NEW DELHI, January 18. /TASS/. About 150 photos and documents on the life of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and leader of India’s independence movement Mahatma Gandhi are featured at an exhibition that opened at the University of Delhi on Thursday.
As Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi Yogesh Tyagi said, the copies of letters these two renowned persons wrote to each other make an important part of the exposition.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to have a look at letters, the correspondence that was between two great thinkers, and this exhibition reminds us of the importance of those two great philosophers and the importance of relationship between Russia and India. We are very proud of this relationship," Tyagi said.
The ceremony of opening the exhibition at the University’s compound brought together professors, lecturers and students studying the Russian language, literature and history, and also diplomats, representatives of the public and journalists.
"The exhibition is devoted to two jubilees: the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and India, which were established in 1947. This year also marks 70 years since the Russian language began to be taught at the Delhi University. The Russian language has been taught at our University since 1948 while the decision to open the corresponding Department was made in 1947. Our Department is the oldest in India where the Russian language began to be taught," Senior Lecturer of the Russian Language and Literature at the Department of Slavic and Finno-Ugric Languages of the University of Delhi Girish Munjal said.
As he noted, the Gandhi national museum provided photos on the life of Gandhi and Tolstoy for the exposition, along with the copies of their letters: Tolstoy’s famous ‘Letter to a Hindu (1908) and the correspondence between Tolstoy and Gandhi. These letters are presented in English and also as translated into Hindi. The Yasnaya Polyana museum outside Moscow has sent materials from the biography of Leo Tolstoy, and also books about India and from the Tolstoy library to the Delhi exposition.
"The Russian language generally evokes a very large interest in India today," Dr. Munjal said.
"Now about 500 students are studying the Russian language … across Delhi - at our Department and at several colleges. At our Department, 80 students specializing in Russian philology are undergoing an intensive course of studies while 30 students are taking the Master’s Degree course. Another 10 persons are undergoing post-graduate studies," he said.
The works by Leo Tolstoy, namely, War and Peace, Anna Karenina and short stories, are part of the Delhi University’s Russian literature curriculum, he added.