Born in 1929 in a distinguished westenised Brahmo Samaj family in Calcutta, Mohit Sen was educated in Calcutta and Cambridge. It was at Cambridge that Sen met mathematics scholar Vanaja Iyengar, and the two decided to marry. He also received his party card at Cambridge.
From 1950 to 1953, Mohit Sen was in People’s Republic of china,
where he attended the International Communists School in Beijing.
Subsequently he worked at the central office of the CPI, being
eventually elected to the party’s Central Executive Committee. He later parted with the CPI, persuaded by his thinking that the Communist movement should ally with the nationalist stream in India’s public affairs. He then founded the United communist Party of India.
Mohit Sen passed away in 2003, shortly after the publication of his
autobiography. Of Sen’s memoirs, Eric Hobsbawm, the celebrated
historian of the twentieth century, has noted that”… it is a most remarkable book, written with unremitting passion and love, with acute observation of those who gave their lives to the case, but with skeptical judgment. In my view no more illuminating first-hand book on the history of Indian Communism has been written, nor is likely to be written… India was lucky to enter independence with people as honest, as selfless, and as devoted to service of the people as he.”
A widely acknowledged intellectual communist, Sen wrote for India’s leading journals. His other writings include revolution in India: Problems and Perspectives, Glimpses of the History of the Communist movement in India, Maoism and the Chinese Revolution, Congress and Socialism and Naxalites and the Communists.