Nomura, in labour law, Makoto Ohiwa, in political science, etc.) , some Chinese, Ryao Chon Chii etc.,a Korean, Lee Kang Kuk, and European anti-Nazi activists (including the postwar President of Czechoslovakia, Clement Gottwald, closely connected with the League against Imperialism, the Chinese left group association created by Zhou En-lai (later Prime Minister of Communist China, and the Comintern network in Europe in the early 1930s. Many of them attended to the Amsterdam Anti-War Congress in August 1932, which led to the United Front against Fascism and the War.

This revolutionary Japanese group in Berlin was originally founded in Nov. 1926 by the young intellectual scholars sent abroad by the Ministry of Education. Associate Professors of Tokyo University (Masamichi Rouyama in political science, Hiromi Arisawa in economics, Teido Kunizaki (photo) in social hygiene etc., mainly members or supporters of SHINJINKAI (student movement) and scholars or graduates of Kyoto University (Muraichi Horie, Yoshihiko Taniguchi, Katsujiro Yamada and Katsuichi Yamamoto in economics etc., mainly students of Prof. Hajime Kawakami) were the founding members. But their activity was at first, until 1927, limited to reading Marxist literature.@

In 1927-30, other famous scholars, Yoshitaro Hirano in law, Kisaburo Yokota in international law, Iwasaburo Takano in statistics, Takao Tsuchiya in economic history, Torazo Ninagawa in statistics, Eitaro Hattori in social policy, Hiroto Saegusa in philosophy, young artists , Koreya Senda stage director, Teinosuke Kinugasa film director, Bunzo Yamaguchi architect, and journalists in Berlin, Morimichi Okagami of Asahi Shinbun, Toumin Suzuki of Dentsu, Yuzuru Yosanoetc. joined the members of this group. In 1929, they began practical activities connected with the KPD & CPJ, especially with the League against Imperialism under the influence of Sen Katayama in Moscow. Some were active, others only read books.

The Association of Revolutionary Asians published at least 5 issues of the German journal "Revolutionares Asian" from March 1932- January 1933 (I have originals in Tokyo), organized anti-war meetings of Asians in Berlin , friendship parties with Germans, and some street performances by artists. This group was the key mediatory organ between Tokyo (CPJ) and Moscow (Comintern, Sen Katayama) at the time (so-called "Berlin-Route"), and was watched by the Japanese Police, Nazi-SS/SA and Soviet GPU. Many of the Japanese members were the leading scholars of Koza-ha (Hirano, Yamada) and Rounou-ha (Tsuchiya, Arisawa),from right (Yamamoto) to left-wing (Horie, Fujimori), and young children of prominent Japanese families (Simazaki, Yosano, Sano etc.). They experienced the Weimar Democracy and its collapse by Nazis in Germany, and many of them played critical roles to establish the postwar Democracy in Japan by their lessons from the German tragedy (esp. Arisawa, Senda). The Chinese members also became the important diplomats under Zhou En-lai after World War II. These Asians were Chatto's comrades early 1930s.

The Third Period (1933-1937?)

When and how did he die? His life in the USSR is unknown and enigmatic, all information is doubtful.

Perhaps Chatto moved to the Soviet Union at the end of Dec.1932 or early 1933 (His brother Harindranath met him in 1933 in Berlin, according to Dr. Sareen). Dr. Teido Kunizaki and Seki Sano etc. of the Association of Revolutionary Asians also entered into the Soviet Union.

1933: Agnes Smedley's last meeting with Chatto. It is said that he published many books on India in Moscow. There is one letter he wrote to Lenin's wife Krupskaya on 25 Jan. 1934. Her reply to Chatto on 7 Feb. 1934, and the record of his speech about his memory of Lenin on 18 March 1934 (Documents of the History of CPI, Vol.1). At that time, he was at the Indian department of the Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Science in Leningrad.(C. Palme Dutt met him in 1936 or 1937 in Leningrad, Dutt's letter to Muzaffar Ahmad 1960) .

His last wife and colleague, Dr. Lydia Karunovskaya, the head of the Indonesian Department at that time , said in the 1960s that he was arrested in 1937, and in 1940 he was no more (Documents of the History of CPI).

Dec. 10, 1937: Dr. Teido Kunizaki was shot in Moscow as a spy, and Seki Sano was purged to Mexico (These facts were concealed until 1991).

