At the end of March 2011, I headed for Shimla. It was not a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the city that I had first visited almost 40 years ago — and which I love perhaps the most in India. This time, Himachal Pradesh's capital hosted an event as a part of the activities of the Roerich Trust — the cause of which has become part and parcel of my personal life and my diplomatic career.

A vision for the future: Svetoslav Roerich signing the Power of Attorney in December 1991. Photo: Special Arrangement.A vision for the future: Svetoslav Roerich signing the Power of Attorney in Dec 1991.

It was the board of trustees' meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, my friend Professor P.K. Dhumal. It also involved my concern for the preservation and upkeep of the spiritual, creative, scientific and cultural legacy of the illustrious Russian family of the Roerichs, who had made India their second home. I was closely associated with the last Roerich — Svetoslav — and his wife, the legendary Devika Rani, for 20 years. It was Svetoslav who in 1992 set up the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), and I was appointed the holder of his power of attorney.

For reasons beyond our control, no meetings could be held over the previous five years. There were many tasks that required immediate attention. At the same time, so much has in fact been done to implement the unique Russian-Indian project, and the Roerichs' memorial complex in Naggar has been developing successfully. A graphic report submitted by IRMT Executive Director/Curator Dr. Alena Adamkova covers all aspects of the laborious daily activities of our friend, colleague and noted Oriental scholar in collaboration with the district authorities, the Himachal Pradesh administration and the local people, committed to embodying the ideals that inspired the founders of the Trust, and convert it into a “shaan of Himachal.”

Transformed village

Once a neglected and dilapidated hamlet in a quiet corner of the Valley of the Gods, and known only to a handful of Indian, Russian and foreign intellectuals, it has blossomed into a major tourist attraction in northern India. It is today visited annually by almost a lakh of Indian and foreign pilgrims seeking beauty. Before our eyes, the Hall Estate is also transforming into a source of knowledge, education and learning. It is bringing to the local children the joy of mastering the mysteries of the fine arts, the unfading traditions of classical Indian dance, music and original folk crafts. How inspiring it is that the Himachali people and guests now perceive the Roerich Estate as a wonderful platform for cultural communication and interaction.

These are my impressions after attending the festivals organised in Naggar twice last year. Those were genuinely bright, colourful and authentic cultural events of international standard: one could not even dream of such events 20 years ago when I was just sharing my own money with the late caretaker of the Estate, Sister Ursula, for her living costs.

Such dreams being realised fit in perfectly with the vision of Svetoslav Roerich, with the ideas he had in mind while establishing the Trust. They are also in tune with the mutual aspirations of the great nations of Russia and India and the spirit of the time-tested amity between the two countries. This amity, as it was recently agreed by President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has reached a new level of special and privileged strategic partnership. There are no two other countries in the world that share such a steady friendship.

Last year, the remarkable progress that was made in Naggar found a logical reflection in the decision of the co-chairs of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission to take the IRMT under their honorary patronage within the framework of the IGC Working Group on Culture and Tourism. Another compelling piece of evidence is a Presidential decree of December 2010, bestowing on Dr. Alena Adamkova the Order of Friendship, Russia's highest award for a foreigner.

All this clearly exemplifies the understanding on the part of Russian and Indian leaders of how important the cause for which the IRMT was set up, is. It should inspire us to pursue a more harmonious and active pattern of working.

Unfortunately, in recent months there have appeared some ill-motivated coverage in sections of the regional press, seeking to cast a shadow on these promising prospects by levelling unfair allegations that seek to create an unhealthy air around the Trust. Not as the Ambassador of a friendly country, but as the vice-president of the IRMT and the person whom Svetoslav Roerich personally authorised to launch the Trust, I am emphasising the fact that the Russians are not seeking to acquire any property, grab anything or dictating their own rules. We are against any notions of “control.” Russia is determined, together with India, to consistently and steadily achieve the transformation of the Naggar Estate into a world-class museum, a cultural, educational and research hub that would meet universally recognised international standards and become the envy of other countries. That is all there is to it.

