India - Armenia: Thousands of Years Old Connection
| Dr. Swati Shastri, Columnist, Lucknow, UP - 21 Oct 2020

India’s Stand on Armenia-Azerbaijan War is Politically Correct - Onkareshwar Pandey  

There is only one language for the world and that is emotion - Dr. Sandeep Marwah President AAFT

Armenians would like to foster relationships with India through closer cultural, educational and diplomatic ties - Mr. Hayk Grigoryan, Armenia

India can lead the peace process by its dynamism and diplomacy control in South Asia -  Mr. Gabriel Armas-Cardona, Germany

India and Armenia need to connect more in terms of better understanding and showing affection with one another - Mr. Vahae Ohanian, California State University

You cannot find peace by avoiding life and reality - Professor Kavita Thapliyal

Right thinking, Right People, Right Time, Right Decision and Right Communication will lead to peace and harmony - Manjul Thapliyal, Visions Ahead Foundation

Dr. Swati Shastri

New Delhi, Oct 21, 2020:

At a time when Armenia and Azerbaijan are attacking each other and two rounds of peace talks have failed, while reports say foreign ministers to hold talks with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo this week, a Webinar to understand the whole issue and Peace, Prosperity and Positive Areas of Integrations between India and Armenia was organized recently.

‘Nagorno-Karabakh’, internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but is run by ethnic Armenians who either want to secede or join Armenia is at the heart of this decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both former Soviet republics.

The ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ region is located within the international boundaries of Azerbaijan. Under the Soviet Union, it was an autonomous province that was part of the Azerbaijan republic. In 1988, when the Soviet power was receding, the regional assembly in Nagorno-Karabakh voted to join Armenia, triggering ethnic clashes.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over this largely mountainous, forested enclave after the Soviet disintegration in 1991. By the time a ceasefire was reached in 1994, the rebels, with support from Armenia and Russia, had established their de facto rule and extended their influence to the Armenian border. Ever since, the border has remained tense.

This year, the fight over this disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave erupted on September 27, killing over 400 people so far. In terms of its scale and intensity, the current conflict has surpassed all previous clashes, including the “Four Days War” of April 2016.

What makes the clashes now far more dangerous is the external intervention. Turkey has called Armenia a threat to peace in the region; the Azeris and Turks share ethnic and linguistic bonds. Turkey’s determination to play an active role much beyond the moral support it had so far extended to Azerbaijan has imparted new dimensions to the conflict.

On the other hand, unconfirmed media reports suggest that the Republic of Georgia’s airspace is being used by Turkey and Israel to support Azerbaijan in its war against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.

Speaking as the main speaker in the webinar, Onkareshwar Pandey, India’s noted journalist, Editor and Founder of a large network of knowledge leaders titled – Indian Thought Leaders touched upon the historical relations between India and Armenia.

Outlining the age old historical relations with Armenia, one of the oldest countries in the world with a recorded history of about 3500 years, he saidm both countries have thousands of years old connection.  


Mr. Pandey said, “If we look at through the pages of history, we find that when Assyrian warrior queen Semiramis invaded India in 2000 BC, some Armenians accompanied her as they probably did Alexander the Great in 326 BC. 

Emperor Akbar is believed to have an Armenian wife Mariam Zamani Begum.

A few Armenian traders had come to Agra during the Mughal Empire. 

Indian classical singer Gauhar Jaan, the first to be recorded on gramophone in 1902 was of Armenian origin.

There were Indian settlements in Armenia established by two Indian Princes (Krishna and Ganesh escaping from Kannauj) who along with their families and large retinue had arrived in Armenia as early as 149 BC and were allotted land in Taron region (now in Turkey) by the then rulers of Armenia. 

Thomas Cana is said to be the first Armenian to have landed on the Malabar Coast in 780 AD. 

The first guidebook to Indian cities in Armenian was written in the 12th century. 

By middle ages, the Armenian towns of Artashat, Metsbin and Dvin had become important centers for barter with India which exported precious stones, herbs and stones to Armenia and imported hides and dyes. 

