The platform of Indian National Friendship Movement as such emerged seventy- one years ago with Hur Hitler’s perfidious aggression against the Soviet Union (now Russian Federation) on 22nd June 1941 although events of October 1917 in Russia which led to forming World’s first Worker-Peasant Government, were already drawing sympathetic attention and interest of India’s patriotic circles and freedom fighters. It was thus no accident that attack on Russia by Nazi Germany drew all-round condemnation and a vast sympathy wave among the people through length and breadth of India.
Arisen from the sympathy wave in favour of the then Soviet Union (nor Russian Federation) a national platform under the name and style of friends of Soviet Union emerged. A committee was formed on the very day of attack in Kolkata with Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore as patron, Swami Vivekananda’s younger brother Bhupendra Nath Dutta as Chairman and Prof. Hiren Mukherjee and S. K. Acharya as secretaries which carried on work of developing relations between people of India and the Soviet Union through promoting study and understanding of each others culture and achievement. After one month of the formation of the Organisation Committee of FSU a public meeting was held in Town Hall of Kolkata which was convened by prominent person like Acharya P. C. Roy (Scientist) and noted writers, politicians, artists, lawyer etc. Sri Jyoti Basu and Bhupesh Gupta were the prominent persons to collect signatures to get support of the formation of organisation. The first All India platform of Friends of the Soviet Union took shape in 1944, the work of promoting Indo-Soviet social contact went on vigorously through lectures, photo-exhibitions, film shows and publications etc. etc., of course in cooperation with Soviet Society for cultural relations with foreign countries (VOKS). In the meantime platform started its own publication from Bombay name ‘Indo-Soviet Journal which gave impetus to this work. The convention held on June 3 was an inspiring event to which greeting came from leading national personalities such as Sarojini Naidu, Bhulabhai Desai etc., Vijayalakshmi Pandit delivered the Presidential address at the convention. Scientist S. Radhakrishan, H. L. Bhabha, D. D.Kosambi including those who attended the convention. It popularised (1946) Asian relation conference convened by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. FSU attended this conference.
Soon after conclusion of the Second World War Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became Vice-President of the viceroy’s, executive council; The Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with India on 17th April Without waiting for formal declaration of India’s Independence.
August 15,1947 saw the dawn of Independence which workers of FSU were inspired by the ideals of patriotism and internationalism. The dawn of Independence saw Indo-Soviet relation quite well and on even keel but the onset of cold war unfortunately created conditions which negatively affected these relations in general and friendship movement in particular. However, things began looking up after summer of 1951 when exploration of prospects of a regular board based organisation started to strengthen enfeebled relations. This work was undertaken by Dr. A.V. Baliga. Dr. Baliga was then at top of medical profession in Bombay.
March 14, 1952 saw fruition of the input of Dr. Baliga’s endeavours, Indo- Soviet Cultural Society came into being following the India’s first successful Indo-Soviet Cultural Festival and the Convention in Sunderbhai Hall, Bombay where the first National Council of ISCUS was elected with Dr. Baliga as Chairman.
Thus a regular organisation of the movement was born with the conviction that cultural contact of all kinds between countries can contribute much to the promotion of International Peace and Security and maintenance of just and honourable relation between Nations.
Reviewing the work years after, the institution of Indo-Soviet Cultural Society (ISCUS) which renamed itself as Indian Society for Cultural Cooperation and Friendship (ISCUF) in 1993 after Soviet Union was dissolved. It assessed the relation of cooperation between India and other friendly countries and reached conclusion that they had grown and became to key significance for the progress of our motherland and for the peace of the world. Thus consolidation of these relation and their extension and continuation became task of the renamed society for years to come.