We see the future of the Roerichs' Trust not as a modest village-level exhibit that one can see in the heritage ‘Castle' Hotel nearby, but as a wonderful sacred reserve, as a precious fount, where not only the legacy of the great Russian family but also the priceless cultural heritage of the people of Himachal Pradesh are carefully preserved for the sake of the present and coming generations. Where Russian-Indian friendship and spiritual affinity abide eternally and celebrate their inherent beauty.

It is heartening that almost all the proposals tabled by the Russian side for the agenda of the board meeting aimed to create the necessary preconditions for effective advancement in all these directions have received the understanding and support of our Indian partners. They relate to various aspects of the IRMT's activities – from approving basic documents, reflecting its current and future status, to tackling simple infrastructure tasks needed for daily life and activities. This refers to the immediate repair and restoration of the house-cum-museum — which causes serious concern. It was decided to start these works without delay, on the basis of technical specifications and estimates finalised by Russian and Indian experts. Another landmark decision refers to the sanctioning of funds, and starting the first phase of construction of the premises of the Roerich Academy of Arts according to the scheme jointly prepared by Russian and Indian architects. The plan was supported by Chief Minister Dhumal, during his visit to the Roerichs' Estate last autumn. This project was initiated in 2001 by the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with an initial grant of Rs. 1 crore.

The Russian side is eager and committed to making its contribution towards the implementation of that announcement. This cause has already suffered an unforgivable delay, and I believe that any further delay in this matter will ruin the noble cause and Mr.Vajpayee's cherished dream. The meeting approved the protocol on cooperation in reviving the Urusvati Himalayan Institute between the Trust, the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow and the Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies in Shimla. The programme on regional culture and folklore studies submitted by Dr. Alena Adamkova, eloquently titled “Heavenly Himachal”, which is targeted at enriching the IRMT museum's exposition, also received the support of the board members. In the framework of preparing for the 20th anniversary of the IRMT in 2012, it was decided to run a contest for the best monument to the Roerichs to be installed on the grounds of the estate. The contest will be financed by Moscow's International Centre of the Roerichs.

Of particular satisfaction is the fact that the board unanimously approved my proposal to constitute an ‘IRMT Vision Committee' to evolve a long-term vista for the IRMT, with at least a 10-year horizon, with a view to expanding the unique message of the Roerich family's artistic, cultural and spiritual legacy in India and elsewhere in the world. The first session of the committee took place right after the meeting of the board of trustees, and it proved to be fruitful.

All in all, the discussions were held in a constructive and business-like manner. The attempts of some board members to focus on minor issues and bring discord over certain drawbacks in the Trust's activities, were out of tune and inappropriate. Our position should be clear to everybody: there are no irregularities in the Trust. Yes, there are some shortcomings in the activities and we do not turn a blind eye to them. We are attending to them, but there are teething troubles. The so-called “irregularities”, as was reported recently, are but figments of the imagination of some dissatisfied ‘art lovers' or attention-seekers. These constitute petty and foul rumour-mongering. We stand strongly against any attempts to speculate on these difficulties or fan scandals around them. The Russian side will not be misled by the people who, under well-intended slogans, try to ruin or undermine the sacred goals of the IRMT, its raison d'être. Is it not strange to hear such words, and I quote, as an intention to “embark on the path of war”? Those are unbecoming of true Roerich followers.

Based on my awareness of the humungous and ever-alive international influence of the Roerichs, I can say categorically that the Naggar complex has huge untapped potential to emerge as the nucleus of a global art and culture movement dedicated to promoting world peace, universal brotherhood, and the protection and revival of humanity's artistic and cultural heritage. This indeed is the specific message of the Roerich Pact, the 75th anniversary of which we celebrated at Naggar in October 2010 by organising a befitting International Cultural Festival. So far we have only touched the tip of the enormous creative resources of the Roerich complex at Naggar. As someone who has been associated with it since its start, it is my personal dream and fervent wish to see that 10 to 20 years from now, the Roerich complex would spread the shaan of Himachal Pradesh even more widely in India and all over the world.

