IT power: Chips of the same block
Wednesday, OCTOBER 27, 2010
Revolution of ideas: When Gandhi wrote to Tolstoy... Tolstoy’s ideas influenced Mahatma Gandhi and Tagore and spawned a deep spiritual connection with India. Achala Moulik
specially for RIR
Nicholas Roerich himself, an outstanding Russian painter, philosopher, scholar and traveller. Such celebrations have already grown into a vibrant, positive tradition, but this time the festival was on an unprecedented scale and acquired the hues of an international cultural event.
It is something of a paradox that people who are iconic figures in their own country sometimes come to represent the heritage of mankind. Human history is peopled with such homo universalis or the universal man. Lev Tolstoy was one such man. This legendary Russian writer, philosopher and thinker is admired and venerated throughout the world, particularly in India. The 100th anniversary of Tolstoy’s death is an ideal occasion to reflect on his manifold legacy that includes not just his magnificent contribution to literature, but also his original ideas on political philosophy and social reforms that influenced two of India’s iconic figures: Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. In an age of privileges when all manual work was performed by the poor, Tolstoy extolled the dignity of manual labour and set an example by working in the fields with his peasants and learning shoemaki n g . H e wo u l d u s e t h i s knowledge for his powerful short story – What Men Live By. Gandhi, too, emphasised the dignity of labour in a castedominated society. Another trait Tolstoy and Gandhi shared was their profound empathy for the oppressed and that spontaneous impulse to ameliorate their pitiable condition.
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Indra 2010: Joining hands to defeat scourge of terror A Russian and an Indian soldier are running hard to thwart terrorists in a joint mock anti-terror drill in Uttarakhand.
Memory Celebrating 75th anniversary of the Roerich Pact
A Himalayan journey from past treasures to future stars
The Russian envoy recalls magical celebrations at the Roerich Estate in the lap of the Himalayas and shines light on the seer's vision.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal looks on as Russian ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin lights the lamp to open the 75th anniversary celebration of the Roerich Pact.
ber 10 Novem
Identities mingle in the symphony of cultures
A Report from The Tmes of India. In association with Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Taking counter-terror cooperation between India and Russia to new heights, 200 soldiers each from the Indian and Russian armies held Indra 2010, a ten-day joint military exercise (October 15-24) at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand. They bonded and shared latest anti-terror combat techniques to defeat the scourge of global terror. The crack troops from the Indian 99 Mountain Brigade and Russian 34 Independent Mountain Infantry Brigade practiced operational coordination, and worked on practical training missions in mountains, arranging interactions between units. The active phase of anti-terrorist drills included organising patrols in areas of 'presumed terrorists' locations, seting up mock mobile checkpoints on mountainous roads to learn how to stop the penetration of terrorists into populated areas and state facilities. continued on PAGE 2
Feeling at home in kindred lands
Alexander M. Kadakin Specially for RIR
My recent trip to Naggar, a place in the western Himalayas where I’d been about fifty times before, left unexpectedly powerful and lasting im-
pressions. I went there to take part in a Russian-Indian festival at the Roerichs' Estate, which since the early 1990s, has hosted the International Roerich Memorial Trust. The three-day festival, which opened on October 8 with an exhibition of young painters from Russia and India, was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Roerich Pact and the 136th birth anniversary of
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Competition among brands heats up
Joint venture on 3G, Wimax mobile on the way
Indian tea returns to Russia
...Marching towards a common future
The Times of India
Russia india report
in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE times of india wednesday_OCTOber 27_2010
News in brief
IT Power MoU on a JV may be signed during Russian IT minister's visit to India
Connecting anew with 3G networks, WiMax chips
Svetlana Sorokina rir
When India’s Telecom and IT Minister A. Raja visited Russia recently, he went to the Mikron factory of SITRONICS, a Russian company which has been supplying RUIM cards to India since last year. “We have a long-standing and close relationship with the Russian Federation, and we are sure that the exchange of experience and initiatives will be extremely useful. We believe that our joint work will help to bring communications to the masses,” he said. “We
investment NMDC plans to buy kolar coal company for $400 mn
will welcome technical and financial contribution from Russia in the JV." This was the first indication that India and Russia may be partnering in a joint venture to produce chips for 3G and WiMax cellular network. “Russia is one of the first countries where commercial mobile WiMax networks have started operating. They are now in operation in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and other major cities. We believe that this technology is completely ready for exporting,” Russia’s IT Minister Igor Shchegolev told Raja. Informed sources disclosed that a memorandum of understanding may be signed during a return visit to India by the Russian minister. There may be talk about both im-
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The Russian personnel were equipped with lightweight Permyachka infantry suits, which protect at least 80% of the body surface from small-caliber bullets and low-speed shrapnel. "The exercise was aimed at enhancing defence cooperation and military-to-military relations between the two armies," a defence spokesperson said. Indra 2010 is the third exercise in the Indra series.The first was held at the Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan in 2005, and the second was organised at Pskov in Russia in 2007. Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov announced that the countries will hold another big exercise next year after they concluded the 10th Inter-Govern-
Russian, Indian officers discuss plans
mental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation meeting on Oct 7. They also discussed the decades-old defence relationship between the two strategic allies that is now moving into a new phase with ambitious plans for joint development of a fifth generation fighter aircraft. Liliya Trushina.
Telecom and IT Minister A. Raja at the Mikron factory
porting high-tech equipment for WiMax and also helping India to create a new communications operator and to roll out 3G networks. Foreign investment in micro-electronics, says SITRONICS vice president Irina Lanina, will boost the industry. “Apart from us, the countries with a capacity to produce chips for 3G and WiMax are the USA, China and Korea,” a source explained. “But in the case of the US, transferring technologies may cost
India too much while there are certain political disagreements with China, and the Korean technologies may require additional development.” The source indicated that if a decision is taken to set up a joint venture in the field of communications without technology transfer, the Sistema joint stock financial corporation, which is already operating in the Indian market, is most likely to be an active player.
