INDIA AND RUSSIA IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM: DIALOGUE OF CULTURES
15-17 September 2010
“India was known already in ancient Russia as the country with ancient and deep culture. References to old trading and cultural contacts with India are available already in the Russian epics. Old Russian bylinas know about heroes connected with India. One of the heroes, Djuk Stepanovich, s even considered to be of Indian origin, the ‘rich India’” -writes the academician A. P. Barannikov.
Cultural contacts between India and Russia have existed since centuries. For a long time our countries, divided by great geographical distances, had no direct communication. The information on India reached Russia through trading contacts and by means of other eastern people who had contact with the people of the Indian subcontinent.
According to the well-known Indologist, Prof Rybakov, another route passed from Europe and Byzantine. For a long time Russians perceived India as a land of spiritual earning. Merchant Afanasy Nikitin’s trip to the western coastal areas of India in the second half XV century marks the beginning of direct contact between Russians and Indians. The first mention of India on the pages of a Russian newspaper appeared in 1703: “The Indian king has presented to the Russian monarch an elephant together with other gifts”. Many other direct references to India appear later in Russian texts. Indian traders began to settle in Russia from the first half of the XVII century. In Astrakhan there was a colony of Indian merchants who also lived from time to time in Nizhni Novgorod and Moscow.
Russian interest in India has gone through many phases.
Earlier, if India was seen as a mysterious country, today it a reliable partner in politics.
The attraction to Russian literature among Indians is more than a century old. Russian language and the literature drew the attention of Indians as the language of Gogol, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and as the language of reformers and revolutionaries struggling for the cause of the oppressed and humiliated. This interest in Russian increased when the Soviet people fought and won the war against Nazism. It has also been the language of great poets of the XX century such as Brodsky and Akhmatova. Today once again Russia has become important as a partner in the creation of a multi-polar world system.
Russia was a special friend of India when India became independent. This special relationship has continued even after the fall of the Soviet Union. Today both India and Russia are developing at a fast pace economically. After some political and economic upheaval, Russia is now passing through a process of revival. Russia is in a condition today to create a multi-polar space in the world order.
India and Russia – are the multiethnic and multicultural states. Both countries carry out neo-liberal programs of development. Today, more than ever before, dialogue between our two countries is important. This dialogue will promote an understanding of the nature, aims and future trajectory of the relationship. An exchange of opinions between representatives of our countries about a new international order is essential.
We invite papers on the following sub-themes:
- Changes in the Translation Industry
- Recent translation of Russian Literature into Indian Languages Translation of Indian Literature into Russian Language
- India in Russian Literature and Russia in Indian Literatures Influence of Russian and Soviet Literature on Indian Literatures Women’s Prose in Russia and India
Society and Culture
- Geopolitics and Indo-Russian Relations
- Dialogue of Generations Today and/or Conflict of ‘Fathers and Sons’
- Thinkers and Travelers as Bridges between Cultures: Nikitin, Roerich, Sanskrutayan, M.N. Roy, Tolstoy, Gandhi and others
- Neoliberalism in India and Russia
- Russian Language as the Language of Inter-National Communication in as
- New Trends in Teaching Russian Language
- New Meanings, New Words: Changes in Russian Language Post-1991, the Teaching of Indian Languages n Russia and Russian Language in India