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Mainstream, VOL L, No 29, July 7, 2012

Ravi Bakaya Is No More

Tuesday 10 July 2012

[(Sometime back Abha Appasamy, the daughter of Ravi Bakaya, informed us from Chennai that her father had passed away in that city on April 22, 2012. Thereafter she sent us the following brief sketch of her father with a note that read:
“I am very sorry to have delayed writing to you. I did receive your letter and tried to think what to write, but I am not able to compile a bio-sketch, as I have been living away from my parents for over 35 years until very recently...My mother is also not able to help me out, because she is unable to speak now or communicate in any effective way.

“I have been searching among his papers and on the internet to find something suitable and I am sending it to you. I am sorry for the delay, as I didn’t open my father’s email- till today.

“Below is a short sketch—I hope it is adequate and I am not too late.”
Ravi Bakaya is survived by his wife, Kamal, daughter, Abha, and son, Akshay.
Abha Appasamy can be contacted at e-mail: abha.appasamy@gmail.com

Mainstream, with which Ravi Bakaya was intimately associated, mourns his death and shares the bereavement of all members of his family. We promise to reproduce some of his writings, published in this journal, in our following issues as a token of our tribute to his abiding memory. — Editor )]

Dr Ravi Mohan Bakaya was one of the pioneers of Russian language teaching in India. He worked actively in the Friends of the Soviet Union (FSU) organisation and its successor, the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society (ISCUS), where he was closely connected with the FSU monthly, The Indo-Soviet Journal, and the ISCUS quarterly, Amity, as their executive editor. He started teaching Russian in an honorary capacity in ISCUS in 1954 and joined the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1960. He taught at the IIT Bombay for over seven years and brought out the first Russian textbook published in India written by him and a Russian colleague, V.I. Balin, who headed the Hindi Department in Leningrad and taught Russian at the IIT in 1961-64.

Ravi Bakaya joined the Institute of Russian Studies (now Centre of Russian Studies), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi as a Reader in 1967. He did his Ph.D in Philology from the Moscow University in 1973.

In 1977-78 he collaborated with four authors, two of them Soviet, to write another Russian textbook for philologists under a UGC pro-gramme. The book was published in Moscow. Dr Bakaya retired as a Professor from the JNU in 1985. He has many academic papers and translations to his credit.

Since his retirement Prof Bakaya has been writing on subjects connected with the former Soviet Union, the communist movement in India and has also edited several books. He has edited and published the reminiscences of his sister, Vimla Dang, and the poems and songs of his mother, Kamla Bakaya (in Hindi).

In 2008, Prof Bakaya moved to Chennai along with his wife Kamal Bakaya to live with their daughter, as they were both keeping poor health. He passed away peacefully on April 22, 2012 four days after his 90th birthday.

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