Intergeo, a new mining subsidiary of Russia's Onexim group private equity fund owned by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is preparing to sell the Yakutia-based Kolmar coal company in northern Russia to India's NMDC for at least $400 million, said Kommersant business daily. NMDC, Asia's third largest iron ore producer, is currently conducting due diligence of Kolmar, and will formulate its offer by December 1, the daily said, quoting In-
tergeo Chief Executive Officer Maxim Finsky. If NMDC decides against buying the asset, Kolmar will hold an IPO to find investors. The amount of $400 million, which Intergeo expects to raise from the sale of Kolmar, exceeds what the company paid for the asset by $100 million. Nikolai Sosnovsky, an analyst at Uralsib investment bank, said that the Indian metals company could offer a good premium for the asset as it lacked its own coal resources. RIA Novosti
energy India in talks with bidders for trebs oil deposits India hopes to participate in the development of Russia's huge Trebs and Titov oil deposits through cooperation with the possible winners of the auction for the right to develop them, said Secretary of India's Ministry Of Petroleum and Natural Gas S. Sundareshan. A subsidiary of India's ONGC oil company, Nord Imperial, made a bid to take part in the auction for the deposits but was rejected. "We are in talks with companies ... likely to win the auction. We hope we will be
able to cooperate with them." The Trebs and Titov deposits are among the most promising in the Timan-Pechora province with C1 reserves estimated at 78.9 million tonnes (578 million barrels) and 63.4 million tonnes (465 million barrels) of oil respectively. Russia will hold the auction on December 2 with the initial selling price set at 18.171 billion rubles ($606 million). Only the Russian oil companies Surgutneftegas and Bashneft are allowed to take part in the auction. RIA Novosti
New law makes life easier for expat specialists alexandr zemlyanichenko/krasnaya zvezda
2010: Joining hands to defeat scourge of terror
India and Russia may set up a joint venture for producing telecom hardware even as the Indian government readies to roll out 3G and WiMax broadband in the country.
www.rbcnews.com English-language business news en.rian.ru/business RIA Novosti newswire en.fondsk.ru Strategic culture foundation magazine rt.com Russia Today TV channel
Russia is set to attract more qualified specialists from abroad as a new law simplifies procedures for bringing members of their famiiy into the country. Olga Senina rir
Life just got easier for foreign specialists in Russia. A new law enacted on Oct 19 allows the wife of a specialist who moves to Russia to work to get a working visa for the same period as her husband. Moreover, a foreign specialist who changes location within Russia (for not more than 30 days) or who wants to leave the country (for not more than 90 days) will not have to go through the migration registration procedures.Vladimir Pligin, one of the authors of the bill, is confident that this
will enhance Russia’s attractiveness as a hub for qualified foreign personnel. For expats themselves, the entry to Russia has been made easier since July 1. This applies to people who have work experience and skills in specific fields and are paid not less than 2 million roubles (about $70,000) per year. The length of their working visas and their permission to work has been increased from 1 to 3 years, and both of these can be extended repeatedly, although by not more than 3 years each time. Conversely, the time it takes to issue these documents has been reduced from 4 months to 14 working days. Employers no longer have to ask the Federal Migration Service whether they are entitled to invite a qualified foreign worker.
finance Investors confidence high as bond market booms Russia's economic rebound is sending the cost of protecting against a bond default to the cheapest level relative to Brazil in five months. Russia's bond market is booming, with Russian banks and the companies raising record volumes of cash at record low yields. Analysts say that yields have to fall further as the gap between Russia and the other BRIC countries of Brazil, India and China narrows. However, oil above $80 a barrel and a jump in
foreign currency reserves to more than $500bn for the first time since October 2008 are spurring investor confidence. As Brazil raised foreign investment taxes for a second time in October, Russia's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that Russia is reducing exchange-rate intervention. "Investors are going to concentrate more on Russia," says Jeremy Brewin, who manages $2bn of emergingmarket debt at Aviva Investors. BNE
www.rbcnews.com Business news en.rian.ru/business RIA Novosti newswire www.businessneweurope.eu Business magazine focusing on emerging European markets
Russia india report
in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE times of india wednesday_OCTOber 27_2010
Indian tea is destined to make a major comeback in the Russian market due to the growing demand and stagnating production of competitors like Sri Lanka. svetlana sorokina rir
Tea is easily Russia’s national drink and has a rich and varied history. It was introduced in Russia in the 16th century by the Chinese, but centuries later it is Indian tea, which is set to re-conquer the Russian palate. Legend has it that tea was first introduced to the Russian tsar in 1567 and was confined mostly to boyars, Russian aristocrats, in the 17th century. The building of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the 19th century was a turning point in the fortunes of tea in Russia. It became cheaper and could be bought at every corner. Tea houses sprang up all over the country; the concept of tea etiquette was created, which included people inviting others over“for tea”.The samovar became a centrepiece for Russian social life. Tea from India and Ceylon appeared in Russia in the mid19th century. Indian tea was cheaper and lower grade than Chinese tea, although there were some exceptions like highland teas from northern India. Such tea became hugely popular in taverns. You could make it strong with just a few tea leaves; and it was mostly used to“quench one’s thirst and warm up”. The Chinese dominated the Russian tea market till the 1970s when ties with China turned sour. From the 1970s on, the USSR started import-
ing tea from Ceylon and India. Domestic supplies from Georgia and the Krasnodar Region were also used as an additive for cheaper Indian varieties. Indian tea for Russia was, in a sense, a symbol of the Soviet period when 50% of all tea came from India. During peak years, India exported upto 120,000 tonnes of tea to Russia annually. Different kinds of tea leaves were blended in the USSR and packed in famous recognisable boxes with an elephant on the side. People believed that you can only find good quality tea in a box featuring an elephant with its trunk up in the air. India, despite its strong position as the Soviet Union’s leading supplier, fell on hard times in Russia in the last decade. With an upsurge in national prosperity, Russians switched from cheap Indian tea to premium-tea.“Indian tea’s image from the 1990s is now working against it,”said Ramaz Chanturiya, the Director General of the Russian Association of Tea and Coffee Producers (RUSTEACOFFEE.) “There are good types of tea in India. Russians are used to thinking that Indian tea is of low quality. When people started earning more money, they did not want to drink low-quality tea anymore: that’s when India began losing its market share.” But after a spell of neglect, things are again looking up for Indian tea, with burgeoning global demand and a decline in production in leading teaproducing countries. Reduced crop levels and rising Sri Lankan tea prices will also work to India’s advantage.
