Distinguished generals, diplomats, administrators, and academics deliberating at a Round-Table discussion organised by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi jointly with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India and the Office of the Defence Attache on September 2, 2019 made a unanimous clarion call to remember the terrible horrors of World War II and the consequent impact and lessons it left for mankind.
The Round-Table discussion, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, was part of the year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Victory of the Soviet Union over Fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy, Director, RCSC, described the horrors of World War II with the support of facts and figures, adding that the Soviet Union changed the course of the war with the support of anti-Hitler coalition countries and started the full-scale liberation of European countries from Nazism paying a heavy price. He brought into focus the significance of the statement of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in which the signatory countries underlined that World War II which was the greatest tragedy of the XX century became possible because of the disability of international community to create an effective system of collective security as well as due to maleficent policy of appeasement of the aggression. Mr. Rozovskiy relevantly underlined the key role played by the people of the USSR in crushing of Nazism, referred to in the statement.
Presiding over the round-table, Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, President, Institute of Global Studies, Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia, narrated the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi forces in which the USSR bore the brunt. The glorious victory won by the Soviet Union paying a heavy price in the form of 27 million human toll was meant to bring in its wake regional peace, harmony and global security, Mr. Sajjanhar observed. He made a special reference that Indo-Russian summits go ahead unbroken for many years in the true spirit of peace, friendship, mutual understanding, etc.
In a momentous observation on the horrendous World War II as one of the darkest events in human history, Col. Sergey V. Peregudov, Military, Air & Naval Attache, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, emphatically brought to the notice of the audience the falsification and distortion of historical facts to please certain political groups or countries. He made a bold appraisal that no one has the moral power to forget that it was the Red Army which not only managed to stop the enemy at the doorstep of the national capital but also spared no efforts and blood to liberate entire Europe and save its nations from what could have become the worst nightmare in the history of mankind.
In a nostalgic sense based on personal experience as a fighting soldier, Major Dalbir Singh, Co-Chairman of International Organisation “Assembly of the Peoples of EURASIA”, National Secretary, All-Indian Congress Committee, underscored the meaningful role played by the Soviet people and Red Army in liberating humanity from the menace of Nazism. Dwelling at length upon the 900-day long siege of Leningrad, the Battle of Kursk, etc, Major Dalbir Singh noted that they were significant milestones in the entire sage of war. He traced the commendable strategic position taken by the USSR in mobilising European nations which went a long way in achieving the glorious victory.
Throwing light on the philosophy and salient feature of war, Mr, Shekhar Dutt, former Governor of Chattisgarh State, Former Defence Secretary, Government of India, said it was aimed at controlling people and exploiting resources. In the long run, instead of defence, it gives way to focus on offence. “I give a big salute to the brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice for their motherland”, Mr. Dutt remarked, adding that he is a strong votary for dialogue.
H.E. Mr. Rzheussky, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to India and Sri Lanka, citing the inhuman sufferings during World War II, bared by the people of the USSR as monumental landmarks to remember for generations. He lauded the commendable role played by the Soviet Union.
Paying glowing tributes to the heroic people who sacrificed their lives to achieve the glorious victory in World War II, Mr. Roman Babushkin, Charge d’ Affaires of the Russian Federation in India said that the Soviet and Russian foreign policy after World War II has been focussed on maintaining the central role of the UN, its Charter and the International Law emphasising the principles of resolution of conflicts by peaceful means, mutual respect, non-interference in domestic affairs, collective approach and dialogue. “We consider India as a priority partner. Our global and regional priorities are similar or coinciding. Together with other like-minded countries, in the framework of the UN, G-20, BRICS, SCO, etc., we shall shoulder-to-shoulder strive for the establishment of the truly multi-polar, just and equal world order remembering the lessons of World War II”, he concluded.
Lt. Gen. A.B. Shivane, Former Director-General, Mechanised Forces, Indian Army, described the ramifications and complication of World War II, and the monumental role played by the heroic Red Army. He pointed out that the phase between World War I and World War II was that of a mutual mistrust lack of democracy and dialogue. He particularly pinpointed the admirable role played by the Indian contingent in the war as projected by the Allied generals.
In an interesting account on the fortitude and war strategy of Soviet Red Army, Maj. Gen. Kuldip Sindhu, Armed Corps, Indian Army, acknowledged that he took ardent interest in making deep study on these aspects during his training and military career. He stressed on the importance of diplomacy as a key tool of retarding conflict situations. He concluded by saying that there is space for everyone to live in peace and harmony.