In the 16th century, Armenian communities emerged in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Agra, where the first Armenian Church was consecrated in 1562. 

The Armenian language journal "Azdarar" published in Madras (Chennai) in 1794 was the first ever Armenian journal published anywhere in the world. 

The vestigial Armenian community in India is now mainly settled in Kolkata. 

The Holy Church of Nazareth, erected in 1707, repaired and embellished in 1734 is the biggest and the oldest Armenian Church in Kolkata. 

During the Soviet era, President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (Sep1964) and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (June 1976) had visited the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.” 


Talking about recent diplomatic relations with Armenia, Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey said, “India's diplomatic relations with Armenia is surely just over two decades old. India recognized the independent Republic of Armenia on December 26, 1991. The first Resident Ambassador Shri Bal Anand had assumed charge in Yerevan in Oct 1999. Armenia, which had opened its Honorary Consulate in April 1994, established its Embassy in New Delhi in Oct. 1999 followed by the arrival of the first Resident Ambassador Armen Baibourtian in May 2000.”

“Since 1992, there have been three Presidential-level visits from Armenia (1995, 2003 and 2017) and three visits to India at the level of Foreign Minister (2000, 2006, and 2010). Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri B.S. Shekhawat led a Parliamentary delegation to Armenia in October 2005. A goodwill Indian Parliamentary delegation comprising 8 MPs from different political parties, led by Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Parliamentary Affairs & 

Development of North-Eastern Region visited Armenia in November 2013,” he said.

Supporting India’s stand on Armenia, Mr. Pandey said, “Under the present circumstances, India' decision to maintain a balanced and neutral stance is right. India made a politically correct statement in which it has expressed its concern, called for restraint and immediate cessation of hostilities and resolution of the conflict peacefully through diplomatic negotiations.”

“India’s emphasis on a peaceful resolution of the conflict through diplomatic negotiations is a well thought decision. India cannot support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity as Azerbaijan has shown scant regard for India’s territorial integrity violated by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. But at the same time it is difficult for India to publicly endorse Nagorno-Karabakh’s right for self-determination in view of the possible repercussions it can have on Kashmir issue. If India supports Armenians rightful struggle, the adversaries may misuse it not only by making erroneous connections with Kashmir but also re-ignite secessionist movement in certain parts of India,” said Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey, who is also Founder and Editor in Chief of, a niche news portal.

The webinar, organized by Visions Ahead Foundation had participants from India, Armenia, US, Germany and other countries.

Dr. Sandeep Marwah President AAFT and Asian Education Group and Chair of newly constituted Indo Armenia Film And Cultural Forum expressed his deep insights on Peace, love, unity and the power of brotherhood. He said there is only one language for the world and that is emotion. He invited everyone to join Indo Armenia Film and Cultural Forum and actively participate in education, cultural and films seminars and panel discussions. With four events planned a day with seminars and panel discussions, he encouraged everyone to actively join and participate in the same on topics like Cinema and Journalism, Cinema and Women and Cinema and Fashion and also to align for global literary festival and express feelings of unity. He urged Armenian friends to mutually organize an Armenian Indian Film festival with five Armenian films promoting native actors, directors, actors and artistes. He said we are one big family and one should talk, share and express positive vibes to create a wonderful atmosphere of passion and compatibility for a better world.

The other speakers on this occasion were Mr Hayk Grigoryan, Mr. Gabriel Armas, Mr. Vahae Ohanian, Ms. Elena Khachvankyan, Mr. Levon Rshtuni, Mr. Arin and Mr. Nehil Sharma.

