Libmonster ID: IN-1284
Author(s) of the publication: V. A. SKOSYREV

Author: V. A. SKOSYREV

The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has published a book by Peter Shastitko " The Century is Gone "(Moscow, 2009). In the work, which is largely memoir in nature, the author tells about the path of Russian Oriental studies in the past century, about his colleagues in Indology, about the ups and downs in his life and scientific career. His colleagues, as if in a mirror, reflected the dramas and joys that many Russian scientists who went through the war had to experience. These people believed in socialist ideals for a long time and, even after experiencing the wrath of the high party leadership, did not become embittered, but continued to persistently, fanatically conduct research work that became the meaning of their existence.

The name of the book is symbolic. A century has passed, and the author himself has gone (P. M. Shastitko died in June 2009). However, he happened to pick up his brainchild. Probably, this supported Pyotr Mikhailovich in the very last days before his death. However, it seems to me that this was a person who did not need any support or consolation, but supported others himself.

Although we studied at the same institute - the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies (MIV), I did not dare to meet him for a long time. And how could it be otherwise, if for us, yesterday's schoolchildren, Shastitko was a legend.

I remember that the whole institute gathered for the epochal basketball matches between the "Indians"and " Arabs". Shastitko, although disabled, always stood at the edge of the court and cheered for his "Indians".

And we whispered among ourselves: a front-line soldier, and if a Sinologist or an indologist has a conflict with the dean's office, is always ready to come to the rescue of a student. That was his reputation.

Many years later, when I worked at the newspaper, I had to consult with him, and I had a chance to interview him a couple of times. He told only one episode about the war - how he got into the Reichstag on the third day after the capture of Berlin. The building inside was still smoking. The guard sergeant, like other soldiers, etched his name on the wall with a piece of coal: "I'm in Berlin. Hooray. Peter Shastitko".

The reader will also learn about what the author experienced on the way to Berlin. It seems that so much has already been said about the war. But the chapter " Forever in memory "(pp. 201-205) allows us to look, for example, at the Battle of Kursk through the eyes of a simple soldier who, as it turned out many years later, can tell about his experience in surprisingly clean and imaginative language.

After Dembil, Shastitko had to decide what to do in a peaceful life. He entered the IIV. "I was attracted to the Indian branch. My interest was not based on my knowledge of this colony of Britain, nor on Kipling's wonderland romance, but, if I may say so, on Nagulnovsky's naive extremism. India achieved independence in 1947. There was a sharp political struggle going on in it, and it seemed to me that the experience of socialist construction in the USSR (in which I sincerely believed) would be necessary for the Indian people, " the author explained his choice of specialty (pp. 217-218).

The faculty of the IIV was uneven. Along with scientists of the first magnitude, there were also frankly weak teachers. The Department of Indian Languages did not have a single associate professor or professor, recalls Shastitko. The strongest teachers were the Chinese and Arabic departments. Chinese was taught by Professor Ilya Oshanin, Associate Professor Nikolay Korotkov, brilliant practitioner Boris Isaenko, and the history of China was taught by Grigory Voitinsky, formerly a consultant to Chiang Kai-shek, Head of the Department. Department of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. Arabic was taught by Professor Kharlampy Baranov and Associate Professor Klavdia Ode-Vasilyeva, who was born in Palestine. The Turkish language Department was headed by Academician Vladimir Gordlevsky (p. 220).

The Institute successfully inherited the traditions of the Institute created during the Civil War. Narimanov, where cadres of practical workers of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat were trained, and where teaching was persistently ideologized.

A front-line student had to witness a loud campaign against cosmopolitanism. This campaign also damaged the Institute of Oriental Studies. Brilliant non - partisan Orientalists with "atypically Russian surnames" were forced to leave it-a corresponding member. AN E. A. Huber, Academician Gordlevsky.

"Scientific life in the country was not just booming. It gushed out. But then we didn't realize that sometimes it was a mud fountain," the author writes. In 1950. Stalin started a discussion on linguistics. She struck at MIV, too. In October 1950. A discussion was held on the situation in indology, in which the report was made by Associate Professor of the IIV Georgy Schmidt. He considered the Indian National Congress party as a bloc of the British imperialist bourgeoisie with the Indian compradors and landlords, to whom power was transferred in 1947 to preserve colonial rule. Nehru Schmidt considered the proteges of the colonialists.

Schmidt's main opponent was the professor

page 76

A. M. Dyakov, who believed that India has embarked on the path of intensive capitalist development, which is held back by the fetters of colonialism. The National Congress, which managed to lead India's struggle against colonialism, is a progressive party, and its leaders express the views of anti-colonial forces.

Schmidt wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), where he accused his opponents of adhering to Menshevik theory. Schmidt was supported by his students, Dyakov by prominent scientists. The Central Committee did not define its attitude to the dispute, but offered to enroll Schmidt in the staff of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences.