Jawaharlal Nehru sent a letter on 22 Feb. 1937 to V. Chatto from Allahabad enquiring about his welfare. On 23 Nov. 1937, Agnes Smedley sent Nehru a letter asking the support of Congress to the Chinese Red Cross. On 10 July 1938, Nehru received a letter from A.C.N.Nambiar (brother-in-law of Chatto) in Prague about the news of Chatto's arrest in the Soviet Union, and Nehru replied on 21 July 1938 to Nambiar in London that he agreed to find out about Chatto's arrest.

Moraes wrote that V. Chatto died alone in poverty in Moscow about 1940, But the Secret British Intelligence Report said, he died as Professor of Urdu language and literature of Moscow University in Jan. 1941. In Bose's book, he died in Dec. 1942. His wife Agnes Smedley once said "He might be a victim of Stalin" according to Morimoto's Japanese book on India.

According to M. Ahmad, after India became independent, the Indian Ambassador in Moscow made enquires about V. Chatto from the Soviet Government and was told that Chatto had become a Soviet citizen and died of arteriosclerosis.

His name with photo is exhibited in a room for the revolutionaries at the Nehru Memorial Museum in New Delhi. There are 28 freedom fighters before Nehru's age. Chatto is the 27th. Some of his works and articles left behind were found at the Dimitrov Museum in Leipzig (GDR) in the 1960s. There was a Chatto section. (After 1989, the Dimitrov Museum was closed).

I suppose that he was arrested and soon killed during the Stalinist purge in 1937 on the charge of nationalist deviationism, because at least two Japanese who worked together with Chatto in Berlin 1931-33 were also purged and killed in Moscow in 1937. (Over 30 Japanese were also killed or purged, and about 50 were still missing. Only Sanzo Nosaka, postwar President of CPJ, survived) .

His personal file and the records might be in the Soviet secret documents. The bereaved family can now get all materials of victim through the Russian government.


From Nehru, Autobiography, first published in 1936

Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, member of a famous family in India. Popularly known as Chatto, he was a very able and a very delightful person. He was always hard up, his clothes were very much the worse for wear, and often he found it difficult to raise the wherewithal for a meal. But his humour and lightheartedness never left him. He had been some years senior to me during my educational days in England. He was at Oxford when I was at Harrow. Since those days he had not returned to India, and, sometimes, a fit of homesickness came to him, when he longed to be back. All his home ties had long been severed, and it is quite certain that if he came to India he would soon feel unhappy and out of joint. But in spite of the passage of many years and long wandering, the pull of home remains. No exile can escape the malady of his tribe, that consumption of the soul, as Mazzini called it. I must say that I was not greatly impressed by most of the Indian political exiles that I met abroad, although I admired their sacrifice, and sympathised with their sufferings and present difficulties, which are very real. I did not meet many of them; there are so many spread out all over the world. Only a few are known to us even by reputation, and the others have dropped out of the Indian world and been forgotten by their countrymen whom they sought to serve. Of the few I met, the only persons who impressed me intellectually were V. Chattopadhyaya and M.N. Roy. Roy I met for a brief half-hour in Moscow. He was a leading Communist then, although, subsequently, his communism drifted away from the orthodox Comintern brand. Chatto was not, I believe, a regular communist, but he was communistically inclined. (extract, pp.153-154)@

From Agnes Smedley, China Correspondent, first published in 1943

(She lived with him from 1921 to 1928. He became a member of KPD, but she was not). The first person I met in Berlin was the Indian revolutionary leader Virendranath Chattopadhyaya. In New York I had often heard of him as one who had helped form an Indian Government-in-exile and build up a world-wide network of Indian revolutionary activity. In a very short time I had entered into a union with him. Virendranath was the epitome of the secret Indian revolutionary movement, and perhaps its most brilliant protagonist abroad.

His mind was modern, but his emotional roots were in Hinduism and Islam. Everyone understood and loved Viren, few understood me.

My alliance with Virendranath terminated early in 1928. To me he was not just an individual, but a political principle. For me he embodied the tragedy of a whole race. Had he been born English or American, I thought, his ability would have placed him among the great leaders of his age. Despite all this, I could not take up life with him.

