News of the Branch

04.10.2012

“Mahatma Gandhi – Great Soul of India” exhibition in the Russian National Library, St. Petersburg, Russia







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“Mahatma Gandhi – Great Soul of India” exhibition was opened on October, 4th in the Russian National Library, St. Petersburg, Russia. The exhibition is a joint project of the Russian National Library, General Consulate of India in St. Petersburg and the Regional Non-Governmental Organization “St. Petersburg Branch of the International Non-Governmental Organization “The International Center of the Roerichs””. The exhibition is one of the events devoted to the Day of non-violence in St. Petersburg; the events are supported by the Foreign Relations Committee of St. Petersburg Government.

The exhibition shows photo documents about Mahatma Gandhi’s life and activity (collected and prepared for the exhibition by the St. Petersburg Branch of the International Center of the Roerichs), books from the Russian National Library funds depicting world-known activity of the great political and spiritual leader of India.

The gala meeting was opened by Linden Irina, the deputy-in-chief of the Director General of the RNL. She heartedly welcomed the Consul-General of the General Consulate of India in St. Petersburg Mr. Vishvas Sapkal,  Voronkov A.K., the Foreign Relations Committee of the St. Petersburg Government, Tomsha E.A., the chairman of the St.Petersburg Branch of the ICR, guests and visitors of the RNL. She noted the importance of the exhibition which is devoted to the man who greatly influenced the whole world. She also stressed that the exhibition showed valuable documents, copies of Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi manuscripts most of which were exhibited for the first time. The RNL Funds gave rare publications and books in different languages: Russian, English and Hindu.

Mr. Vishvas Sapkal, the Consul-General of the General Consulate of India in St. Petersburg noted that he was glad to be present at the gala event and thanked the RNL and the St.Petersburg Branch of the ICR, the Foregn Relations Committee of St. Petersburg Government for support in organization and holding of the exhibition.

He stressed that it was E.A.Tomsha, the chairman of the St. Petersburg Branch of the ICR, who initiated the project. Mr. Vishvas Sapkal said that India has just celebrated the 143 anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. In 2007 the UN declared October, 2nd , to be the International Non-Violence Day in order to commemorate the memory of the great leader of India. Non-violence Day should strengthen the world culture, tolerance, mutual understanding and non-violence between people of the whole world.

“Gandhi’s philosophy is philosophy based on Sathya and Ahimsa, it was inspired by the Bhagavad-Gita and Leo Tolstoy ideas”, said Mr. Vishvas Sapkal. Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence philosophy was widely adopted by people all over the world. Mr. Vishvas Sapkal quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s words: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

Voronkov A.K., the St.Petersburg Government Foreign Relations Committee representative noted the necessity to develop ideas of non-violence and tolerance. He said that the city government has adopted a program on non-violence which includes a number of various events in the city.

The gala event was finished with E.A.Tomsha speech, who noted the uniqueness of the most photodocuments. The exhibition also shows the main events of M.Gandhi’s life, some of them were little known in Russia. E.A.Tomsha thanked the Consulate General of India for the possibility to use unique materials for the exhibition. The gala event coincides with another important event in the Northern-Western Region – The Open Children Northern-Western Contest drawing and literary work (essay). Children from St.Petersburg, Leningrad Region as well as children from Novgorod, Pskov, Vologda, Murmansk, Archangelsk Regions, from Karelia and Komi Republics are taking part in the Contest; the events show growing interest to India in Russia, added E.A.Tomsha, and give us hope for good relations between two countires in future.

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