India, Russia plan major events for 70th anniversary of ties
During their summit meeting over the weekend in Goa, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid considerable emphasis on a suitable way to celebrate next year (2017), to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between the two countries.
They provided guidelines for celebrations in a befitting manner, to depict the “width and depth of multi-faceted relations that the two countries have, spanning diverse fields including political, defence, energy, trade, economy, finance, investment, culture, education, think-tanks, science and technology, sports, youth, tourism, people-to-people exchanges,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated.
Speaking at a joint media briefing after the summit, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the significance of the event, saying, “As we approach the seventieth (70th) anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties next year, India and Russia are celebrating and building on the achievements of our past. We are working to model a partnership that befits our common ambition and meets our shared goals for the twenty-first (21st) century.”
A total of 35 different sets of events, from official and intergovernmental ones to cultural, scientific, politological, economic, sporting and tourism have been planned, while separate commemorative functions will happen at international forums.
Sources told RIR that both President Putin and Prime Minister Modi spent “quite some time” talking over suitable ways to celebrate the start of the “extremely significant relationship.”
Official and intergovernmental events
An exchange of congratulatory messages between President Putin and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will ring in the year-long celebrations, followed by official receptions in the Russian Embassy in New Delhi and the Indian Embassy in Moscow. Simultaneously, articles dedicated to the anniversary written by President Putin and Prime Minister Modi will be published in leading periodicals of India and Russia respectively.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will bestow commemorative breastplates stating "For contribution to the development of international cooperation” on prominent Indian retired diplomats.
Postage stamps would be jointly released in both countries, with production of first day cover, special letter stamp and holding the ceremony of commemorative cancellation.
There will be a separate celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Indian Consulate General in St.Petersburg (with the participation of the government of Mumbai twin city), which the MEA will conduct.
Among the cultural events outlined are a release of commemorative pins, which will be awarded during the commemorative events, the launch of a radio discussion programme as part of a daily radio programme "Russia Today” on Gold-FM All India Radio, thematic museum exhibitions and retrospective photo exhibitions on the history of Russian-Indian relations on the ground of the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature named after M.I. Rudomino.
An international photo competition to promote Russia and India as promising tourist destinations will be held, along with exhibitions of the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Kullu.
All commemorative events will be announced in radio and television programmes, for example in "Morning of Russia” on the channel "Rossiya-1.” Weeks of cultural and educational documentary movies on historical and cultural monuments, natural attractions, traditions and festivals in Russia and India will be shown on the TV channels of the two countries ("Rossiya-K”, Doordarshan).
Also lined up are a series of articles containing memoirs of distinguished Russian and Indian diplomats and holding of ‘Round Table’ discussions among think tanks and academic and professional institutions on a host of issues covering the vast range of bilateral collaboration.
Among the interesting ‘Round Tables’ planned is on "The Future of Russia and India in the Hands of Young People," to be held in Russia, with Russian and Indian youth leaders. Short-term visits will be arranged of young representatives of political, social, scientific and business of foreign states "New Generation” (in April-October, 2017) to Russia. The Youth Affairs ministries of both countries will organise these events.
Sports and tourism
Joint motocross rallies with Russian and Indian motorcyclists will be held in India, while another highlight will be a rapid chess tournament, in six games between Vladimir Kramnik (14th World Champion) and Viswanathan Anand (15th World Champion) in Chennai.
"To Russia, with love!” programmes, involving familiarization tours for Indians, is another highlight planned during the commemorative year. A bilingual mobile programme for tourism ("IndRus Tourism”) will also be launched to facilitate increased tourism exchanges between people of both countries.