Constructive solutions

The inspiring and lofty mission underlying the Roerich Trust implies that only like-minded and open-hearted people should work for its fulfilment. This mission guides us towards a more active and committed search for constructive solutions in the spirit of mutual understanding, solidarity and cooperation.

The founder of the IRMT, Svetoslav Roerich, often reiterated a simple slogan: “Let us strive for beauty together!” . He meant to say that the all-conquering beauty should rule our common thoughts, endeavours and achievements. There is neither “togetherness” nor “beauty” in choosing “the path of war”. Let us follow that call together.

Alexander Kadakin

*************************************************************

Svetoslav Roerich was the son of the multi-faceted Russian painter, mystic, scientist, writer and traveller Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947), known for his famous Roerich's Pact, an international pact for the protection of historic, artistic and cultural sites. Nicholas Roerich was also well-read in Eastern culture and philosophy and founded Urusvati, Institute of Himalayan Studies in Naggar, near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, where he spent the last years of his life.

Svetoslav learnt painting from his father and his portraits of Nehru and Indira Gandhi adorn the Central Hall of the Parliament. In 1945, Svetoslav married the legendary Indian movie star Devika Rani in 1945 and both of them had lived in their Tataguni estate on Kanakpura Road outside Bangalore. Svetoslav died in 1993 and Devika Rani in 1994 and the Tataguni estate is under litigation.

Svetoslav converted the Roerichs' family home in Naggar into a gallery housing both his and his father's paintings in 1962. The gallery has been renamed The Roerich Heritage Museum and is managed by the International Roerich Memorial Trust.

Sourced from the wikipedia

THE HINDU, APRIL 23, 2011

 

नग्गर, 1 मई 2011

 

Shri Prem Sharma-ji,

My colleagues Ambassadors of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine,

आदरणीय अतिथिगण,

प्रिय नग्गरवालो और कुल्लूवालो,

साथियो, मित्रो!

 

आज दुनिया भर में बड़ा समारोह मनाया जाता हैं – बड़ा दिन – पहली मई का।

अच्छी परंपरा के अनुसार हम भी यहाँ, आशीर्वादित हिमालय के इस सुंदरतम स्थान में एक बार फिर इकट्ठे हुए हैं। हम इसलिये जमा हुए हैं ताकि भारत के बड़े मित्र, प्रसिद्ध रूसी कलाकार, वैज्ञानिक, यात्री और विचारक महाऋषि निकोलस रोरिक को श्रद्धांजलि आर्पित करने के लिये। उसे ही नहीं, उसके सारे मशहूर परिवार को श्रद्धांजलि आर्पित करने के लिये, क्योंकि उनका साँस्कृतिक और वैज्ञानिक दाय भारत और रूस के बीच संबंध ज़्यादा मज़बूत करता रहता है। वह जायज तौर पर मानवजाति की अमूल्य विरासत माना जाता है।

आप लोगों को याद है कि बीस सालों पहले रोरिक एस्टेट कितनी दयनीय स्थिति में हुई थी। उस समय इस के बारे में सिर्फ चंद सुशिक्षित बुद्धिजीवी जानते थे। आजकल अंतर्राष्ट्रीय रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट की सहायता से रोरिक एस्टेट उत्तरीय भारत में सब से आकर्षक दर्शनीय स्थानों में एक हो गया है।

प्रतिवर्ष यहाँ लगभग एक लाख भारतीय और विदेशी सौंदर्य पारखी आते हैं। ये ऐसे लोग हैं जो हमारे आम साँस्कृतिक और ऐतिहासिक मूलों का महत्व समझते हैं।