For the students, the benefit of the discussion was that they heard polemics between major Orientalists. "I will honestly say that I could not understand the problem, and the idea of an early proletarian revolution in India appealed to me more," the author admits. The fact that scientists applied not to the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences, but to the highest party body, did not seem ridiculous either. Previous discussions such as the notorious "Lysenkovskaya" (p.225) have taught us this unnatural nature.

"We were actors in a grand theater of the absurd... But I was not given to understand this then, " Shastitko writes.

And yet, despite the strict party control, despite the Big Lies surrounding the Soviet people, the institute trained specialists who managed to achieve great success in various fields of science, culture, and political practice. Among them are academicians-E. M. Primakov, the future Prime Minister of Russia, V. S. Myasnikov, N. A. Simonia, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ambassadors, international journalists.

Nevertheless, on July 1, 1954, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a resolution on the closure of the MIVA, the only specialized Oriental studies university in the country. Shastitko, co-authored with N. K. Charyeva, in a separate chapter analyzes in detail the history of this decision, which harmed the training of specialists in the East. Its unreasonableness is evident even from the fact that the fate of MIV was discussed by senior Central Committee officials, but none of them went so far as to suggest closing the institute.

In the years after Stalin's death, the university's activities were seriously disrupted. A contradiction has matured: the country needed Orientalists, and the institute trained specialists who were not required by practical organizations. There was another important factor: the admission of students to the Institute was carried out on a general basis, and graduates with "dysfunctional questionnaires" experienced difficulties in the distribution. As a result, 57 out of 220 graduates did not get a job in 1953 (p.48).

N. S. Khrushchev instructed an official from the Central Committee to investigate. The chapter devoted to this episode contains excerpts from correspondence between officials of different departments. But documents from the archives of the Council of Ministers remained inaccessible to the authors of the chapter. The authors suggest that Khrushchev or G. M. Malenkov could have decided the fate of the MIV.

As soon as Stalin passed away, the situation in the country changed. Not only the leaders of the university, but also a number of prominent scientists dared to send letters to the heads of state, where they proved that the decision made was wrong. And only two years later, at the XX Congress of the CPSU, A. I. Mikoyan essentially admitted the mistake.

Shastitko, thankfully, finished the MIV before these events. All his further fate was connected with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences. But before becoming one of his leading collaborators and defending his doctoral dissertation, he had to do a lot of research. The reserve sergeant-major of the Guard retained the habit of cutting the truth in the eyes that remained from the war. And after exposing the cult of Stalin, he did not think of anything better than at the party meeting to accuse his associates of involvement in the crimes of the leader. The reprisal was not long in coming. Expelled from the party, expelled from graduate school.

In the district committee, the punishment was softened. Thanks to the director of Ivan Bobojan Gafurovich Gafurov, he managed to return to the Institute (p. 257).

As Leonid Alaev, Doctor of Historical Sciences, notes in the preface, Shastitko, who worked at the Institute until the end of his life, was engaged in research on the history of India, Russia's relations with the countries of the East, as well as the theory of the national question.

The first book of the scientist about India was published in 1967 by the work "Nana Sahib (A story about the popular uprising of 1857-1859 in India)".

Another vivid episode from the history of India is reflected in the book written together with V. V. Vykhukholev - "Talwar" raises the flag. The Story of the 1946 Bombay Seamen's Rebellion "(1982). This event was mythologized in Soviet works. Legend interpreted it as almost an uprising of the Indian Fleet against the colonialists, like the Indian version of the Battleship Potemkin.

The authors found that "Talvar" was the name of the naval communications school on the shore. Signal cadets and telegraph operators went on strike against poor nutrition, which turned into a riot under liberation slogans. It was a brave thing to do. But he did not pose a serious threat to the British government.

Pyotr Mikhailovich also studied the situation of Indians in South Africa, where M. K. Gandhi began his political activity. The research resulted in the book " One Hundred Years of Disenfranchisement (The Situation of Indians in the Union of South Africa. 1860-1960)".

In 1978, P. M. Shastitko was appointed head of the Department of Historical and cultural relations of the USSR with the countries of the Foreign East (p. 317). He worked on these problems until the end of his life. The result was, in particular, a two-volume edition of the collection of archival documents "Russian-Indian Relations". (Heads P. M. Shastitko and T. N. Zagorodnikova).

And in his latest book, he paid great attention to the history of Soviet orientalism, spoke about his teachers and colleagues: Igor Reisner, Vladimir Balabushevich, Alexey Dyakov, Alexey Levkovsky, about the first director of the Publishing House of Oriental Literature Oleg Dreyer.

"My generation, born between the revolution and the Great Terror, paper soldiers of the Second World War," children of the terrible years of Russia " (A. Blok) is passing away. Its poets, singers, scientists, engineers, clowns... Eternal gratitude to them. How strange: yesterday peers are contemporaries, today is memory, " the book's epilogue says.

These lines can now be attributed to the author of the memoirs, the outstanding Russian indologist Peter Shastitko.


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