I was not to see Viren again until 1933. Hitler was threatening, and Viren had left Germany for the Soviet Union, where he was connected with the Academy of Science in Leningrad. Upon my arrival in Moscow he came to me. He was at last growing old, his body thin and frail, his hair rapidly turning white. The desire to return to India obsessed him, but the British would trust him only if he were dust on a funeral pyre. What happened to him after that I do not know.(pp.15-23)

From Frank Moraes, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, 1956, p. 115

V. Chatto, a brother of the celebrated poetess and politician Sarojini Naidu, and Champakraman Pillai, one of the very few Indians who later worked with the Nazis [not true]. Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, for many years had lived a hand-to-mouth existence abroad. He was able and charming, a delightful companion more often than not dressed in tattered clothes but never embittered, a truly beloved vagabond. "Chatto", as he was popularly known, died in extreme poverty in Moscow during the Second World War, friendless and alone.

From Secret British Intelligence Report , brought up to date by P. Chopra, 1988, pp. 41-42

V. Chatto , familiarly known as Biren (Viren) or Binnie, was born at Hyderabad, Nizam's Dominions, in 1880, the eldest son of Dr. Aghorenath Chatterji [Chattopadhyaya], D.Sn.(Edin.),ex-Principal and Professor of Science of the Nizam's College.Virendranath passed the Matriculation Examination of the Madras University from St. George's Grammar School, Hyderabad. He was a B.A. of the Calcutta University. He went to England in 1902 to study for the I.C.S. but failed twice; he became a student of the Middle Temple in November 1909. In 1908 Chattopadhyaya was associated with B.C. Pal (q.v.) and his friends in the Hind Nationalist Agency and the seditious Swaraj magazine, of which he was a sub-editor, and developed into a thorough-paced revolutionary. He was expelled by the Benchers of the Middle Temple on account of the views expressed in his letter to the Times (London), dated the 6th July 1909, supporting V.D.Savarkar's (q.v.) action in objecting to the resolutions passed at the protest meeting held in London expressing indignation at the crime of Dhingra. He was appointed Vice-President of the London Free India Society after the arrest of Savarkar. Fearing arrest himself, he left London hurriedly on 9th June 1910, along with D.S.Madhav Rao (q.v.) for Paris, where he has since resided. He was editor of the revolutionary paper, the Talvar, started in memory of the assassin Madan Lal Dhingra, whose portrait appeared on the front page, in Nov.1909, but he had not the energy to carry it on beyond the middle of 1910.

In the spring of 1911 Chattopadhyaya was visited several times in Paris by a Miss Reynolds who was said to be very well-off and known to have contributed to the maintenance of Chattopadhyaya's nominal wife. Learned a number of languages and became proficient in German, French, Persian and Arabic besides Hindi and Urdu. Took up the publication of the revolutionary journal, the Indian Sociologist, in England. Left England in 1919<09> and settled in Paris where he published a journal called Talwar. Reached Berlin in 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War. Persuaded the German Government to support the Berlin Committee of the Indian Revolutionaries with money and arms. Arranged the shipment of arms and ammunition to the revolutionary party in India. The defeat of Germany in 1918 disrupted the activities of the Berlin Committee and he went to Moscow for enlisting the support of the USSR Government for the Indian liberation movement. Became Professor of Urdu language and literature in the University of Moscow. Died in exile at Moscow in January 1941.

From M. Ahmad, The CPI and its Formation Abroad, 1961, p. 98, 151 and Myself and the CPI, 1970

In 1921 Dr. Bhupendranath Datta and several other Indian exiles started from Germany on their "journey to Moscow." The leader of this group was Virendranath Chattopadhyaya. V.Chatto. was the eldest son of Dr. Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya of Hyderabad. The late Shrimati Sarojini Naidu, well-known leader of the Congress, was his sister. I do not know if Virendranath got through his examination at Oxford. He was the spokesman of migr Indian revolutionaries when they entered into an understanding with the Imperial German Government. Smedley was of opinion that in India, currently, the nationalist movement against Britain alone was important, and Chatto's group agreed with it. Chatto was an ultra-nationalist. In the first half of Feb.1927, a Conference of oppressed peoples was held in Brussels. Chatto were elected joint secretaries of the organization. One might guess from this that he had then changed his mind about Communists and about the Soviet Union. But it seems from what he had intimated to Dr. Datta that no such change had taken place. He did not rely on the Bolshevists.

