Naggar, October 4, 2014
Dear Mr Rakesh Kanwar,
Dear citizens of Naggar,
Friends and guests,
It gives me great pleasure to cordially welcome you here. This year is remarkable indeed, because we celebrate three jubilees. First of all, the 140th Birth Anniversary of Nikolai Roerich – great Russian artist, philosopher, scientist, traveler, who made India his second home and who is remembered and honored in this sacred Himalayan Kullu Valley as maharishi. Two other remarkable dates are the 110th Anniversary of his son, Svyatoslav Roerich, an outstanding personality, renowned artist and the founder of the International Roerich Memorial Trust. And, also, the 135th Birth Anniversary of Helena Roerich – philosopher and writer.
We are approaching another memorable landmark: 80 years ago the most famous humanistic project of Nikolai Roerich saw the light of the day. A unique international document aimed at safeguarding cultural, scientific and educational heritage of humanity known as “The Roerich Pact” was signed. Along with it mankind has obtained a symbol of protection of its cultural and historical monuments – the famous Banner of Peace. This very Banner is proudly fluttering now side by side with the national flags of Russia and India in front of the Roerichs’ house, in the legendary Valley of Gods.
Nikolai Roerich’s life could be aptly described as a blend of ceaseless search and struggle to give mankind new vistas of beauty and perfection. It is here, in Naggar that the illustrious family of the Roerichs laboured for the good of the entire world. It is this place that became the karma-bhumi of Mahatma Roerich and his final resting place.
Nikolai Roerich wrote: “Where there is culture, there is also peace. There is also heroism, as well as correct solution of the most difficult social problems. Culture is an accumulation of the highest Bliss, of the highest Beauty, of the highest Knowledge”. This universal truth is reflected in thousands of his paintings which became priceless heritage. His canvases depict sacred peaks, rocks with mantras and magic signs inscribed on them, monasteries and temples. Looking at them, we clearly apprehend the primordial material and spiritual environment which has always been indispensable, both in olden times and now, for the life of inhabitants of this strikingly beautiful region of India.
It is gratifying to know that it is for the first time that Russian compatriots from India, Nepal and Mongolia got together in the Roerich Estate to familiarize themselves with this sacred place and share their experience on a very important issue – the preservation of Russian cultural heritage abroad. It means that the main principles of the Roerich Pact are getting off the ground and are successfully implemented.
How heartening it is to see that the seeds of a great deed initiated by Svyatoslav Roerich more than 20 years ago today bring a rich harvest. The Museum Complex and the Roerich Art Gallery patronized by the IRMT have been included in the list of the most remarkable sights of Himachal Pradesh. Lakhs of Indian and foreign guests visit this memorial estate. These embodied dreams perfectly fall in line with the vision of Svyatoslav Roerich and the ideas he had in mind while establishing the Trust. They also correspond to the mutual aspirations of two great nations – Russia and India – and the spirit of our time-tested friendship, which have reached a new level of special and privileged strategic partnership.
At my recent meeting with the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, my dear friend, Dr Virbhadra Singh, we discussed plans to revitalize the IRMT activities. Our proposals, supported by Dr Virbhadra-ji, touch upon various aspects of the IRMT existence. This refers to the immediate repair and restoration of the house-cum-museum. It was decided to start this work without delay basing on technical specifications and estimates made by Russian and Indian experts. Another important task is to implement a landmark decision on constructing the first group of premises for the Academy of Arts and to reactivate regular classes for local children.
We see the future of the Roerich Trust not as a modest village-level mini-exhibit, 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 Himachal’s people would be carefully preserved for the sake of coming generations. Russia is determined to consistently and steadily achieve the transformation of the Naggar Complex into a world-class museum, that would meet universally recognized international standards. The Roerich heritage is so significant that it cannot belong to either Kullu Valley or Himachal Pradesh, not even to India or Russia. Its influence extends far beyond borders. It has worldwide cultural importance, a unique civilizational value.
The International Roerich Memorial Trust is a world-wide symbol of cooperation, and we cannot let it be stripped of its substance. Joint research and active cultural exchanges build strongest bridges between nations and continents. This is why we will do our best to guarantee further cooperation between Russia and India within the IRMT.
The inspiring and lofty mission, which was the reason behind the establishment and functioning of the Roerich Trust, implies that only like-minded and open-hearted people should work at its fulfillment. This mission guides us towards active and committed search for constructive solutions in the spirit of mutual understanding, solidarity and cooperation.
Last year, the Embassy promised you, dear Naggarvalas, to organize a befitting large scale International Cultural Festival. We are lucky to witness brilliant performances of two Russian folk-dance groups, two painting exhibitions, etc. We express our special appreciation to the Interregional Public Organization “Dostoyanie” and to Mrs Natalya Pivovarova personally. Every year in Naggar we have a chance to get acquainted with talented young artists from various regions of Russia.
It is symbolic that all these events coincide with the traditional festivities of the Kullu Valley’s Dussehra festival famous all over India and beyond.
आदरणीय नग्गरवालो,प्रिया दोस्तो! आपको दशहरा के अवसर पर मेरी तरफ से हार्दिक शुभकामनाएँ!आपके सभी घरवाले व रिश्तेदार हमेशा स्वस्थ्य रहे!रूसी-भारतीय दोस्ती आगे बढे!
जय रूस, जय हिन्द!