The Russian Revolution of 1917 served as a great inspiration for revolutionaries in India who at that time were engaged in the struggle for the liberation from British rule.
Many of them were living in exile and had been in contact with Lenin and the Bolshevik Party and in 1913-14 some of them had formed the Ghadar Party.
There was a group of revolutionaries in Berlin who decided to make contact with the Bolsheviks in Moscow. Among them were Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, the leader of the group, Bhupendranath Dutt, Mohd Barkathullah, Nalini Gupta and others.
On October 17, 1920 a meeting was held in Tashkent, the capital of the then Turkistan Republic of the Soviet Union to announce the formation of the Communist Party of India.
M N Roy was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI). He was deputed to the Central Asiatic Bureau at Tashkent.
At the first meeting on 17 October, the organization adopted its name as the ‘The Indian Communist Party’. The inaugural meeting also adopted the principles of the communist international and decided to work out a programme of the CPI that was ‘suited to the conditions of India’.
It was a turning towards Marxist-Leninist politics and organising small communist groups in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lahore and Kanpur in the course of late 1921 and 1922.
In the period 1922 to 1923, the publication of the Vanguard of Indian Independence by Roy, the first declared organ of the Communist Party of India from Berlin helped to spread communist propaganda and ideas in India.
The British government understood the threat posed by such propaganda and prohibited the entry of Vanguard into India.