In 1933, after Hitler's seizure of power, Chatto and many others had to run away from Berlin. It appears that Chatto went over to the Soviet Union. In 1936 or 1937 he was associated with the anthropological department of Leningrad University. He was put in charge of the department's museum and took great interest in the work. During this period Clemens Palme Dutt met him at the museum and wrote me a letter in 1960 which is the source of my information. I learnt that in 1938 Chatto was arrested, but I do not know the reason for the arrest. I have an idea that documents about him had been divulged. The Soviet Government intimated to the Government of India the nature of the disease of which he died. I am not aware if he was in jail or in a camp or outside either place. It has also been reported that he died during the siege of Leningrad.

When he died, he was fairly advanced in age. (in 1970, p.250) After India became independent, the Indian Ambassador in Moscow made enquires about V.Chatto from the Soviet Government and was told that Chatto had become a Soviet citizen and died of arteriosclerosis.

From G. Adhikari, Documents of the History of the CPI, Vol. 1, 1971, pp.79-89

Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, an outstanding figure among Indian revolutionaries who functioned abroad in the period of the first world war and who later joined the Communist Party and remained its member till his death 1937, was the first among Indian revolutionaries to contact the leaders of the October Revolution in 1917. This fact we get from the speech he made in German in Petrograd on March 1934 at the Academy of Science.

Chatto probably joined the CPG [KPD] in 1926 when preparations for holding the First International Congress against Colonial Oppression and Imperialism begin. This was held in Brussels on 10-15 Feb. 1927, and at this Congress was founded the League against Imperialism and for National Independence. The Indian delegation was headed by J.Nehru and included Chatto etc. Chatto was elected joint secretary of the organization together with Willi Munzenberg. He conducted a lively correspondence with J.Nehru between 1927 and 1930-31. Chatto's articles on Indian questions began to appear in the "International Press Correspondence" from 27 Feb. 1930, some 28 articles until 3 Dec. 1932. Chatto left Berlin for Moscow towards the end of 1932. This fact as well as some facts of his subsequent life up to 1937 we got from Dr. Lydia Karunovskaya of the Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Leningrad. Chatto was functioning as the head of the Indian department of the Institute, while he continued his political activities. Dr. Karunovskaya, who is now 80 and has long retired from her post in the Institute (head of the Indonesian department), had in her possession all the papers and documents left by Chatto: Some of these have been handed over to the Chatto section of the Dimitrov Museum of Revolution in Leipzig. V. Chattopadhyaya died some time after 1937. Dr. Krunovskaya told Chinmohan Sehanobis: "In 1937 one day they came and took him away and in 1940 I was informed that he was no more." M.N.Roy in his Memoirs writes: "It is reported that in his last days Chatto was also nonpolitically employed in Leningrad about the same time as Mukherji. It would be a cruel irony of fate if ultimately they both were victimized by revolutionary hysteria. Chatto certainly deserved a better fate"(p.301). Roy's assertion that Chatto and Abani Mukherji were nonpolitically employed in Moscow in the 1930s is not correct. His suggestion that both were unjust victims of the arbitrary violations of socialist law in the Stalin period of later days is confirmed from other sources. Chatto was, although he came to the CP later than M.N.Roy, remained loyal to it to his last days.

From A. C. Bose, Indian Revolutionaries Abroad, 1971, Biographical Note, p. 255

Chattopadhyaya, Virendranath. Eldest son of the well-known chemist, Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya, and brother of Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, he was born, probably, in 1880. He went to London in 1903 to qualify for the bar, and soon became closely associated with the India House movement. He went to France in summer 1910 and to Germany in April 1914, and was the undisputed leader of the Indian Independence Committee in Berlin. He held anarcho-communistic views and, though their mission to Moscow in 1921 failed, he retained close contact with the Comintern in the interwar years. He was one of the moving spirits behind the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities that met at Brussels in Feb.1927, and was the first General Secretary of the League Against Imperialism. After 1933 he mostly stayed in Moscow, and was the author of many books and pamphlets on India. He is believed to have died in Russia on 2 Dec. 1942. For some time he was married to the American communist authoress, Agnes Smedley.