Tea market Russia imports 95% of the tea it consumes. Its tea market is estimated at 160,000- 170,000 tonnes a year. Sales by the world’s five largest brands make up almost 80% of the market by volume, and 77% by value, their closest rivals being private labels of retail chains.
Leading companies in the Russian tea market include May Company, Orimi Trade and Ahmad Tea. The black tea segment is the largest. According to Key Accounts Index, black tea sales made up 82.8% by volume in 2009, a far cry from green tea’s 12.4%.
Indian tea poised for a comeback
Indian kids drink tea from Russian samovar at a camp at Artek in the Soviet Union in 1975.
India has also launched brandbuilding campaigns to promote tea exports and reclaim its dominance of the Russian market. Experts are not count-
ing out Tata, a global exporter of tea and coffee, from entering Russia. In 2009, RUSTEACOFFEE's figures showed Sri Lankan
tea’s market share in Russia at 29%, while Indian tea made up 25.3%. This is a very small gap, given that in the mid2000s, Sri Lanka had 40% of
the Russian tea market, while India had a meagre 20%. Today, major Indian players in the Russian market include J.V. Gokal, JFK RUS (a subsidiary of JFK International) and Indu. Other large Indian brands have not yet entered the Russian market, but virtually all the biggest tea producers in Russia, such as OrimiTrade, Unilever, Ahmad and May, use Indian tea leaves. Russia is currently the largest importer of Indian tea. The turnover is, however, far from what it used to be. Russia imports only 35,000 tonnes out of 200,000 tonnes of tea Indian exports annually. But with shifts in global production and pricing, and supplemented by promotional campaigns of Tea Board, India is poised to rebuild the image of Indian tea and reconquer the Russian market as Moscow braces to source quality Indian orthodox teas in a big way.
'Competition is now among brands and not tea-producing regions' Radhakrishnan Baskaran, director of CIS operations, J.V. Gokal, traces the shifting profile of Indian tea in Russia since the Soviet times and his company's future plans. svetlana sorokina rir
Indian tea has a long history in Russia. The USSR imported only Indian tea. You must remember those times, since your company has been selling tea to Russia since the Soviet era. Our first deliveries to the Soviet Union were in 1958, and we have been cooperating since the 1960s. Our first partners were state exporters Vneshposyltorg and Soyuzplodoimport. The only clients we worked with were government entities, and we were among the leading importers of Indian tea. We accounted for 30-32% of Russia’s tea imports in the 1980s. All of the Soviet Union’s tea plants were
supplied with loose leaf tea. It was only in the early 1980s that we began to sell packaged tea in tin gift boxes, which I still come across today. State orders stopped after the Soviet Union collapsed. We switched to packaged tea, selling tea under our own brands, but sales were shaky. After 1998, however, we found a Russian partner and signed a pact for a joint venture. Now, we have one Russian client, Avalon.We co-own our brands, including Zolotaya Chasha, not to mention a state-of-theart production line in Serpukhov. We have about 4% of the market.
Who are your competitors? Competition in the tea market today is among brands, not among producing regions.Tea is like wine: blending is everything. In the right sense, blending is about what should be mixed with what. Many brands mix many kinds of tea,
Fact file Radhakrishnan Baskaran graduated from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow and has been living in Russia for 37 years. J.V. Gokal is a large Indian holding; apart from its tea business, it also has assets in aviation, high technologies and textiles. Its tea division is one of India’s biggest exporters.
including from India, Sri Lanka and other areas. Competition exists among brands. Our tea is in the economy plus segment. Companies operating in the same segment, such as Beseda (brand owned by Unilever), Princess Nuri, Princess Ghita (both brands belonging to Russia’s Orimi Trade), Lisma (both brands owned by Russia’s May Company), are our competitors.
You also provide industrial support to other brands... We have placed our focus on packaging, planning to use 60% of our facilities to package our tea and leaving the other 30-40% for other brands. Today, we have one of the best tea plants in Russia.We package tea for Unilever, and we also package all the loose Lipton, Brook Bond and Beseda teas sold in Russia.
www. r u s e m b a ssy. i n
Web-site of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE TIMES OF INDIA WEDNESDAY_OCTOBER 27_2010
www.roerichtrust.org The International Roerich Memorial Trust i www.roerich.org Nicholas Roerich museum in New York
… All the great symbols, all heroes, seem to be brought close to the Himalayas as if to the highest altar, where the human spirit comes closest to divinity. Are the shining stars not nearer when you are in the Himalayas? Are not the treasures of the earth evident in the Himalayas?...” (Nicholas Roerich. The Heart of Asia.)
MEMORY INDIA BACKS RUSSIA'S PROPOSAL TO CREATE THE INTERNATIONAL ROERICH ART ACADEMY
SPEAKING LANGUAGE OF SOUL
Alexander M. Kadakin, Russian ambassador to India
Fact ﬁle The Memorial Complex of the Roerichs in the township of Naggar in the serene Kullu Valley comprises the Estate where the illustrious Russian family of the elder Roerichs lived from 1929 to 1947, an Art Gallery and the 'Urusvati' Himalayan Research Institute. Until his death in 1993, it was the abode of Svetoslav Roerich and his legendary film star wife, Devika Rani. The Estate is justly considered one of the unique treasure-houses of world culture. The International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) is now functioning under the patronage of the Co-Chairmen of the Russian-Indian Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC).