जो काम अभी तक किया गया है उस के परिणाम देखने से मन हर्ष से भर उठता है। रोरिक एस्टेट जल्दी से ज्ञान और शिक्षा के अद्वितीय स्रोत में बदल जा रहा है। इस थियेटर के रंगमंच पर आप के सामने विख्यात भारतीय, रूसी और विदेशी कलाकार अपना मांचन दिखाते हैं। अंतर्राष्ट्रीय रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट का प्रदर्शक हॉल हिमाचल प्रदेश, भारत के दूसरे प्रदेशों तथा विदेशों से आये चित्रकारों की कला से नियामित रुप से आपका परिचय कराता है। आपके बच्चे हेलेन रोरिक कला विद्यालय में खुशी से जमा होते हैं। वे गाना और नाचना, चित्रण करना और वाद्य बजाना सीखते हैं। तक्षकों तथा बुनकरों की परंपरागत कारीगरी जान लेते हैं।

बीस सालों पहले जब मैं अपने वेतन का हिस्सा उर्सूला को देता था उसकी रोटी प्रदान करने के लिये, हम इस के बारे में सिर्फ़ सपना देख सकते थे। इसी के लिये स्व्यातोस्लाव रोरिक उत्सूक हुए थे जब वे अपने ट्रस्ट की स्थापना कर रहे थे और मुझे हॉल एस्टेट का निर्देशन करने का प्रमुख अधिकारपत्र सौंपा। आज उसका सपना सच्चा हो गया: नग्गर में असली स्मारक समुच्चय बन गया। वह सफलता से कार्य करता है, आपकी जन्मभूमि की भलाई के लिये तथा रूस व भारत के महान राष्ट्रों के हितों में, जो कई दशकों के समय घनिष्ठ मित्रता से संबंधित हैं।

आज हम ने रोरिक नामक अंतर्राष्ट्रीय कला अकादमी का शिलान्यास किया। रूस व भारत के वास्तुकारों ने एक साथ मिलकर इसकी योजना बनाई। उन्हों ने इस बात पर ध्यान दिया ताकि इस शिक्षालय के भवन आस-पास की प्रकति के अनुकूल हों। ताकि वे इन बातों के अनुरूप हों जो आपके दिलों के लिये प्यारे हैं: चित्रोपम कुल्लू घाटी के मंदिरों के, आपके घरों के। मैं आपको याद दिलाऊँ कि 2001 में भारत के भूतपूर्व प्रधान-मंत्री अताल बिहारी वाजपेयी ने अकादमी की स्थापना के विचार को समर्थन दिया। आजकल हिमाचल प्रदेश के आदरनीय मुख्य मंत्री और मेरे प्रिय मित्र प्रोफेसर धुमाल जी भी इस योजना का अनुमोदन करते हैं। मुझे विश्वास है कि हमारे मिले-जुले प्रयत्नों से इस प्रयोजन को सफलतापूर्वक मूर्त रूप दिया जाएगा और अगले ही साल में युवा कुल्लू वाले नये विद्यालय के भवनों में पढेंगे। इस पुण्य स्थान को वास्तविक हिमाचल के शान को बदलने के रास्ते पर यह एक और महत्वपूर्ण कदम हो जाएगा। जिस के परिणाम रोरिक एस्टेट विश्वस्तरीय संग्रहालय का, शिक्षा का तथा अनुसंधान का केंद्र हो जाएगा।

खुशी की बात यह है कि अब नग्गर के निवासी भी इस के विकास में सक्रिय भाग लेते हैं। हेलेन रोरिक कला विद्यालय के अध्यापकों और विद्यार्थियों के मां-बापों ने एक सामाजिक समिति स्थापित की। इस समिति का कार्य-कारिणी परिषद भावी अकादमी के निर्माण-कार्य पर ख्याल रखेगा और उसका नित्य संचालन करेगा। परिषद का नेता सब लोगों को परिचित नग्गर का निवासी आदरणीय प्रधान केहार सिंह जी है। शीमला में 25 मार्च को हुई अंतर्राष्ट्रीय रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट के ट्रस्टियों की बैठक में उसने परिषद के भविष्य के लिये योजनाओं के बारे में बताया।