From V.B. Karnik, M.N. Roy: Political Biography, Bombay, 1978, p. 138

Poor Chatto did not enjoy the CI protection too long. In 1937, "One day they came and took him away and in 1940 I was informed he was no more," stated Dr. Lydia Karunovskaya of the Institute of Ethnography in Leningrad. He became one of the innumerable victims of Stalinist Terror.



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Tetsuro Kato, Japanese Victims purged in Moscow in the late 1930s, Tokyo 1994
In den Fangen des NKWD, Berlin Dietz Verlg, 1991 (in this book, we can find 1136 names of former KPD members killed by the NKVD. There are two Asian names. One is Japanese, Dr. Teido Kunizaki, and the other one is Indian, probably, Chatto. I have to check it in Tokyo)
Karl Marx, The poverty of philosophy; with an introd. by Frederick Engels. [Edited by C.P. Dutt and V. Chattopadhyaya] Imprint New York, International Publishers [19--?]
Janice R. MacKinnon and Stephen R. MacKinnon. Agnes Smedley: The Life and Times of an American Radical. University of California Press, 1988.
Hans Piazza, "Jawaharlal Nehru and the Anti-Imperialist League." Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh,Volume XIX, No.3, December 1974.
Emily C. Brown. Har Dayal: Hindu Revolutionary and Nationalist. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1975.
Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, Life and Myself, Nalanda Publications, Bombay 1948 (about his family and their meeting in Berlin)
Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, Reflections(Poems), B.R. Publ., Delhi,1988.
Makarand Paranjape ed., Sarojini Naidu: Selected Poetry and Prose, Indus, New Delhi 1993.
Deobrate Prasd, Sarojini Naidu and Her Art of Poetry, Capital Publ. House,1988.
Izzar Yar Kham, Sarojini Naidu: The Poet, S. Chand, New Delhi 1983.
R. Ratan Bhatnagar, Sarojini Naidu: The Poem of a Nation, Kitab Mahal, Allahabad, 1971.
Agnes Smedley, China Correspondent, Pandora Press, London 1984 (First published in 1943 as Battle Hymn of China), pp. 9-23.
Agnes Smedley, Daughter of Earth, The Feminist Press, New York, 1973.
Agnes Smedley, The Indian National Revolutionaries' Road to Marxism, in The People, 18 Aug. 1927
Nehru, Autobiography
A Bunch of Old Letters, No.69( Dec.4. 29)
Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Orient Longman, Vol.3/4, New Delhi 1972/1973.(letters of Nehru to Chatto in 1927-29)
Frank Moraes, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, Macmillan, London1956, p.115.
Michael Brecher, Nehru: A Political Biography, Oxford UP,1959, p.114
Sarvepalli Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, Vol.1, 1889-1947, Jonathan Cape, London, 1975, p.124.
B.N. Pandey, Nehru, Macmillan,1976, p.118 (Nehru's socialist friend, Chatto from Berlin)
M.J. Akbar, Nehru: The Making India, Viking, London, 1988, pp.190, 193-4, 197, 203. (Letter of Nehru to Chatto April 4 ,1928) .
Sankar Chose, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1992, p.47.
S. Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru, A Biography, Oxford UP, 1989, p.70. (letter of V. Chattopadhyaya to Jawaharlal Nehru, 28 Aug. 1929, AICC file, F.D.1, part 1, 1929)
G. Adhikari ed., Documents of the History of the Communist Party of India, Vol.1,2,3A-C, New-Delhi, People's Publishing House, 1971-82.(esp. Vol.1)
V. B . Karnik ed., Indian Communist Party Documents 1930-1956, The Democratic Research Service, Bombay 1957.
Muzaffar Ahmad, The Communist Party of India and its Formation Abroad, Natinal Book Agency, Calcutta 1961(first refer to his Leningrad life)
Muzaffar Ahmad, Myself and the Communist Party of India, 1920-29, Calcutta,
National Book Agency, 1970 (Letter from C. Palme Dutt, April 1960, p.249).
Muzaffar Ahmad, Communist Challenge Imperialism from the Dock, National Book Agency , Calcutta 1967
Manmathnath Gupta, History of the Indian Revolutionary Movement, Somaiya Publications, Bombay 1972
P. & P.N. Chopra eds., Indian Freedom Fighters Abroad ( Secret British Intelligence Report), Criterion Publishers,1988(pp.41-42, Chatto).
P & P.N.Chopra eds., Forgotten Heroes of Indian Freedom Struggle: A Who's Who (British Secret Documents) , AGAM Prakashan,1992
A.C. Bose, Indian Revolutionaries Abroad,1905-1922: In the Background of International Developments, Bharati Bhawan, Patna,1971(Biblio. Note)
T.R.Sareen, Indian Revolutionary Movement Abroad (1905-21), Sterling Press,New-Delhi 1979