The organisers received a welcome note from Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is on the board of trustees of the IRMT. In her message, she stressed that“Roerich's heritage, much admired by leaders like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, brought a closer understanding of Russia to the people of India,an appreciation of each other from the heart and soul”. She assured that IRMT can rely on the unflagging support of the External Affairs Ministry. The principal guest of honour was Professor Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. Other high profile participants included Mr.Doulat Kuanyshev,Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India, political and public figures, senior officials and influential gurus of the cultural and spiritual elite. Representatives of Roerich societies from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Estonia, Italy,Latvia,Lithuania,Ukraine and the USA joined the festivities along with hundreds of KulluValley residents and Indian and foreign tourists. Guests were treated to a grand concert lasting late into the evening on the stage of the Green Theatre set up on the Estate's terraces. The audience roared with ovation after a brilliant show of the 'Inspiration' Choreographic Ensemble from Temirtau in Kazakhstan,which performed folk dances from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, Mexico and Korea. Connoisseurs of classical Indian music could savour performances by such virtuosos as flutist Rajendra Prasanna and sitar player Paramanand Bansal. Looking at those radiant faces
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aglow with spiritual intensity, I floated in my thoughts to the distant days when one of the last Roerichs,the famous painter Svyatoslav Roerich,came out with the daring idea of building a full-scale international cultural centre in Naggar,a remote village where Nicholas Roerich had lived with his family.That dream is now a living reality. Another equally forward-looking humanistic project was accomplished three quarters of a century ago. A unique international document on the protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historic monuments known as the Roerich Pact was signed. Along with it, mankind received a symbol of protection of its cultural and historic heritage – the famous Banner of Peace. This very banner now proudly flutters along with the national flags of India and Russia near Roerich’s house. The idea of uniting the efforts of the world community in protecting cultural treasures had overwhelmed Roerich long before it took real shape, bringing together like-minded people from across the world.It is deeply symbolic that the Roerich Pact was signed at a time when its author lived and worked on the Indian soil, in the laps of these majestic mountains that he depicted so splendidly in his paintings, providing an inexhaustible source of inspiration to his muse. As Roerich said memorably in his book “The Heart of Asia”:“… All the great symbols, all heroes, seem to be brought close to the Himalayas as if to the highest altar, where the human spirit comes closest to divinity.Are the shining stars not nearer when you are in the Himalayas? Are not the treasures of the earth evident in the Himalayas?...”(Nicholas Roer-
Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947): Painter, poet and philosopher... Nicholas Roerich was a multi-faceted personality, an individual with an immense thirst for knowledge and a deep appreciation for beauty in all forms. A trained painter and lawyer, also ethnographer, geographer, poet, philosopher, traveller, fighter for peace, defender of cultural values, Roerich devoted himself to the common good of mankind. Early on, Roerich distinguished himself as his generation's best painter of scenes from ancient Russian history. He was associated with several Symbolist literary-artistic journals and directed the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. After the October Revolution, he and his family left
ich.The Heart of Asia. p.13). Probably here, in the legendary Valley of the Gods, in the heart of the world’s greatest mountain range,the magical power of beauty and harmony in creating cultural heritage and the development of human civilisation revealed itself to Roerich. “Where there is culture, there is also peace. There is also heroism,as well as appropriate solution of the most difficult social problems. Culture is an accumulation of the highest bliss, of the highest beauty, of the highest knowledge,”wrote Roerich. This truth is evident in thousands of Roerich’s paintings that became priceless heritage, a monumental testimony to the greatness of his genius.Some of them are exhibited in the Roerich Gallery, in his house where he lived with his illustrious family for many years. His canvases depict sacred peaks,boulders with mantras and magic signs inscribed on them, monasteries and temples. Looking
Russia. As emigres, they lived in Finland, the UK, and the US, finally settling in an idyllic hilly place in northern India. In 1928, Roerich and his wife Elena founded the Institute of the Himalayan Studies "Urusvati". He also spearheaded an international campaign for the adoption of the 'Banner of Peace' pact to protect art and architecture in times of war.
Nicholas Roerich. Tibet: A Monastery, 1944. BRIDGEMAN ART/FOTOBANK
at them, one clearly senses the primordial material and spiritual environment which was always indispensable for the life of people of this strikingly beautiful and blessed Indian land. Observing the anniversary celebrations of the Roerich Pact, we should remember one of its major precepts.If we fail to preserve our common cultural heritage, the pact warns that we will inevitably doom ourselves to extinction just like the mighty deodars in sacred forests would surely die if their roots are cut. The works of Roerich, permeated by immortal ideas of great teachers and sages of India and the Orient, teach us to cherish and replenish the world’s cultural trove. The great project initiated by Nicholas' son Svyatoslav Roerich and the Russian
Embassy in India almost 20 years ago today is bearing a rich harvest.The museum complex and the Roerich art gallery have been included in the list of the most attractive places of interest in Kullu Valley and Himachal Pradesh.Thousands of Indians and foreign guests visit this memorial estate, that also helps promote tourism and employment to people of the state. Contrary to what pessimists say, it is worth recalling other achievements of IRMT. Look at this wonderful theatre where musicians,singers,dancers and other masters of arts perform regularly.They display numerous exhibitions introducing creative works of young artists to visitors. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
www.rusembassy.in Embassy of the Russian Federation in India www.russiancentre.org.in/eng Russian Centre of Culture and Science in New Delhi
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE TIMES OF INDIA WEDNESDAY_OCTOBER 27_2010
Painting Fusion of spiritual values
'India liberates hidden powers'
Natalya Zaitseva-Borisova. Tales of ancient temples.