रूसी दूतावास इन योजनाओं को पूरा करने की ओर हर प्रकार की सहायता दे देगा। इस बात में हमें ऐसे भक्त मदद करते हैं जैसे अंतर्राष्ट्रीय रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट का कार्यपालक निदेशक और अध्यक्ष ङ आलेना आडाम्कोवा। वह हमारा मित्र, सहयोगी और प्रसिद्ध वैज्ञानिक है। हमें खुशी है कि उसका भारी काम उचित तरह आंकित हुआ है। रूसी राष्ट्रपति के अध्यादेश के अनुसार ङ आलेना आडाम्कोवा दोस्ती पदक से विभूषित की गई। यह उच्चतम इनाम है जो रूस में विदेशी लोगों को दिया जाता है। अपनी ओर से तथा यहाँ पर सब उपस्थित लोगों की ओर से मैं आलेना को दिल से यह इनाम पाने के अवसर पर बधाई देना चाहूँ।

हम ने बड़ा काम किया लेकिन इस से ज़्यादा काम करना होगा। पर हम कठिनाईयों के बावजूद मिल-झुलकर दढ संकल्प से आगे चलेंगे। जब कोई नया मुश्किल काम किया जा रहा है कभी-कभी दोष भी पैदा हो सकते हैं। लेकिन हम उन की ओर आँखों पर पट्टी नहीं बाँधते। हम उनको दूर करते हैं। रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट के आस-पास झगडे भड़काने की सब कोशिशें हम रोकते हैं।

रोरिक परिवार की महान विरासत लोगों को जोड़ती है। आज हम ने निकोलस रोरिक की किताब «अटल» आपके सामने रखी जिस के प्रकाशन के लिए रूसी दूतावास ने रुपये दे दिए। इस किताब में निकोलस रोरिक इन बातों पर अपने विचार बताते हैं जो हमें मार्गदर्शक तारा जैसे होने चाहिये। अब मुझे रोरिक के शब्दों का उदाहरण देने की इजाज़त दीजिये:

«संस्कृति सच्चा प्रबुद्ध संज्ञान है। संस्कृति मानवजाति की समस्याओं को हल करने की ओर वैज्ञानिक और प्रेरणात्मक रास्ता है। संस्कृति सौंदर्य है अपनी पूरी रचनात्मक गरिमा में। संस्कृति सही ज्ञान है सभी अंधविश्वासों से बाहर। संस्कृति भलाई का सुदृढीकरण है अपनी पूरी प्रभावकारिता में। संस्कृति शांतिपूर्ण मेहनत का गीत है अपने अनँत बेहतरीकरण में। संस्कति जनता की असली निधियों को प्राप्त करने के लिए मूल्यों का पुनर्मूल्यन है।

संस्कृति जनता के दिलों में सुदृढ हो जाती है और रचना काम के लिए प्रोत्साहित करती है। संस्कृति सब आविष्कार और जीवन में सुधार मानती है क्योंकि वह जो विचारशील और चेतनायुक्त हैं इन सब बातों में रहती है। संस्कृति राष्ठ्र के ऐतिहासिक गौरव की रक्षा करती है।

संस्कृति के विरूद्ध की कोई भी क्रियाएँ अज्ञानता है। संस्कृति के विरूद्ध की कोई भी बदलबानी पाशविकता का लक्षण है। मानवता और मानवजाति की सेवा संस्कृति के द्वारा प्रोत्साहित होंगी। संस्कृति का झंडा रखने का मतलब सर्वश्रेष्ठ विश्व निधियों की रक्षा करना।»

