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Armenian Community Elections in India: Interference from Armenia Angers Some

Who Will Control Millions in Assets?

By Anonymous*

Hetq received the following letter from one Indian Armenian community resident regarding the November 12 election in Kolkata (Calcutta) to appoint a new committee tasked with managing community assets running into the millions of dollars. Elections are held every four years. Allegations of vote rigging, and pressure tactics voiced by some in the community, have marred this recent election. What follows are the views of one community member.

Dear readers and my countrymen! If you thought elections in Armenia are tainted with allegation and corruption think again!

Here in India, Armenians have existed on their own merits and the income generated by generous benevolent trust funds for over two centuries. They have always open doors to Armenians from all over the world, providing financial and moral support as and when required for the good and for the love and deep connection to their motherland.

But we all know how we are seeing our nation we all thought would live up to our dreams and expectations is now filled with injustice and corruption.  But we still have not lost hope that one day it will be free of corruption and injustice!

Some of us followed the 2013 Armenian community election in India in the media, especially Hetq, and some of us hoped and prayed that it was last of its kind.

But guess what?  This election has been worse than before, it is only a matter of time when we will see the once kind and generous community fade away due to corruption and injustice. 

This year there were more than 15 Armenia nationals voting in the community elections.

Let me write this sentence again in full words- fifteen or more adults voted from Armenia who have just been here for a very short time.

One would ask again - Why are Armenians from Armenian voting in an Armenian community election in India. Leave the affairs of the Armenians in India to the Armenians of India. If it is not for financial gain, what else could the reason be?

These people from Armenia and the clergy have been invited just to come vote and after a few months or max a year, they will later leave with their gifts and gifts. I mean to write MONEY.

If you need proof ...none from Armenia who voted in 2013 were here this time. They came. did their jobs, and left after the elections were over. Their expenses – airfare, lodging, pocket money, etc. – amounted to 2 million rupees.  Something of a holiday package! Once again, the trust funds are being used for the same purpose.

There are still many eligible voters of Indian origin who are not able to be in the committee due to the vote being fixed.

Shouldn’t the first preference to vote be given to Armenian who are born in India and lived here for centuries with their families? Why do we need to deploy two dozen police to stop voters or any resident Armenians to come and visit their church on a Sunday? (Elections took place in the Holy Nazareth Church vestry office). 

I would like the present committee to please call and have a No Police re-election and invite all the Armenians to at least come and witness a fair vote.

Let everyone see how elections take place...is that not normal?

I wish no offense to my brothers and sisters from Armenia, but they should not interfere in the domestic matters of the community. Rather, they should leave it to the Armenians in India handle the situation of a fair vote.

We have lost the Armenian College to Etchmiadzin, and I will not delve into how those funds are handled, as that is another story

Please leave the Church out of this vicious corruption circle, for it is the spiritual food for   the faithful who have been keeping the flames of the Church and have been proud Armenians of India for 5 centuries.

We will survive. As Saroyan once wrote -  burn their churches, send them to the desert…See if they don't make a New Armenia outside Armenia.

Just give us a chance.  We may be few in numbers, but we are called Armenians.

*The author receives charity from the committee and says speaking out could jeopardize it.

Photo: www.armdiasporamuseum.com 



Comments (10)

I am resident in the UK. I was not in Calcutta on the 4th Nov 2017. On that date, the Armenian Church Committee, Calcutta, made a criminal complaint AGAINST ME and a few others. One of the criminals according to the complaint was the brother of the murdered Queenie Sobti, the mother of the present Warden, Sunil Sobti. Who was behind the criminal complaint in the Magistrates Court. So Sobti was accusing his own Uncle of being a criminal (but the Uncle lives in the US !! and cannot be a threat to Sunil's gang ? The complaint said that I was organisings a gang (with Sunil's Uncle) to capture the elections. Of course, the criminal complaint was made to threaten the Calcutta poor : "Look her if you come to the elections this will happen to you, as we have done to Max, and Sunil's Uncle and others" All this done in the name of THE CHURCH.. Anyone HAPPY TO BE IN THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH UNDER THE PRESENT CATHOLICOS who is behind all the mischief in Calcutta ? Police Number :0091 0983615600: Inspector Pramanick, Burrabazar Police Station, Calcutta who threatened the Calcutta Armenians " dont go to the meeting or you will be arrested".. Give them acall if you feel that the Church is being violated by criminals. Police station details : Address 8, Mullick Street, Kolkata-700007 Division Central Division Officer in Charge Shri Salil Kumar Roy Additional Officer in Charge Shri Shiv Shankar Roy Phone No 2268-7554 /2268-0100/2268-3802
Once again, we see the Armenian Indian Community Election affairs unsolved. This issue appeared in the previous Election and what was the outcome? Is there no fair elections anywhere in the Armenian Diaspora. The article seems a cry for help and as Armenians, we should show support to the suppressed. There is a need to help the ancient Armenians of India survive.
what is this election in Indian has been like Armenia. It so sad that my people you people also have gone in India and doing same way. Heqt is good in reporting that politics. Here also so much bad politics Why don't the Armenians in India tell police only India Armenia peoples are to vote, no Armenia people. I say every one in India should go to government and tell this. May good luck with you.
The vultures will smell blood (or money) and come to feast. The only defense is a united diaspora. Sadly, this remains a dream. The diaspora should pull out of Armenia totally and direct its attention on issues affecting Armenian communities throughout the world. There is so much to accomplish.
zareh stephen
Thanks for the honest comment Ara jan i guess its just time now to speak itself
Ara Kassabian
Zareh jan, nominate yourself to become a member of the committee for the next elections. I am sure you will be voted in and you can then invite this person (who is obviously very upset) and any other Indian Armenian or Diaspora Armenian or any Hayastantsee to present his/her grievances and I am sure, knowing you, you will do the honorable thing and be transparent about whatever the issue is, it sounds that it is money. If it is money, there should be records of the money the account/s are in and where the money has been spent. I would then put it on the table for anyone to see and let them judge for I know with you being there, it will be whiter than white.
zareh stephen
it seems someone is deleting my posts in this website
Zareh Stephen
i think we as indian Armenians need to do something about such articles being curculated on the internet. myself being an indian Armenian feel disgraced reading such things about the Armenians in india. i am the youngest family member of the Stephen family in India and now i think we should raise a concern about such things. its becoming a shame for me now to state that i am an indian Armenian when such things are being said by some Anonymous person. i have just come back from Armenia and have all the support to bring this whole thing down once a d for all. If you want justice i live in the church and am more than happy to discuss this matters with u in person. please feel free to contact me. calling out to the honest Armenians in the world.
Peter m jordan
Just spare a thought to this matter...we need your help...
the same game happen in nice france where a bunch of guys from Armenia arrive and try to change the rule and be in charge of the church and the money .kick them out as fast that you can

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