Chinese scholar wo translated Ramayana honoured

June 7th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 7 (IANS) 96-year-old Ji Xianlin, who had translated major Indian epics like the Ramayana into Chinese, was Friday evening conferred the Padma Bhushan by visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Ji, a renowned Indologist, scholar, paleographer and historian, has through his work inspired a love for Indian culture among generations of Chinese students and scholars.

Besides the Ramayana, Ji has also translated such Indian classics as the “Shakuntalam” and “Panchatantra” into Chinese.

Awarding him the citation for India’s third highest civilian honour in recognition of his immense contribution, Mukherjee said generations yet to come will forever be indebted and grateful to Ji for dedicating his illustrious life to the cause of India-China friendship and understanding.

“I am very happy to be visiting you. The Indian people treasure your contribution to the scholarship of India in China and regar you as a special and valued friend,” Mukherjee said during the function which was also attended by former foreign minister of China and currently chairman of the NPC Standing committee on foreign affairs, Li Zhaoxing.

Thanking him for traveling “from afar and bringing this honour”, the nonagenarian Ji said: “Three years from now, I will be a hundred years old but that is not an end but a new beginning.

“So long as I am able to do so, I will dedicate myself to greater understanding between the people of Indian and China”.

Mukherjee is on a three-day visit to China.

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