Inspired by Roerich, the teacher, a contemporary Russian artist evokes the effortless fusion of spiritual values of India and Russia in her paintings that were displayed at an exhibition at the recent Indian-Russian festival in Naggar. POLINA STECHKINA
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The work of the Helena Roerich Art College deserves a special tribute.More than 120 children, including those from not-sorich village families, study in it and learn to perceive and create beauty. I would also like to emphasise the substantial contribution made by the Executive Director & Curator of theTrust,Dr Alena Adamkova in converting the Roerich Estate into a real cultural centre of international standing.Such selfless effort deserves highest praise and all round support. Following step by step along this path, we will participate in translating Roerich’s dreams into reality, the cause pursued by all his talented family. Roerich was convinced that
apart from protecting cultural artefacts, it is equally essential to protect and value the human being as the supreme embodiment of spiritual knowledge. Any constructive work and achievement of desired results are possible only through mutual understanding and consent.Beauty can be created only with a pure heart. One can realise these truths in this sacred place where Roerich created his masterpieces and where his earthly life came to an end. Let us remember the words of this outstanding Russian revered as maharishi in India: “When we proclaim Love, beauty, Action, we know verily that we pronounce the formula of the international language and this formula must enter everyday life.The sign of Beauty will open all sacred gates, be-
'Roerich's name is synonymous with and a symbol of spiritual values of the Indian highlands'
Nicholas Roerich. Krishna, 1933.
neath the sign of beauty, we walk joyfully, with beauty we conquer, through beauty we pray, in beauty we are united.” It is uplifting to see that Roerich’s ideas have found profound appreciation in India. Prof. Dhumal has conveyed that citizens in his state“are proud that here,of all places,the outstanding Russian painter and great humanist found his second home”.“The name of Nicholas Roerich became a synonym with the Himalayas and a symbol of culture and spiritual values of the Indian highlands,”he said at the festival.Above all,he has supported my proposal to establish an International Roerich Art Academy as a part of the memorial estate,saying that "it will become a centre of gravity for young talent and, perhaps, will eventually give the world new Roerichs". Together, we will accomplish many other inspiring visions that will advance us step by step on the way to new radiant heights of beauty.
Dr.Alena Adamkova, the Executive Director of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.
“India’s heart is reaching for the infinite Russia. The great Indian magnet is attracting Russian hearts. How joyful it is to see vitality in Indo-Russian ties.There exists beauty in the Indian-Russian magnet.” These words of Nicholas Roerich aptly encapsulate the spirit of the exhibition of the paintings of Natalya Zaitseva-Borisova which were put up at the Roerich Memorial Estate in Naggar. Most of 60 canvases are themed around India with its temples and sacred sites. Spiritual reverberation flow from the paintings based on artist’s travel experiences in India’s northern and southern states as well as from canvases that conjure up churches and monasteries in historic Russian cities:Vladimir, Suzdal, Yuryev-Polsky, Rostov Veliky,Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Pskov, Novgorod. Images of Hindu deities, Buddha and Maitreya, the Christian Mother of God, saints and angels are set among fanciful flowers and trees, birds and animals, vast Russian landscapes and the majestic Himalayas. These images intertwine with intricate lacework of floral and geometric patterns, splashing a riot of colours and firing up the world around them, soaring into the sky and vanishing into the unfathomable Cosmos. For Natalya, every trip to Naggar – this is her fifth visit to this spiritually charged place – kindles her creativity afresh, and spawns a new set
of pastels. “In 2005, I had a chance to travel around the Golden Ring of Russia,” says the 38-year-old Natalya who has exhibited in Russia, India, Nepal, Poland and Sweden.“I would say it was kind of a pilgrimage, which followed Nicholas Roerich's early painting trips that inspired his canvases celebrating famous churches and other masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. So my works are reflecting my perception of the places that possess such enormous spiritual and cultural gravitas.” Although Natalya disclaims any imitation of Roerich, she revered the Russian painter as “the teacher who helped me cultivate my artistic vision”. She says she learnt from Roerich the “decorative” perception of nature and architecture and the ability“to look at things through my heart". Natalya has also been teaching in Moscow, helping adults to develop their artistic talent. Her rich experience also comes in handy when she holds classes for children who learn to appreciate the beautiful at the Helena Roerich Art College created by the IRMT in 2003. It was inspiring to see young artists assembled on the lawns during the recent Indian-Russian festival and giving full play to their imagination. “I think all of them did very well,”says Natalya.“Perhaps, the most important thing for a tutor is to help bring out students’ innate creative intuition, give them the right impetus and do your best to discern individual personalities.”India, she says, is blessed with an absolutely unique tradition and environment that liberate people’s hidden capabilities and powers. The paintings, exhibited at the festival, clairvoyantly capture this fusion between spiritual values of India and Russia.
Russia india report
in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE times of india wednesday_OCTOber 27_2010
tolstoycentennial.com Leo Tolstoy Centennial Anniversary 1828-1910 www.ltolstoy.com Tolstoy resources tolstoy.classicauthors.net Links to works online
Connecting Cultures Little is known about Tolstoy's inspiring association with Gandhi and Tagore
'Titan of Russia' continues to touch the hearts of Indians
Author Acahala Moulik
Iconic Russian writer and thinker Leo Tolstoy
ble follower of your doctrine of non-violent resistance to evil”. Tolstoy was overjoyed to receive this letter, replied immediately and sent his sympathy and support to Gandhi who was taking on armed overlords with the doctrine of non-violent resistance to evil. For Gandhi, the support of Tolstoy, a renowned European writer greeting him like a comrade-in-arms, was a big moral boost. Mohandas Gandhi was emboldened to go forward in the seemingly hope-
less battle against Boer oppression and forged his weapons of satyagraha that were to prove so successful later in the struggle against British imperialism. Over the years, Mohandas Gandhi, the sage of India, and Lev Tolstoy, the sage of Russia, became inextricably linked in a dialogue of cultures that would dismantle colonial empires. Tagore was to continue this enriching dialogue of cultures. Tagore was influenced by Tol-
stoy’s ideas of “spontaneous education”and practiced and experimented atYasnaya Polyana. He read of how Tolstoy, the celebrated novelist, opened a school in his mansion for the poor peasant children on his estate, and opened their minds to numerous subjects. Enthused,Tagore enlarged on Tolstoy’s educational experiments and made Vishwa Bharati in Shantiniketan into a great international center of learning and unconventional teaching methods. Tagore, or
paved the way for the friendship between the two nations that blossomed in later years. Tolstoy’s impact on literature cuts across national boundaries. In India, he is read in English and other languages and occupies a special place in the minds of people. Tolstoy, like Rabindranath Tagore, Prem Chand and Subramanya Bharathi, described the predicament of mankind and celebrated the glory of human existence. To use the words of India’s former president S. Radhakrishnan, an eminent philosopher, Tolstoy“raised the stature of civilization and added to the sweetness of life”. The spiritual and intellectual interconnectedness Tolstoy’s multifarious writings and thought spawned between India and Russia, continues to this day.
