I spend a fair amount of time in the archives looking at documents that reveal the various reasons that foreigners were attracted to the
Among these many experiments in establishing a new society, there was also the sense that the
Yesterday, I found a funny little letter attesting to how Soviet life appealed to one foreigner, R. Swaroop, an energetic twenty-five year old journalist from
I hate religion for supporting it all [political and economic oppression], and you have done the wisest thing in doing away with it. It is a great obstacle in our progress. Similarly the older sort of morality which gave women a place of subordination to man was a great hitch. Of course, I don’t believe a trash what they say about the nationalization of women. I myself believe in a new sort of morality, and if you know Bertrand Russell, I agree with his ideas.
At this point, Swaroop goes on a little jag of name-dropping. He admits that he only made it through a year of college, but he’s a voracious reader; he is especially keen on Krishnamurti. He’s also an amateur photographer and he’s learning dance from Madame Menaka (Lila Sokhey), one of the most well-known Indian dancers of the 1930s. He concludes his missive by describing the kind of people he would like to correspond with. Any man will do, it seems, but in light of his interests he asks for a particular type of female pen pal.
...I wish my girl correspondent from your country to say how she feels under this new regime. I hope she won’t feel shy to discuss sex matters with me as a European girl will do. I am a man.
That’s the last sentence before he signs off.