Come October 28, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) along with the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) will find “ways and means for utilisation of ancient Indian wisdom
” stored in the Russian academic world in a two-day conference.
The conference to be held in Moscow will see scholars speaking on ‘reassessing the chronology of the Iranian Avestan language and to show its similarity with Vedic Sanskrit’.
The range of discussion would revolve around “relooking at the dating of the Vedas, the religious and philosophical thoughts of the Atharvaveda as the cultural code of Indian civilisation and the contribution of Russian scholars to Vedic studies”. Indian scholars who will speak at the conference include B.R. Mani, Gaya Charan Tripathi, Sree Kishore Mishra, Ganesh Umakanant Thite among others. Russian scholars and those from neighbouring Uzbekistan and Belarus will also speak at the conference.
The Indian coordinator of the conference, Ramesh Bhardwaj, said that the idea to hold such a conference came from President Pranab Mukherjee during the latter’s visit to Russia in May this year.
“During his visit, the President met a group of Russian indologists and realised that there was a lot of work which was unexplored and needed to be showcased. So, he had suggested that we should organise such a conference.”
Bhardwaj said that he had been working on the details of the conference with his Russian counterpart, S.D. Serebriany, since July. Bhardwaj, who is also head of Sanskrit department in Delhi University, added that Russia was the first country in the West to start Sanskrit studies in 1725 in St Petersburg. “It was recently concluded that the origin and existence of the Avestan dates to a much earlier period than 1st millennium BC (backed by some scholars),” said Bhardwaj.