Home truths: A prophet's quest for happiness It’s been 100 years since the 82-year-old Tolstoy left his family estate forever. In a new book, Pavel Basinsky traces the sage's quest for a paradise called happiness. tatiana shabaeva rir
It’s been one hundred years since an 82-year-old man left his Yasnaya Polyana estate in a Russian village early in the morning, hiding from his wife. He never returned. A hundred years later, it is even more difficult to separate the truth from myths surrounding Leo Tolstoy’s departure and death, which followed ten days later. But writer and journalist Pavel Basinsky attempts precisely this in The Flight from
Paradise, published in Moscow this year. Basinsky follows Tolstoy’s path from a“trifling baby”,as he was called fondly by his brothers, to an honoured army officer, landlord and the head of a large family, who gained fame as a writer, and finally, as a teacher of humankind. Tolstoy believed that people are born to be happy. He, too, was aspiring for happiness, a paradise, not for himself, but for as many people as possible. This was the idea that guided him throughout his life, beginning with the symbolic“green stick”, which he and his brother Nicolas buried not far from their family home atYasnaya Polyana, a magic stick that would make all people happy.
Hearing of the famine that was devastating rural Russia in the late 1880s, Tolstoy provided food and funds. Countess Tolstoy assisted him by organising food relief in public kitchens. Standing up against the ravages of imperialism, Tolstoy spoke not only against the repressive Tsarist regime in his own country, but also gave his generous support to nations suffering the indignity of alien rule. When historian Arnold Toynbee wrote about the “roundabout of traffic” of civilizations where ideas turn full circle, he perhaps had Tolstoy in mind. He was a nineteenyear-old student at the Faculty of Eastern Languages at Kazan University, leading a merry and boisterous life, when he met a Buddhist lama who told him about Lord Buddha and the doctrine of ahimsa or non-violence. The story made an indelible impression on the young aristocrat.All his life, he sought inspiration in ancient civilizations to vivify the future of mankind through the wisdom of its epics, philosophies, legends and arts. Philosopher and writer Romain Rolland tells us of how the youngTolstoy plunged into the works of indologists and orientalists like William Jones and Colebrooke. Tolstoy became acquainted with the Indian epics through French translations, the teachings of Sankara, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Vivekananda and was impressed by their profundity of thought. “The fundamental metaphysical idea about the essence of life is good,” he said. Tolstoy read theVedas when he was facing his own spiritual crises in the 1880s to find the answers to questions regarding the meaning of life and the final destination of the human soul. Tolstoy was, therefore, no stranger to Asian civilization.
It was this empathetic understanding of a different culture, not as an Orientalist but as a great humanist, which enabled him to leap over the barriers of creed and class and reach out to other nationalities. This high social and ethical purpose, the spirit of humanism and belief in freedom for all are special contributions of Russian thinkers and litterateurs in the nineteenth century. Through Tolstoy, these ideas flowed into India. It was perhaps a historical inevitability that the young Mohandas Gandhi, struggling against the oppressive Boer regime in South Africa should turn to Tolstoy. Their epistolary friendship is a poignant episode in India’s struggle against imperialism. In 1908, the sage of Yasnaya Polyana received a letter from Gandhi who called him the “Titan of Russia”. The future Titan of India signed himself“a hum-
In 1908, the sage of Yasnaya Polyana received a letter from Gandhi, calling him the 'Titan of Russia'.
CONTINUED from PAGE 1
Gurudev (revered teacher) as Gandhi named him, declared Tolstoy as the“teacher of mankind”whose“solitary voice for peace was crying out in the wilderness”.Tagore’s admiration for Tolstoy attracted him to Russia, to the grandeur of its literature and the heroism of its people. His famous“Letters From Russia” after his visit there in 1930 familiarised Indians with the inspiring story of the new experiments in education and social reforms of Soviet Russia. It
Leo Tolstoy with his wife, Sofya Andreyevna, at Yasnaya Polyana. 1908.
As he grew older, he found happiness to be as elusive as ever. The book analyses not just Tolstoy’s departure, but also this paradise that animated
his wonderful, successful, yet not quite happy life. It was not just because of the premature death of his parents, his beloved brothers and children, including his favourite son,
Vanechka. The main obstacle to happiness was misunderstanding, even among people closest to him. The book reveals Tolstoy’s lifelong wrestling with his inner daemons, his painful efforts to gain the ability not just to teach, but to live upto his convictions, live fairly and well, and to correct his ways, again and again. Tolstoy’s“flight from paradise” may have followed many years of hesitation and speculation, but in the end it was an unplanned and spontaneous act. The lifelong quester returned toYasnaya Polyana, but only after death. He was buried where more than seventy years before he and his brother had buried the“green stick”bringing happiness to people.
