Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO hosts Ambassador designate of India to Armenia and Georgia in New Delhi, India
IAF Press Release December 16,2012, New Delhi
On 15thDecember 2012, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO (IAF) organised an interactive session between the newly appointed Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia Dr. T. Suresh Babu and members of IAF in India’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dignitaries present in the occasion included Ambassador Achal Kumar Malhotra, outgoing Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia, Mrs. Lusik Tovmasyan, Consul of Armenian Embassy in India, and Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, Member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
People who attended the event included Armenian students studying in India, Indian students who had graduated from YSMU, businessmen and people from different walks of life interested to know about Indo-Armenian ties. Most of them were members of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO.
Mr. Rananjay Anand, Co-Founder and President of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO welcomed everyone and thanked them for taking some time out of their busy schedules to attend the event. At the onset, he underlined the importance of such initiatives and need of such organizations like IAF to execute them. He updated the audience with IAF's past activities and future plannings!
Ambassador Achal K Malhotra, who ended his tenure as the Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia in April this year congratulated IAF on organising the interactive session. He said, “IAF has done a great job so far, and I am sure that it will continue to do many more activities that will once again revive the old tradition of Indo-Armenian cultural and friendly interaction”. Ambassador Malhotra also wished his successor, Dr. T.S. Babu a very fruitful and productive tenure in Yerevan.
Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, who recently launched his new Book titled “Hindi Sarai: Astrakhan via Yerevan” spoke about his experiences in Yerevan which was his penultimate destination before his journey to Astrakhan in Russia. His journey inspired him to author this book, which he mentions not only as “Travelogue” but a well researched “Thoughtlogue”. He especially mentioned the great contribution of Armenian patriotic poet Yeghishe Charents in the cultural historicity of Armenia. “Armenian people are quite efficient, quite energetic and very helpful”, said the professor, recalling his days in Armenia. “I was aware of the importance of Armenia in world history, and also of the long standing cultural relations between Armenia and India”, continued the author, and went ahead to speak about the immense contribution the Armenians had on Indian culture and society.
Ambassador Designate Dr. T. Suresh Babu works in the Eurasian division of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and is in charge of CIS countries, among which Armenia is one as well. While speaking of his next assignment as Ambassador of Armenia & Georgia, he recalled how he got to know about Armenia for the first time when his father took him to Armenian Bazar in Chennai. He underlined the great mutual goodwill existing between both countries and was happy to state that there is already a great existing foundation to take his work further very easily. He thanked IAF for organizing the event, which is his first official interaction with relevant group of people after being appointed as the Ambassador of India to Armenia & Georgia. “I will try my best to carry ahead the good work which Ambassador Malhotra had put up during his tenure in Armenia”, assured the newly appointed Ambassador, adding, “I will not let you down Amb Malhotra”, referring to his new responsibility in Armenia.
Mrs. Lusik Tovmasyan, Consul of Armenian Embassy in India addressed the audience and spoke about the centuries old Indo-Armenian ties. She especially underlined the striking similarities between people of both countries. “As most Armenians in India will agree, it is very difficult for one to part away from India after staying in this country for some time”, she said, speaking about the love Armenians have for India. She also spoke about the long-standing Indo-Armenians ties, making a special mention about Mariam Zamani Begum, the Christian Armenian wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Armenian Consul further wished the new Ambassador to Armenia immense success in his new task in Yerevan.
Renowned Warli Folk artist Mrs. Babita Biswas who was also present at the event was sharing her own memories about Armenia which she experienced during her visit to this beautiful country for her Painting Exhibition jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture of Armenia and ICCR.
Audience were invited to ask questions regarding Indo-Armenian relationship or any relevant topics. Questions were asked to both the Ambassadors, which they were more than happy to answer, making it a completely interactive event.
The session ended with High Tea, where the event participants got a chance to meet each other and make new friends, further tightening the Indo-Armenian Connection.
Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO wished Dr. T.Suresh Babu immense success during his tenure as Ambassador of India in Armenia.