T.R.Sareen, Russian Revolution and India (1917-21), Sterling Press, 1977
T.R.Sareen, Russian Revolution and India (1922-29), Sterling Press,1978
T.R.Sareen, Indian Revolutions, Japan and British Imperialism, Armol Publ, New Delhi 1993.
T.R.Sareen, Japan and the Indian National Army, Mounto Publ.House ,1996
T.R.Sareen, India and Japan in Historical Perspective, The Japan Foundation New Delhi Office,1996.
M.N. Roy, Memoirs, Allied Publishers, Bombay 1964(Important)
M.N.Roy, The Communist International, Radical Democratic Party Publ.,1943.
Selected Works of M.N.Roy, Vol.2 (1923-27), Oxford UP, New Delhi 1988
V.B.Karnik, M.N.Roy: Political Biography, Bombay,1978
Kiran Maitra, Roy, Comintern and Marxism in India, Darbavi Prokashan, Calcutta 1991.
S.M.Ganguly, Leftism in India: M.N.Roy and Indian Politics 1920-48, Calcutta, Minerva,1984.
Amal Chattopadhyay, Bhupendranath Datta and His Study of Indian Society, KP Gagchi,Calcutta 1994
Gautam Chattopadhyay, Abani Mukherji: A Dauntless Revolutionary and Pioneering Communist, People's Publ House, New Delhi 1976.
Bhagwan Josh, Struggle for Hegemony in India 1920-47, Vol.1-3, Sage,1992-94(interesting)
R.Suntharalingam, Indian Nationalism, Vikas, New uelhi,1983(p.298)
B.N.Pandey ed., The Indian Nationalist Movement, 1885-1947, Macmillan, London 1979.
V.Shukla, Soviet Revolution and the Indian National Movement, New Delhi 1989(p.48).
A. Ashhraf & G.A.Syomin eds., October Revolution and India's Independence, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 1977
Nirmala Joshi, Foundations of Indo-Soviet Relations, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi 1975.
I.M.Sharma, Role of Revolutionaries in the Freedom Struggle, Marxist Study Forum, Hyderabad,1987
Satyavrata Ghosh, Remembering Our Revolutionaries, Marxist Study Forum, Hyderabad,1994
Debi Chatterjee, Marxist Thought in India, Chatterjee Publishers, Calcutta
M.A.Persits, Revolutionaries of India in Soviet Russia, Moscow 1983.
G.D.Overstreet & M. Windmillar, Communism in India, The Perennial Press, Bombay, 1960
Cecil Kaya, Communism in India, Edition Indian, Calcutta 1971.
David Petrie, Communism in India 1924-27, Editions Indian, Calcutta 1971
Horace Williamson, India and Communism, Editions Indian, Calcutta, 1976
Shashi Bairathi, Communism and Nationalism in India, Pooja Press, Delhi 1987.
Sankar Ghose, Socialism and Communism in India, Allied Publishers, Bombay,1971
Sobhandal Datta Gupta, Comintern, India and Colonial Questions, Calcutta K.P.Bagchi,1980
Sada Hand Talwar, Under the Banyan Tree: The Communist Movements in India 1920-1964, Allied Publishers, New Delhi 1985.
Anand Gupta, India and Lenin, New Literature, New-Delhi, 1960,
Bipan Chandra ed., The Indian Left: Critical Appraisals, New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House,1983.
Rakhahari Chatterjee, Working Class and Nationalist Movement in India 1905-29, New Delhi, People's Publishing House, 1971.
S.Rai Chowdhuri, Leftist Movements in India: 1917-1947 ,Calcutta, Minerva Associates,1977
David N. Druhe, Soviet Russia and Indian Communism, 1917-47, New York, Bookman,1959.
Pankaj Kumar,Communist Movement in India ,New Delhi, Criterion Publ. 1989.
K.N.Panikkar & P.C.Joshi eds., Nationalism and Left Movements in India, Delhi, Vikas, 1980.
L.P.Sinha, The Left Wing in India 1919-47, Muzaffarpur, New Publ., 1965.
R.C.Gupta, Indian Freedom Movement and Thought, New Delhi, Sterling Publishers, 1983.
David Footman, International Communism, Chatto & Windus, London 1960.
Horst Krueger hrsg.,Nationalismus und Sozialismus im Befreiungskampf der Voelker Asiens und Africas, Akademie Verlag, Berlin-Ost,1970.
Horst Krueger hrsg., Neue Indienkunde, Akademie Verlag, Berlin-Ost,1971.
L.T.Comdr, Tita Ishimura, Japan Must Fight Britain, The Paternoster Library,1936.
Anand Mohan Sahay, Indian Revolutionaries in Japan(Transcript), 1981.
R. P.Dua, The Impact of the Russo-Japanese War on Indian Politics, Delhi 1966.
P.A.Narasimha Murthy, India and Japan, ABC Publ. House, New Delhi 1986.
P.A.Narasimha Murthy ed., India and Japan: Dimensions of Their Relations, Lancers Books, New-Delhi 1993. (postwar documents)
Kamlendia Kanwar ed., India-Japan, Toward a New Era, UBSPD, New-Delhi 1992(contemporary)
J.D.B.Miller ed., India, Japan, Australia: Partners in Asia? , ANU Press, Canberra1968(postwar)
U.S. Bajpai ed., India and Japan: A New Relationship?, Lancers Books, New Delhi 1968
Stuart Kirby, Russian Studies of Japan, Macmillan London 1981