Mr. Hayk Grigoryan a qualified chartered financial Analyst and quantitative researcher from Armenia has Lived, studied, worked in Armenia, Norway, and the US spoke on India’s proud history and common emotions like pride, values, family and friendships among the two nations. He mentioned learning so many positive aspects about India through their history books in school and how India has supported helped and encouraged them when they were not a state. Even in tough times today Armenians are focussed on development and economic growth. They would like to foster relationships with India through closer cultural, educational and diplomatic ties. On diplomatic front he said nagorno-karabakh has never been a part of Azerbaijan as wrongly claimed by them. He urged India Armenia to focus on IT Trade and other areas of mutual areas of interest. Also he mentioned borders and distances should not be a hindrance to good relationships.

Mr. Gabriel Armas-Cardona, a human rights lawyer originally from the California in US, who has lived in India, Armenia, and is currently located in Leipzig, Germany said protecting children and elderly should be the priority in the existing war zone. While Armenia has allowed media and journalist from start, Azerbaijan has been always reluctant to do so. He said Azerbaijan has support of Turkey, Pakistan and Georgia and India should strengthen existing ties with Armenia and stand by it in time of distress. Trade, military support material and mutual cooperation should grow and India can look to supply medical equipment, helmets, toiletries, electric cables and textiles as of now. India Armenia should also focus on IT, Medical and Health Care sector as both nations are compatible in English. India can lead the peace process by its dynamism and diplomacy control in South Asia. It’s high time for India to take this relationship to a new level.

 Mr. Vahae Ohanian is an Electrical Engineering professional at California State University, Fresno in the Honors Program. In terms of his connection to Armenia, he is highly involved in the local and state Armenian community, as a social activist, including holding positions in the scouting organization, church, youth groups, and more. He says he truly believes in the power of education and India Armenia should focus on world class education. Also correct history should be revised on facts and not talked by specific groups or gender as per their version and convenience. Social media is the biggest and viable platform to communicate and connect but it should be carefully regulated as it tends to go haywire at times.  Children’s need to inculcate right value systems and parents need to check them and groom them against hatred against any community or class. India and Armenia need to connect more in terms of better understanding and showing affection with one another.

In order to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Armenia –conducted an interactive Humanitarian Webinar on Peace, Prosperity and Positive Areas of Integrations between India and Armenia recently.

In the beginning, Professor Kavita Thapliyal opened the webinar by welcoming the speakers and attendees to the Interactive Humanitarian Webinar Fostering India Armenia bonding….For People, Peace and Prosperity hosted by Visions Ahead Foundation, A Social Impact Integration into Education, Culture, CSR amalgamations. She said you cannot find peace by avoiding life and reality, it cannot be kept by force, and it can only be achieved by mutual understanding, brotherhood, respect and right communication.  Peace through prosperity means integrating peace building into economic development. Economy and conflict is linked, and economic development of the right kind is critical to achieving peace. This means private entities, businesses; governments and international social agencies promoting economic development are influential in creating opportunities for peace – in building peace through prosperity.

Manjul Thapliyal of Visions Ahead Foundation said: “Right thinking, Right People, Right Time and Right Decision and Right Communication will lead to peace and harmony”.

Size and numbers cannot define strength and valour. Armenia has truly reflected this saying. True life is built when positive steps start falling at right direction. Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are live examples of pride and prosperity and Armenia from Eurasia joins the list.

India and Armenia ties are as primitive as 149 BC. The vestigial Armenian community in India is now mainly settled in Calcutta with sprinkling in Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Chennai. In the last few years ties between India and Armenia have grown significantly, India was amongst the first few Nations to recognize Armenia independence and since then our relationship has grown from strength to strength in areas of trade and commerce.

India has recently signed a sizable defence arms deal with Armenia. Many Indian students are studying medicine in Armenia, during the recent times of turbulence; we have seen amazing stories of our mutual bond like: the Indian restaurant Mehak in Yerevan which has supplied countless free meals to the displaced citizens. Also notable among them are the Indian students in Armenia who have organized a number of food supply and medicine camps there. Our focus on Indo Armenia relationship is to foster People, Peace and Prosperity through meaningful integrations in the field of education, language, culture tourism and trade.

Photos by Sunil Negi 


INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email –






(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. Email - SMS- 9910150119)





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