Manmohan’s family goes on trip down Russia’s tsarist past (Lead)June 16th, 2009 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
Yekaterinburg (Russia), June 16 (IANS) A trip to the site where Russia’s last tsar and his family were killed over nine decades ago and the story of the brutality of their massacre left Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur and her daughter very moved.
Gursharan Kaur, who has accompanied the prime minister to this Russian industrial city, and her daughter Upinder, a historian who teaches at New Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College, visited the Church of Spilt Blood Tuesday that has now turned into a centre of pilgrimage.
A Russian guide told the visitors of the events on that dark night of Jan 17, 1918, when the Bolshevik Guards called the tsar and his family to the cellar and shot them. Kaur and her daughter Upinder appeared quite moved by the narration, those who accompanied them said.
Legend has it that the bloodthirsty executioners had a tough time eliminating the tsar’s wife and her four daughters and a son as they were wearing heavy jewellery in their corsets. “Bullets bounced off them and they had to finally bludgeon them to death,” narrated Elena, a Russian guide.
Archbishop Vikenty of the Russian Orthodox Church, dressed in priestly robes studded with precious stones and sporting a long beard, shepherded the prime minister’s family around the elegant interiors of the church and showed them the place where the organised massacre took place in a cellar.
Tsar Nicholas II and his close family have been canonized and are now revered as saints. Hordes of Russians and tourists visit the Church of Spilt Blood that stands as a testimony to the dark past of revolutionary purges and Russia’s turn to reconciliation and spirituality in the post-glasnost era.
They light candles, say their prayers quietly and bow their heads in an act of atonement at the cellar-turned-church.
Early this month, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office rehabilitated six other members of the former Russian royal family, Romanovs, by declaring them victims of repression.
Manmohan Singh is here to attend two international summits.
- Manmohan's family visits execution site of Russia's last tsar - Jun 16, 2009
- Heir demands reopening of investigation into murder of Russian Tsar Nicholas II - Jan 16, 2010
- Russian diplomat wants Prince Harry to be Tsar of vacant throne - May 04, 2011
- Tsar's murder case reopens in Russia after 90 years - May 13, 2010
- A little holiday for the PM - Sep 26, 2011
- Russia's last tsar, family members declared victims of repression - Oct 01, 2008
- PM celebrates birthday mid-air - Sep 27, 2011
- Russia closes probe into murder of last tsar Nicholas II - Jan 15, 2009
- Experts confirm bodies of last tsar's children disfigured - Jun 28, 2008
- Lenin's niece dies aged 89 - Mar 26, 2011
- Mujib, Russia and Mumbai on the bookshelf (IANS books this week) - Jun 23, 2012
- Malaysian hospitality: PM's wife sings to Indian guests - Oct 28, 2010
- Forensic experts suggest existence of another Russian tsar family burial site - Sep 08, 2008
- Be responsible human beings: Dalai Lama - Dec 31, 2011
- Nabokov's unpublished love letters to be released - Nov 20, 2010
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