www.cdi.org/russia/johnson Johnson’s Russia List www.russiaprofile.org Analysis of business, economic, political and cultural trends en.fondsk.ru Strategic Culture Foundation magazine
Russia india report in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE times of india wednesday_OCTOber 27_2010
Start a new disarmament plan
Yevgeny Primakov Igor Ivanov Evgeny Velikhov Mikhail Moiseyev
he year 2010 has seen important events in the sphere of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, with positive impact on global security. The presidents of Russia and the US have signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Prague. If ratified by national parliaments, it will make strategic ties between the two nuclear powers more stable, transparent and predictable. A summit on nuclear security in Washington has passed resolutions to enhance the safety of nuclear materials worldwide. The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded with the signing of the final document on strengthening the treaty. Useful as these steps are, they have not touched upon the strategic nuclear ideology of mutual deterrence. It is the paradox of nuclear deterrence that largely addresses the threats of the last century, while in the new global and multi-polar world, any major armed conflicts between great powers and their allies are highly unlikely. At the same time, nuclear deterrence is not effective against the new threats of the 21st
century, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems, global terrorism, ethnic and religious conflicts, and cross-border crime. Nuclear deterrence in some cases can provoke proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. To prevent the negative impact of nuclear deterrence on cooperation among global players, it is necessary to decrease arms levels through pacts based on the principle of minimum sufficiency, and also promote strategic stability to ensure equal security for all and exclude the possibility of the first nuclear attack or rocket launch due to technical error or erroneous interpretation of the other party’s intentions or a lack of time for decision-making by the political leadership. The new START meets all these requirements, but much remains to be done. The next stage of nuclear disarmament cannot be exclusively bilateral. It will require restrictions and confidence measures towards other nuclear countries. Unlike the US, Russia’s geostrategic position makes it accessible to all nuclear countries, which has to be taken into account for deep disarmament. The concept of nuclear deterrence has become an insurmountable obstacle on the path to global nuclear disarmament. It is no secret that there are not just supporters, but also opponents of nuclear
drawing by Dmitry divin
disarmament in the US, Russia and other countries. Some are still guided by Cold War stereotypes, but many voice specific and justified concerns related to the process of disarmament. Their arguments cannot be simply ignored. For example, there is a widespread belief in Russia that the country’s nuclear potential is a key element of Russia’s great power status. We are convinced that Russia’s foreign image will be largely ensured by its economic modernisation, rising living standards, social and political rights and freedom and development of science and culture. However, as long as the threat of“power projection”is used in
international relations, Russia will have to retain sufficient military, including nuclear, potential to protect itself, its allies and its lawful interests. Thus, nuclear disarmament requires greater confidence among nations, along with greater international security and stability. The Obama administration has revised its global security agenda, shifting to a new, multilateral approach with focus on strengthening global security regulations and institutions, the use of diplomacy in dispute settlement, and equal partnership with Russia. It is important that these principles are reflected in the foreign policy of the US and its allies.
what does India mean to Russia? Andrei Volodin specially for rir
hat is India to Russia? Over the past couple of years, this question has been discussed not just by researchers and diplomats, but also the Russian public. Indeed, it might seem that over the past ten years, Russian-Indian relations returned to their familiar sense of encompassing a strategic partnership, with regular top-level meetings resulting in “life-changing” agreements. And yet, specialists cannot rid themselves of the sense that Russian-Indian relations are somewhat incomplete, that they lack the “safe-
ty factor”that they were known for throughout the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. Why these alarming thoughts? In the second half of the 1980s, India’s“strategic elites” reacted cautiously to the Soviet Union’s new thinking in foreign policy. I remember that we were asked at the time whether it was acceptable to revise strategic foreign policy goals. Foreign policy, they argued, cannot be built on subjective principles, hinting at the Kremlin’s desire to find favour with the West at any cost. Now, in retrospect, we can see that the“western tilt”undermined Russia’s image not just with the Indian elite, but also its people. Such things are not quickly forgotten.
Experience shows that there should be at least $17-18 bn trade to promote bilateral cooperation In this pragmatic day and age, economic ties are decisive. Experience shows that there should be at least $17–18 billion in trade between two countries for socio-economic forces to emerge and promote bilateral cooperation. Unfortunately, the $10 billion target set during Vladimir Putin’s presidency has not yet been met: Russian-Indian trade still lingers at $8 billion. Why
is India-Russia trade lower than that of Russian-Chinese or Indian-Chinese trade? The “broad”theory contends that economic reforms in India and Russia in the early 1990s developed according to diverging trajectories, which is why the Indian economy is no longer interested in Russian products barring raw materials. Under the“narrow”theory, the quality of Russian products dropped sharply after the USSR's collapse, which hit military sales hard. Indian dailies do not hesitate to write about the irregularity of Russian supplies and active involvement of commercial companies in the military equipment supply business. Unobtrusively yet steadily, we
This applies to anti-ballistic missile defence, conventional weapons and strategic nonnuclear weapons, as well as space militarisation plans. Taking a long-term perspective, we came to the conclusion that the world without nuclear weapons is not our existing world minus nuclear weapons. We need an international system based on other principles and institutions. A nuclear-free world shall not become a world free of wars using other weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms, advanced non-nuclear weapons and systems based on new physical principles. It is not just about major wars, but about local conflicts as well.
are being prepared for the possibility of Russia losing out in an Indian tender for 126 multipurpose fighter jets. According to Indian newspapers, Eurofighter Typhoon is among the favourites to win the tender, which surprises me, since this aircraft’s flying capabilities have long been criticised in Western Europe. This tender’s fate should be discussed openly at the highest level. The idea of a qualitative degradation in Russian-Indian relations during the Yeltsin era was commonplace.True as it may be, this statement should not, however, shield other new geopolitical realities that took shape after the collapse of the Soviet Union, including the strengthening of our strategic ties with China and Brazil, the restoration of partnerships with new regional leaders, Turkey and Iran, a new rapprochement
Today, small countries view nuclear weapons as a means to offset the huge advantage of great powers in terms of conventional weapons. It is this idea that provokes nuclear proliferation at the regional level, triggering the threat of nuclear terrorism. To eliminate such threats, it is necessary to build reliable mechanism for peaceful settlement of major and local international and border conflicts. Nuclear disarmament necessitates a thorough overhaul of the entire international system. This will also help solve other key problems of the 21st century related to global economy and finance, energy supplies, environment, climate, demography, epidemics, cross-border crime and religious and ethnic extremism. Nuclear disarmament is, therefore, not a goal in itself but rather an important area, precondition and method for reorganising international life on more civilised principles and according to the demands of the new century. Yevgeny Primakov is Russia's former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Igor Ivanov is former Minister of Foreign Affairs. Evgeny Velikhov is President of the Russian Scientific Centre “Kurchatov Institute”. Mikhail Moiseyev is former Chief of the General Staff.