Interview about Virendranath Chattopadhyaya: Dr. T. R.Sareen with Dr. Brij Tankha on 9 and 14 Dec. 1996 in New Delhi, the National Council of Historical Research


1 Studies on V. Chattopadhyaya in India =no serious study, because of the lack of materials

2 Evaluations on Chatto in India (Nationalist or Communist?) =Dr. Sareen has an idea he was essentially a nationalist. From CPI side, a communist.

3 Impact of Agnes Smedley =M.N.Roy's Memoir is not true about 1921 Journey. She was only an observer

4 First Period, Birth, to England, Oxford, to Paris, 1921 to Moscow(Roy, Dutta, Smedley, Nationalism) =1909 at first from London to Berlin, then to Paris. He surely graduated Oxford Univ. with Degree. 1917-22 mainly in Stockholm.

5 "England's difficulty is India's opportunity"

6 Second Period, to join the Party in 1923 or 1926, How many Indians in Berlin? Chatto Group? =Chatto group planned to go to Mussolini's Italy in 1921, but could not enter. Party entrance in 1923 (with Dr. Bhupendranath Dutta) is by the British Police Report. For Dr. Sareen, a few hundred Indians in Berlin, but Chatto group was only ten to twenty. Champakraman Pillai was not pro-Nazis as Moraes wrote, but a comrade of Chatto and was killed by Hitler. Nambiar and Millani? were also the members of KPD, see the British Report in 1938-40.

7 League against Imperialism, origin, role, Nehru, Roy group, Congress . =The Idea itself came from Chatto-Pillai Group. In 1922 League of Oppressed Nations in Berlin organized by Champakraman Pillai. The head of Indian language group was not Chatto, but Ghulam Ambia Khan Luhani(from Bengal, he attend the 6th CI Congress).

8 1930-32 Left-turn of CPI, role of Inprecor's article by Chatto = His important role should be mainly through the close correspondence with Nehru.

9 Hitler, Fascism for India, Amsterdam World Congress Aug.1932 =check the Wiliamsons book (no special reference)

10 To Leningrad, 1932 or 33 =perhaps 1933, because his younger brother Harindranath met him in Berlin in 1933(see his book, My Life)

11 Chattos article, pamphlet, unpublished autobiography from Moscow, 7th CI World Congress =Dr. L.V. Mitrokhin (Oriental Institute, Moscow) wrote some articles on Chatto. He studied after the opening of Moscow Archives. He wrote that Chatto died in 1940 in jail.

