The Fourth Edition in the Series of Programmes, dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Russia and India organised by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum, was held at the Banquet Hall of SP Grand Days on April 12, 2017.
Heralding the event, as a special gesture, children from both Russia and India lit the traditional lamp together symbolically representing their commitment to carry forward the centuries-old relationship between Russia and India. The function was attended by a large gathering comprising people from all walks of life, including educationists, political leaders, journalists, poets, government officials, former diplomats, and others.
Mr. T. P. Sreenivasan, former Indian Ambassador to several countries, and India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was the Chief Guest. In his key-note address, Mr. Sreenivasan noted that the former Soviet Union was one of the first countries which recognised India even before it has officially proclaimed Independence. India became independent on August 15, 1947, but the USSR opened its Embassy on April 12, 1947, he added. Incidentally, the former USSR opened its Embassy at the Travancore House in New Delhi, which that time belonged to the Maharaja of Travancore (part of Kerala).
Mr. Sreenivasan further said: “Russian-Indian relations never changed, and will never change, in spite of the change of governments in both the countries, because the basic pillar of our strategic relationship is based on people-to-people relationship. Both Russian and Indian missions, Russian Cultural Centres in India, Indian Cultural House in Russia, and various friendship societies contribute greatly to cementing this relationship. Nowadays, we frequently come across Strategic Partnership. Russia is the only time-tested strategic partner of India. In 2002, a declaration was signed between Prime Minister Mr. A. B. Vajpayee and President Mr. Vladimir V. Putin., according to which both the heads of states meet every year for summits. This in itself is a model for other nations. Our two leaders also get an opportunity to meet and exchange their views on the sidelines of different forums like BRICS”. He concluded his address by expressing the hope that this relation will be carried forward by the next generation of both the countries.
Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation and Director, Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum, Mr. Ratheesh C. Nair, welcomed the gathering and briefed the history of Russian-Indian bilateral relations. According to him, the history of our relations began with the visit of Afanasiy Nikitin from Russia. He also referred to the milestones like opening of Tsar’s Russian Consulate in British India. The Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, the Delhi Declaration, and the Agreement of Strategic Partnership are important milestones in the history of Russian-Indian relations, Mr. Nair pointed out.
The famous singer from Altai Yana Filippova presented an hour-long music concert as part of the function. She presented both Russian traditional and contemporary songs.