If Dr Alexander M.Kadakin, ambassador extraordinary of Russia, has his way, this city, which has a special place in Indo-Russian relations, will pay a tribute in the form of a monument for first indigenous satellite 'Aryabhatta'.
The envoy, who was at Aero India 2013, told Deccan Chronicle that he had suggested to scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that they build a monument in one of the busy intersections of the city for the satellite on the 40th anniversary of its launch by the erstwhile Soviet Union in 2015.
“Bangalore is the father of the first satellite built by India. It is the first place of our cooperation in aviation and space. It is growing. I remember that it was a city with only 3, 50, 000, but there are seven million people now. It is also the aviation hub where the air show is becoming a prestigious international event with more and more companies participating at the show. There's a strong and representative presence of Russian companies at the air show. The quality of participation is much higher. It means that India is becoming a great aviation power,” he added.
Dr Kadakin, who has been associated with India for almost four decades, said though Russia lost the race for the $ 12 billion contract for supply of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), it would not be a setback as deals worth $ seven billion were signed during the recent visit of President Vladimir Putin. “Everybody has their own niche. We have many plans for cooperation with ISRO and in aviation,” he added.
Describing India as “Russia's very dear sister”, he said his country would not allow the local authorities to use a part of the sprawling Tataguni estate of the late artist Dr Svetoslav Roerich. “It is an idiotic proposal. We will oppose any move to use even an inch of that beautiful land for dumping garbage,” he added.
He, however, said the silver lining was the proposal by the state government to build a cultural centre at the estate.
Deccan Chronicle | B.R. Srikanth | Bengaluru
2013 02 07