November 7, 2011 saw well-known writers, poets, critics, linguists and diplomats, students of metropolitan institutes and universities gathered at the Sahitya Academy in New Delhi to congratulate though at a distance an outstanding Russian indologist, writer, laureate of Jawaharlal Nehru international prize and Padma Bhushan, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr E.P.Chelyshev on his momentous 90th anniversary.
“Academician E.P.Chelyshev has always been at the forefront of Russian-Indian cultural and academic cooperation and is justly considered a pathbreaker of Soviet Indology”, H.E. Mr A.M. Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India, reminded the audience. “It is natural and symbolic that the venue of the seminar to honour Academician Chelyshev’s anniversary is the prestigious Sahitya Akademi where Dr E.P.Chelyshev is an honorary member. The whole gamut of Eugeny Chelyshev’s illustrious contribution to Indological studies in Russia, research work on Russian and Indian literature in a global dimension embraces over a dozen books in Russian, several volumes in English and Hindi, over 600 articles and essays”, he stressed.
Indian specialists thoroughly familiar with research and literary works of E.P.Chelyshev unanimously emphasized his invaluable contribution to stronger friendly relations between our countries. All speeches in honour of Eugeny Chelyshev were made in Hindi, the language which set the course of his entire life.
Mr V.P.Tiwari, Vice-president of the Sahitya Academy, gave a detailed account of the outstanding achievements of Academician E.P.Chelyshev in the field of Indian philology and literature as well as comparative linguistics. Namwar Singh, famous Indian literary critic, scholar and an old acquaintance and friend of E.P.Chelyshev, in his turn dwelled upon theoretical works of E.P.Chelyshev on medieval and modern Indian writers that are notable for broad oriental, philological and culturological generalizations.
One of the symposium participants, professor of the JNU Centre of Russian Studies Varyam Singh laid a particular stress on the fact that “it is the first event dedicated to a living foreign scholar since the foundation of the Sahitya Academy.” He warmly recalled the history of relations with E.P.Chelyshev and highlighted remarkable personal virtues and an outstanding talent as a creative mentor.
Well-known Russian writer A.N.Senkevich emphasized in his message that it was Academician Chelyshev who brought modern literature of India to the readership both in Russia and the former Soviet republics. In his opinion, only the man who is passionately in love with this fabulous country could, being a serious and profound scholar, introduce its rich poetical world to an ordinary reader in such simple and sincere manner. “His disciples and admirers view him not only as a renowned scholar but also as a “charmed wanderer” who all his life is wending his way to the Sacred Himalayas in search of invaluable for mankind and eternal truth”, A.N.Senkevich concludes.
This event also saw release of a new book by outstanding translator Mr Vinay Totawar, Professor of English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad who delicately translated into Russian eloquent “nanilu”, that is poetical miniatures of Mr N.Gopi, leading modern Telugu poet. Doctor of History E.Yu.Vanina, head of the History and Culture section in the Centre of Indian Studies in Moscow, observes in her review that “the whole cycle is amazingly easy and smooth to read”. “The Indian translator demonstrated perfect command of the Russian language elaborately combining literary and conversational styles”, stresses Dr E.Vanina. “The Russian reader will definitely enjoy these simple yet wise verses and appreciate the talent of the author and the skill of the translator.”