ऐसे लोग हैं जो अपने व्यक्तिगत घमंडों की पूर्ति करने के लिये हमारे आम काम के विरूध चालबाजी करते हैं और युद्ध के रास्ते पर कदम रखने की धमकी देते हैं। वे लोग रोरिक विरासत के लिए विरोधी हैं। इन अपवादकों और झगड़े भड़काने वाले लोगों को हमारे बीच से निकाल भगाना चाहिए। वे हमराह नहीं हैं।

इस आशीर्वादित दैविक घाटी में रोरिक ट्रस्ट की स्थापना एक शरीफ भूमिका के लिए की गई थी। उसको व्यवहार में लाने के लिए खुले हृदय के साथ वास्तविक हमख्याल होना चाहिए।

अंतर्राष्ट्रीय रोरिक स्मारक ट्रस्ट के संस्थापक स्व्यातोस्लाव रोरिक (Svetoslav Roerich) ऐसा बहुत साफ़ अपील दोहराते थे: «हम इकट्ठे होकर सुंदरता की अभिलाशा करें!» इसका मतलब यह है कि हमारे विचारों, कार्यों और उपलब्धियों में सब कुछ जीतती सुंदरता की विजय हो!

भाईयो! हम कंधे से कंधा मिलाकर इस उपदेश का अनुसरण करें!

धन्यवाद।

Roerichs’ Tataguni dream set to turn real

Alexander M. Kadakin, Ambassador of Russia to India, specially for RIR

A recent verdict by India’s Supreme Court has cleared the decks for developing the Roerichs’ Tataguni Estate in Karnataka into a museum-cum-art gallery. The court verdict has also brightened the possibility of fulfilling the iconic Russian artist’s vision of the estate as a cultural-cum-natural reserve open to all.

As a personal friend of Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani for almost a quarter of a century, I was privy to and a participant in the drama of the Roerichs’ last years. I was also fully aware of the situation around their immovable property as well as priceless collections, which was unfolding in 1989-1994 like a Greek tragedy.

The verdict of India’s Supreme Court on Tataguni Estate represents an event of international resonance, which the world Roerich community had been waiting for nearly 17 years. This is a tangible triumph of justice for all of us – the judgment protects the dignity of the Indian and Russian governments and Karnataka’s state administration. This is a triumph of all honest and committed admirers of the unique Russian family, who had been persistently trying to prevent the estate from falling into the hands of dark and unscrupulous people – Indian and foreign fixers, local “liquor barons” and “land sharks”. The dirty tricks of Mary Poonacha, who treacherously betrayed the sacred memory of the Roerich family, should at last receive a clear legal punishment. The verdict has put an end to the villainous machinations of this criminal personality (she is still on bail), once and for all. I have horrid memories of her, and I feel I was perfectly justified in describing her as a “sari-clad devil incarnate.”

Russia is earnestly interested in the preservation of the priceless legacy of the Roerichs’ family for whom India had become a second home. Millions of Russian citizens expect that at last the path has opened up for the fulfilment of Dr  Svetoslav’s dream to set up a cultural-cum-natural reserve in Tataguni, which is open to Bangaloreans and numerous tourists from India and abroad. Many a time, he shared these dreams with me and my colleagues. Svetoslav Nikolaevich visualized the future of the Estate not only as a museum, but rather as a vibrant spring of creative quest, a special spiritual place for the talented and young artists, admirers and connoisseurs of the Roerichs’ heritage, a venue of exhibitions and scientific seminars.

The Russian side and the state government of Karnataka have always insisted that the paintings of Svetoslav Roerich and masterpieces of art collected by him and his wife, Indian megastar Devika Rani, should be available to the people. We hope that soon we will be able to translate into reality yet another project which Svetoslav Roerich was contemplating upon – the establishment of an International Academy of Fine Arts -- on the territory of the Estate. We know that the government of Karnataka was drafting these plans even in the difficult conditions when the Estate was under court arrest. This means that people, who were guarding the priceless legacy, always believed in the triumph of justice over evil.

