REMARKS OF THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR,
ALEXANDER M.KADAKIN, AT THE SYMPOSIUM TO MARK THE 90TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF ACADEMICIAN EUGENY P.CHELYSHEV
New Delhi, November 7, 2011
It is not very often that life affords us a chance to honour veterans who are over 90. Such jubilee itself is a strong reason which has assembled us today in this hall of Sahitya Akademi. Even more so – this morning we are celebrating an auspicious 90th birth anniversary of a scientist whose name, for over six decades, has been synonymous with Indian studies in Russia – Academician Eugeny P.Chelyshev.
Both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh highly assessed Professor Chelyshev's talent in their messages. His life and achievements have inextricably linked the two countries more than any political treaties. President Medvedev noted that Eugeny Chelyshev's fundamental works dedicated to India's culture and literature became widely acclaimed not only in Russia but all over the world.
There are not so many scholars the realm of whose scientific interests would be so broad. Academician Chelyshev devoted his entire scientific and creative endeavor to our country’s best friend - India. His sphere of academic pursuits ranges from teaching and studying Russian to the cultural legacy of the Russia’s greatest émigrés many of whom Professor Chelyshev knows personally. He also studied the interaction of Russian culture with the Orient and discovered the famous phenomenon of the Oriental Renaissance.
Eugeny Chelyshev is one of the glorious cohort of those hero soldiers who fought at the battlefields of World War II. After 67 years since the crushing defeat of Nazism, the person whose 90th jubilee we are celebrating today, remains the only one living academician who marched along the Red Square at the historic Victory Parade in 1945.
It is natural and symbolic that the venue of the seminar to honour Academician Chelyshev’s anniversary is the prestigious Sahitya Akademi. 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. The multidimensional character of academician Chelyshev’s oeuvre has served as the basis for his outstanding comprehensive comparative studies in interaction of Indian, British and Russian cultures and the history of Indian literature at large.
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. For 32 years he worked in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences. For a long time he headed the Indian Languages Department of the Moscow State University of International Relations under the Foreign Ministry. Eugeny Petrovich is a famous educationalist of great talent and wisdom. I am proud to be Guru Chelyshev’s “chela”, and many of us comprise the formidable “Indian mafia” within the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Academician Chelyshev remains a person of inexhaustible enthusiasm, joie de vivre and multifaceted talents. He keeps amazing his friends, colleagues, followers and disciples. At a ripe young age of 90 he is actively involved in academic and organizational activities. Eugeny P. Chelyshev co-chairs the Academic Council on Study and Preservation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage. His duties as the Vice-Chairman of the Russian Language Council of the Government occupy a special place in a day-to-day work of Eugeny Petrovich.
While celebrating today the 90th birth anniversary of the outstanding Russian scholar, our dearest Guru, public figure and colleague, I would like to express my sincere admiration for him as a great man of letters and a warm-hearted human being. May God further bless Academician Eugeny Petrovich Chelyshev with good health and success in implementing all of his cherished dreams and endeavors.
Many happy returns of the day, dear Guru-ji!