Ayana Deva Angadi

Other names: 

Ayana Veerayyaswami Angadi

Raj Hansa

Jaya Deva


Date of birth: 
12 Mar 1903
City of birth: 
Jakanur, Mysore State
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Oct 1993
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1924
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 



Ayana Angadi came to Britain in 1924. His original intention was to prepare for the ICS examination but instead he became involved in political activism, writing, and lecturing about imperialism and India. As well as contributing to a range of journals in Britain, he wrote several political pamphlets under the pseudonym Raj Hansa. A committed Trotskyist, he joined the Labour Party and worked as a lecturer for the Central Advisory Council for Adult Education in HM Forces and then for the Imperial Institute, travelling to schools and colleges around the country to speak about Indian matters. He also travelled to Scandinavia to lecture and was there suspected of being a Cominform agent (L/PJ/12/518, p. 48).

Arguably, Angadi's most significant achievement while in Britain was the establishment with his wife Patricia Fell-Clarke of the Asian Music Circle in 1946. This organization introduced Indian music, dance and yoga to the British public, paving the way for musicians such as Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan.


E. F. Bramley (CPGB), R. F. O. Bridgeman, Benjamin Brittan, J. R. Campbell (CPGB), Patricia Fell-Clarke, George Harrison, B. K. S. Iyengar, Krishna Menon, Yehudi Menuhin, Shapurji Saklatvala, Ravi Shankar.

Involved in events: 

Numerous concerts and lectures

India League meetings

Published works: 

(as Jaya Deva) Japan’s Kampf (London: Gollancz, 1942)

Numerous pamphlets written under the name Raj Hansa

Contributions to periodicals: 

New Leader


Time and Tide

Secondary works: 

Massey, Reginald, Azaadi! Stories and Histories of the Indian Subcontinent After Independence (Abhinav Publications, 2005)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)


'Secret’ IPI memo, 1 February 1949, L/PJ/12/518, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras, pp. 42–3


This file contains British government surveillance reports on Ayana Angadi’s activities in Britain and Europe during the period 1937–47.


AYANA VEERAYASWAMI ANGADI has lived mainly in the United Kingdom since 1930. He is an individual of ordinary status who has made a livelihood as a lecturer and journalist. His book 'Japan’s Kampf' attracted the favourable attention of the Ministry of Information during the war and for a time he was engaged as a lecturer to troops. However he was relieved of this occupation because he introduced his political views into the lectures.

ANGADI is described as being a revolutionary Communist. His record includes a sentence in 1937 of a month’s imprisonment for stealing a typewriter.

Since 1946 ANGADI has toured and lectured in the Scandinavian countries more than once and many of his lectures have been marked by a strong anti-British bias. He has made himself unpopular both in Norway and Denmark and the former has decided to refuse him a visa should he apply for one again.

It has been stated that his visit to Norway in February 1947 was under the auspices of the Imperial Institute, and has been suggested that the Institute should be told about his undesirability. You may be able to find out if it is correct that the Institute sponsored ANGADI in any way, and may be able to tell someone in the Institute about the kind of individual he is.


The detailed documentation kept on Angadi and his activities while in Britain is evidence of the high level of surveillance of South Asians who were politically active during this period. This in turn suggests the anti-imperialist campaigning of Angadi and his contemporaries was considered dangerously effective. The extensive travel Angadi undertook, both within Britain and beyond, is evidence of a keen commitment to educating the British and Europeans about imperialism and to mobilizing for the struggle for Indian independence and international socialism.

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/518, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Asian Music Circle 1954–1960: Correspondence with Ayana Deva Angadi, founder and director, regarding the Circle’s programmes, with copies of leaflets and programmes, MSS 157/3/MU/A/1/1–26, Papers of Victor Gollancz, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library