The Russian side is ready to provide experts and all other assistance, including sponsorship, in the implementation of the project. We have highly qualified specialists who could share with their Indian colleagues their experience of museum science, who could participate in setting up the exhibits, in chalking out programmes for the International Art Centre. We have already received proposals to finance the restoration of Svetoslav Roerich’s paintings, which miraculously survive the long ‘imprisonment’ and are now in a dilapidated state, as well as for their subsequent conservation and exposition of the collection.

We can rely on material and financial support coming not only from the state resources, but also from joint Indo-Russian enterprises. Incidentally, one of these structures – AFK “Systema”, which is successfully working in the Indian market for quite some time – has already declared its intention to join efforts to restore the paintings.

The Roerich family’s spiritual and cultural heritage represents one of the bridges, connecting Russian and Indian nations with invisible but ever so strong links. It cements our bonds of friendship and cooperation, and imbues them with unique depth and versatility. That is why it is so natural that we consider it possible for the Russian side to participate in the establishment and activities of the memorial complex in Tataguni. It could be done on the pattern of the “Northern” Estate in Naggar, Kullu Valley. It would be appropriate if the Tataguni Project is announced and top priority given to it at the highest political level, as it happened with the Roerich Memorial Complex in Naggar, which was brought one and a half year ago under the honorary patronage of the co-chairs of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission with Russia’s Vice-Premier Sergei Ivanov and India’s External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna as patrons-in-chief.

I believe we should move without delay to work out a special format of Indo-Russian interaction, to unite both the complexes under one governing structure for the sake of more efficient coordination of their activities. I am absolutely confident that such a joint initiative is truly justified and will correspond in the best way to the task of careful preservation of the Roerichs’  legacy, which continues to be relevant not only to the people of our two countries but to the entire humankind. It would be somewhat premature to speak about concrete forms of such interaction, but, the existing goodwill allows us to believe that together we will manage to optimise the potential of the project.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation has always been in close touch with the Karnataka government on all matters related to Tataguni. We intend to continue cooperation in future as well. The recent court verdict has opened new favourable opportunities and we should seize them. We highly appreciate the efforts of the local administration to protect and safeguard the Estate during the tumultuous times of the court litigation. I would like to specially emphasize the stellar role played by the former government-in-charge of the Estate, Ms Nila Majunath, and its present curator Mujeeb Akhmad.

It would be no exaggeration to say that it became possible to preserve so much which otherwise could have been irretrievably lost or stolen, thanks to the conscientiousness and dedication to the cause and concerned attitude of these modest but devoted officers. In our future work we will certainly be relying on the positive experience, accumulated during decades of our interaction in all matters related to the Estate, especially during the time when the Karnataka government was headed by Mr S.M.Krishna, who is now India’s External Affairs Minister. I would like to underline the highest appreciation of his tremendous personal contribution to the preservation of the Roerichs’ cultural and spiritual heritage and the establishment of the memorial samadhis in Tataguni that befits the luminous memory of Svetoslav and Devika Rani.

Taking into account the special significance of all issues related to the Roerichs’ legacy in India, the Russian embassy will closely interact with the Central government in New Delhi. The court verdict was declared only recently. However, we are quite happy and are inspired by the positive reaction to this verdict from India’s external affairs ministry and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Our colleagues and friends share with us the high value of the court verdict and its meaning for the future. We shall continue to work together with them. I am sure we will be able to find best options to make our plans a reality. Just imagine – the International Roerich Memorial Trust IRMT) in the Himalayan Kullu Valley will proudly celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2012! What astonishing triumphs we can achieve when the efforts of two nations are united!

August 15, 2011

Russia&India Report

The verdict on India’s  Supreme Court on Tataguni Estate represents an event of international resonance, which the world Roerich community had been waiting nearly 17 years - The Deccan Herald (Bangalore), Aug 14, 2011.

Read more: Russia ready to help in realising dreams

 

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