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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 9 New Delhi February 17, 2018

Tribute to Professor Arun Mohanty

Saturday 17 February 2018


Professor Arun Mohanty, 64, who held a Ph.D degree in Economics from the USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, passed away in New Delhi on February 3, 2018 after suffering a brain stroke in November last year. Prior to his appointment as a Professor of Russian and Central Asian Studies at the School of International Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Professor Mohanty taught at the Moscow State University, Moscow City Pedagogical University and Moscow Institute of Management, and was closely associated with the leading think-tanks in the Russian capital. 

Prof Mohanty also worked in the Russian media—he was in the Moscow Radio World Service’s Oriya section for several years in various positions. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, he was the only foreign correspondent of the Moscow Radio World Service. Moreover, he was the Moscow correspondent of the India Abroad News Service for several years.

He was a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Russian Academy of Social Sciences named after Peter the Great and Congress of Political Scientists of Russia. 

His primary research interests included Russia’s economic transformation, foreign and security policies of Russia, developments in Central Asia and Indo-Russian bilateral relations. 

A recipient of Russia’s prestigious Pushkin State Award, Prof Mohanty was the Director of the Delhi-based Eurasian Foundation and Chief Editor of the research journal, Eurasian Report. A member of the International Coordination Committee of the Vienna-based World Public Forum on Dialogue of Civilisations, he published 17 books and co-authored several books with Russian scholars. 

During his more than two decades of stay at Moscow, Prof Mohanty contributed over thirty chapters of edited volumes, and hundreds of his articles on developments in the Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia and CIS as well as Indo-Russian relations have been published in referred research journals and periodicals including Mainstream. Prof Mohanty wrote scores of articles on developments in Russia and other CIS countries and attended more than seventy international conferences abroad. His last two books were Russian Civilisation and Islam (published by KW Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi and released at the Russian Embassy in New Delhi on February 28, 2017) and Travellers from Imperial Russia to India (published by the Russian Embassy in New Delhi and released by the Russian ambassador on February 7, 2018, that is, after Prof Mohanty’s death, at the JNU’s School of International Studies).

Prof Mohanty leaves behind his wife, Namita, who stood by him through all his trials and tribulations. While remembering him on his demise, we are reproducing the last article that he wrote in Mainstream on the occasion of the centenary of the October Revolution (it was published in this journal’s November 4, 2017 issue). It brings out both the depth of his knowledge of the USSR and post-Soviet Russia as also his dispassionate objectivity while analysing the momentous happenings in that country over the years.   

Thoughts on the Occasion of October Revolution’s Centenary

by Arun Mohanty

Human society has witnessed so many revolutions but no revolution has influenced human history so much as has the Great October Revolution of 1917. No other revolution has triggered so profound socio-economic and geopolitical transformation in the global scale as has the October Revolution. The further we move away from the history-making events of 1917, the more we realise the global significance of this Revolution. The October Revolution led to the birth of not only the first socialist state but ignited the fire of revolution throughout the world. Communist and Socialist parties emerged across continents from Europe to Asia, from Latin America to Africa, providing a tremendous impetus to the international communist and socialist movement.

Full text at: http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article7569.html

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