12 Leningrad, Dr. Karnovskaya, Clemens Palme Dutt(elder brother of R.Palme Datt), Dr. Horst Kruger(Leipzig) =Dr. Karnovskaya was his last wife. She wrote his biography in Russian. Dr. Kruger published 3 books on Indian Independence movement in the 1970s in GDR.

13 Governmental asking, when (M. Ahmad) =enquiry was not official but by Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and her daughter.

14 Stalinist victims of Indian, Research, 1937 how many, when, in Indian Circle? =One Indian Rattan Singh? married to a daughter of Stalin. As Indian political victims by Stalin, Chatto, Abani Mukherji(he was also in Japan) and Ghulam Ambia Khan Luhani (from Bengal, he attended the 6th CI Congress) . Some were sent to Siberia.

15 Indian Marxism after 1989, Any Rehabilitation,

16 Chatto's Connection to Japan, 1914, 1921, 1931-32, Chandra Bose, Dutta, C. Palme Dutt

17 Indian attitude to Japanese Imperialism, to Korea 1910, to China 1931(Manchuria), 1936.


Chatto's Family, eight brothers and sisters are important

Virendranath(1880-1940?) was the eldest son.



Harindranath(1898- ) poet, musisian, playwright, met Chatto and Agnes in Berlin 1927 when he was invited to the Soviet Union (Life and Myself, Bombay 1948)

Mrs. Sarojini Naidu(1879-1949) poetess and feminist, Congress politician and close associate of Gandhi.

Mrinalini (1883-): artist. According to British Intelligence Report, she met Virendranath in Marsailles on June 2,1911.

Mrs. Suhashini Nambiar : musician and singer, met A. Smedley

Mrs. Sunalini H : musician and singer

Mrs. Rukmini (? Brij) :@

< Japanese References>

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Agnes Smedley, China Correspondent, Pandora Press, London 1984 (First published in 1943 as Battle Hymn of China),pp.9-23.ỉ̂AYA݂[APXTVj
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I recently received the following e-mail from Mrinalini Sarabhai , and corrected the above list of Chatto's Family. (Jan. 31, 2002)

Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002

Dear Friend,

I received a note and personally verified link <http://www.members.jcom.home.ne.jp/katori/Chatto.html> that you had mistaken me for Mrinalini Chattopadhyaya, sister of Sarojini Naidu. She was a great friend of my mother's and so I was named after her, when I was born. The whole family were good friends of my mother Ammu Swaminadhan who lived in Madras.

My elder sister Lakshmi who as a medical student went to Singapore, was very influenced by Mrinalini aunty's sister Suhashini who was a communist. Lakshmi was selected or rather volunteered for Subhash Bose's army in Singapore and headed the Jhansi regiment. There are many books about her, one of he best being 'The Forgotten Army' authored by 'Peter Ward Fray' published in the U.S.A.

I married the well known scientist Vikram Sarabhai and am a dancer. Do look at our website http://www.darpana.com and you will find out something about us and our work. I have also edited the letters of Mahatma Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu as requested by a friend Mr. E. Reddy.

Best Wishes,



Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 The photo which I have long believed as of "young Chattopadhyaya" was not Chatto's but Dr. Pandurang Khankhoje's. I was taught it by the following mail of his daughter, Ms. Maya Khankhoje.

I just came across your website concerning your research on Chattophadhyaya.
Your work is certainly very interesting and needs to be made available to a wider public.
My own sister, Dr. Savitri Sawhney is writing a biography on our father Dr. Pandurang Khankhoje, who was also one of the founding members of the Ghadar party and was in San Francisco, Germany and Japan and as well as other locations with the Ghadar Party, before going to reside in Mexico.
There is, however, an error in your website. The picture of the young Chattopadhyaya is not his, but Khankhoje's. In the Nehru museum it was placed alongside Chattopadhyaya and the caption could have been misleading, but my sister and I are absolutely sure it is our father, especially since she has the original photo as well as other photos of that period.
It would be nice if you and my sister could exchange information since writing biographies about Ghadar members can be quite a challenge, since information is spread all over the globe.
With kind regards, Maya Khankhoje.
Maya Khankhoje also shows me the useful documents related the Indian Independent Movement.

The Comintern and the Indian Revolutionaries in Russia in the 1920s

Inventaris van het archief van HENK SNEEVLIET