with Egypt, and the recent Latin American focus on Russia’s foreign policy. Finally, Russia’s ties with South Korea, directly linked to the military and political security of our country, are expected to embrace the comprehensive modernisation of Siberia and the Far East. Both in Moscow and Delhi, I heard the question: Which country is more important for Russia, India or Korea? These are thought-provoking considerations that should be translated into concrete foreign policy priorities as soon as possible, providing some invisible context for Russian-Indian relations. Obviously, we can expect a quick reaction from our Indian partners. Andrey Volodin is a Chief Researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow.
All articles appearing on page 7 do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the editors of Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Russia India Report.
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE TIMES OF INDIA WEDNESDAY_OCTOBER 27_2010
Art He came to be a doctor but stayed on to start a dance school
Introducing Russian women to secrets of Indian dance Six years ago, Harish Arunmozhidevan travelled to Russia to study medicine, but soon started a dance group that has renewed Kuban's love affair with India. ELENA LUBINETS RIR
He came to study medicine to Krasnodar, a city in southern Russia located around 1000 km from Moscow, six years ago. But fate had other plans for him. Cashing in on the popularity of Indian films and an admiration for India that owes much to India-loving Nicholas Roerich's paintings, Harish Arunmozhidevan started Indostan, a dance group, with four Russian students and a professor to teach them the style and subtleties of Indian choreography. Four out of five pupils were typical Russian blondes, while only one of them, Movina Bagdasaryan, an ethnic Armenian with black hair and a dark complexion, could pass as an Indian. “I was 21 when we started to practice the basic moves in Indian choreogra- Harish has won many national student dance competitions. phy.When we finished our lessons, my entire body was sore, including my back and inner hips.When we got over all this, the rest took much less effort,” says Movina about her first taste of Indian dancing that soon blossomed into love for Indian mythology and culture. For Harish, this experience was all-too-familiar.“Indian dancing physically demands roughly the same skills and stamina as classical Russian ballet, but Russian women still find it difficult to repli- Movina Bagdasaryan, a Kuban woman, learning Indian dance.
Identity Finding a sense of belonging
cate some of the moves. The Indian body language is very expressive. Indians have control over all of their muscles. It’s just something we are born with. Russian girls have to start from scratch," he says. But six years hence, Kuban girls, who have been attending Harish’s classes, can’t visualise life without the joys of the Indian dance. Tatiana, a professor at the Kuban State University of Agriculture, prefers kathak, a classical dance form that originated in northern India. Nastya, an accountant, too stays hooked to dancing despite marriage and motherhood. Olesya studies both Russian and popular Indian choreography. This exposure to Indian culture has also transformed their lives. They have all become vegetarian and learnt to see things more positively.“All the aggression and rage built up within us oozed out like sweat through our pores. Now my real life really begins after work, in the dance room, where I can relax and get some peace of mind,”says Movina. This new passion has also opened up fresh business possibilities and unleashed a surge of enthusiasm for things Indian. Ethnic shops selling various Indian goodies have sprouted all over Kuban. And their owners are not only Indians, but also Russian businessmen. If you want to buy an Indian national costume from one of the Krasnodar ethnic shops, be prepared to fork out at least $166 for a sari. Indian jewellery is also much in demand: plain silver bracelets are sold for no less than $80 and classic silver dome earrings for $33 (delivery not included).“If Indian and Kuban women have something in common, it’s their love for jewelry and bright make-up,”says Harish. It’s perhaps time that India opened a consulate in this region whose people are unabashedly in love with India and don’t mind paying for all things Indian.
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Model Marika Mutaleiva is now an Indian by choice
Feeling at home: How they fell in love with India... Marika Mutaleiva and Irina Goryaeva came to India for different reasons. They recall varied experiences in their adventurous journey of becoming Indians by choice. SAKSHI SINGH RIR
Two lives. One love affair. Marika Mutaleiva, a model, and Irina Goryaeva, a floral designer, may have nothing in common except for two things: both are Russians and both came to India for a short sojourn, but fell in love with the country and have stayed ever since. For Marika, landing a job was not very difficult, as she came in through a modeling agency. Initially, she says she did not face a culture shock as she was put up at the luxury Taj hotel in Mumbai and soon adapted to the Indian culture, despite warnings from her family back home. “I was told that adapting to a distinctly different culture will be difficult. However, I came here, did a couple of photo shoots, busted a few myths and never went back,” Marika says proudly. “It’s been five years already
and have traveled to every place you can think of.”The only exasperating experience she had was when she was searching for a house. But the attitude changed after her pictures started appearing in newspapers. Marika is now an Indian by choice. She loves dressing in a sari and has even learnt to eat with her hands. “I consider India as my own country and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. Today, I can easily proclaim that I feel completely at home here.” Unlike Marina, Irina came to India as a tourist. It was her interest in Vaishnavism, a sect of Hinduism, that brought her to Vrinadavan. When she returned to Russia, she could not get India off her mind. One fine day, she packed her bags and came back. It was initially tough to support herself, but luck smiled on her when she found a job as a floral designer.“I like the warmth of the people here. They are very helpful and understanding. My friends say that I was born in Russia by mistake. I have found my home in India," says a beaming Irina.
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Published on Oct 9, 2010
Published on Oct 9, 2010
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