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Marry Indian, save Russia

books Updated: Sep 12, 2007 15:42 IST
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Indian men promise to be the ideal spouses for Russian women, affected as they are by a high male death rate owing largely to unhealthy lifestyles. That is the opinion of Maria Arbatova, leading Russian feminist author and prominent television presenter.

"The import of eligible bachelors from India is my big geopolitical idea," she told RIA Novosti news agency.

India can be of help now that Russia has come to grips with its formidable demographic problem, Arbatova said during the launch of her latest book A Taste of India at the 20th Moscow International Book Fair recently.

"First, both Russians and Indians are Indo-Europeans, and we speak related languages - just look at the many similarities between Sanskrit and modern Russian vocabularies. Second, and even more important, the archetypal Indian man is a fanatic paterfamilias. To raise many children is his cherished dream, and he makes the best possible husband," remarked Arbatova, who is married to Sumeet of West Bengal in eastern India.

Attracting Indian bachelors to Russia should be a government policy, she argues, or Russia will soon have two crosses to bear - one of its own male deaths and the other of the Chinese birth rate.

"Asian Russia, from the Pacific coast up to the Urals, is full of Chinese men anxious to marry Russian girls. If the Chinese are not promptly balanced out, no matter by whom - Indians, Africans or extra-terrestrials, either Asian Russia will become a Chinese province before 2050 or Chinese will become Russia's second official language," she jokes ironically. "Just look, Russia has two employment agencies in China, and none in India. Shame!"

Arbatova's book went on sale last spring and was on the bestseller list in summer. Britain's International Biographical Centre of Cambridge has awarded her its 20th Century Outstanding Achievement gold medal.

The author points out many similarities between Russian and Indian life.

"Socialism got my country out of the Big Game for 70 years. Colonialism did the same to India for two centuries. Both nations are now getting back to their sources in the age of globalisation. That's hard to do - like walking home inside a centrifuge," she says.