The 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Russia and India was celebrated at a function organised at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in Trivandrum on March 1, 2017. The distinguished guests present also paid rich tributes to the signal contributions made by Dr. Patnanaabhanu Gopinath, former President of the Indo-Russian Friendship and Cultural Society, on the occasion.
The function was inaugurated by Dr. V. Venu Vasudevan, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Kerala. In his inaugural address, he underlined the role of various non-governmental organisations in promoting the relationship between Russia and India.
Dr. Venu Vasudevan said: “Nowadays, we talk about people-to-people diplomacy. But the officials and politicians, who were in power in the former Soviet Union and India knew the role of people’s diplomacy even decades ago. That is why the USSR formed the umbrella organisation titled SSOD, which means the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Contacts”. In India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru took the initiative in forming a non-governmental organisation called the Friends of the Soviet Union (FSU). Both the FSU and the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society (ISCUS), which is now known as the ISCUF, contribute greatly to cementing the relationship between our two nations. Dr. P. Gopinath also played a significant role in promoting the people-to-people diplomacy.
In his Presidential address, Mr. Ratheesh C. Nair, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation and Director of RCSC in Trivandrum, lauded the role of Dr. P. Gopinath in organising various functions. “We lost a true lover of Russia with the death of Dr. Gopinath. The RCSC in Trivandrum pays its due homage to the departed soul”, Mr. Nair concluded.
Mr. K. P. Mohanan, Prominent Journalist, Mr. Baby Mathew, Secretary, Indo-Russian Tourism Forum, Mr. Chandrasenan Nair, Joint Secretary, India-Russia Friendship and Cultural Society, and Mr. Sudheesh Kumar, President, South Kerala Hoteliers Association, spoke on Indo-Russian relations and the role of Dr. P. Gopinath in promoting people’s diplomacy between our two nations.
The two life guards, who work at Kovalam Beach and saved the lives of the two Russian nationals in one week, were honoured at the function by presenting them with the cash awards.