Despite the announcement of truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Indians are lending their unconditional support to Armenia on every possible forum. This goes against the official Indian ‘neutral’ stance which has called the warring parties to “maintain peace” in the region.
“India is concerned over this situation which threatens regional peace and security. We reiterate the need for the sides to cease hostilities immediately, keep restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border,” said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.
We have seen disturbing reports of resumption of hostility between Armenia and Azerbaijan. India is concerned over this situation which threatened regional peace & security. We reiterate the need for the sides to seize hostility immediately: Ministry of External Affairs pic.twitter.com/1SBmP1gP4m
— ANI (@ANI) October 1, 2020
According to a paper by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a defence and strategic policy think tank based in Canberra, while Turkish and Pakistani social media accounts have been actively supporting Azerbaijan in the fight for narrative control, Indian accounts have been backing Armenia with #IndiaSupportsArmenia which is gaining a lot of traction on social media.
India has ties with both #Armenia & #Azerbaijan but Armenia strongly supports India on Kashmir & Armenia has no ties with #Pak If Pakistan and #Turkey are against someone, then that country must be on the right side.India support armenia unconditionally🇮🇳🇦🇲#IndiaSupportArmenia
— Murlidhar🇮🇳 (@Murlidhar007) September 28, 2020
The paper further noted that the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan that flared up last year, Turkish accounts supported Pakistan using the hashtag #Pakistanisnotalone.
Now with the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a new hashtag has emerged linked primarily to Turkish and Pakistani accounts: #Azerbaijanisnotalone.
Achal Malhotra, India’s former envoy to Yerevan, explained in an Indian Express report that Armenia and India have historical ties.
Since many Armenians are wondering about supportive messages from Indians, Soviet Armenia & India had close industrial, cultural ties since 1955 & Diaspora presence since 17th century.
In 1976 Indian PM Indira Gandhi visited Yerevan.
Here with Karen Demirchyan & in Matenadaran. pic.twitter.com/g7sJOcOUSg
— Gegham Mughnetsyan Գեղամ Մուղնեցյան (@mughnet_) October 2, 2020
“The earliest presence of Armenians in India can be traced to the late 8th century and for years Kolkata has been home to the country’s Indian-Armenian community. Historians attribute much of the city’s development, and the establishment of some of its most iconic educational institutions to the Armenian community, and that is only scratching the surface of the community’s contributions.”
— Zartonk Media (@ZartonkMedia) October 6, 2020
Furthermore, Pakistan and Turkey’s unwavering support to Azerbaijan is another factor why Indians support Armenia. While Pakistan has been a long-standing adversary for India, Turkey’s support for Islamabad on the Kashmir issue has deteriorated its ties with India. “Azerbaijan has been very nasty to us on the Kashmir issue,” Malhotra told Indian Express.
As expected terrorist #Erdogan want to help other terror supporter #Azerbaijan .#AzerbaijanIsNotAlone terror states are with it.
What to expect from Turkey. Remember it's responsible for #ArmenianGenocide .#Armenia don't worry, civilised world is with u.#IndiaSupportArmenia https://t.co/RACDXboIAe
— LALIT SHARMA (@LALITSHARMAHP) September 27, 2020
“Pakistan stands with the brotherly nation of Azerbaijan and supports its right of self-defence,” stated Pakistan’s foreign ministry. Ankara has also sworn support to Baku. Yerevan also accused Turkey of providing military support to Azerbaijan.
While Yerevan has strong virtual support from India, reportedly, several Indians on the ground have been helping Armenians on the ground as well.
— Hasmik Abrahamyan (@hasmiknyc) September 30, 2020
Just to say thank you means say nothing.
Indian community in Armenia helps people coming from Artsakh with prepared food from Indian Mehak Restaurant
— davìd (@daveadamyan) October 5, 2020
Three days after fighting broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh, 21-year-old Sanjay Yadav, a student at Armenia’s St. Tereza’s Medical University, took six friends to Yerevan’s Republic Square to donate food and water for Armenian soldiers on the frontlines and to stand in solidarity with the country, the Indian Express report noted.
“Armenia is our second home. We live well here and we have good friends. We have good relations with the Armenians,” said Yadav.
Reportedly, the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO has been collecting donations from India for helping Armenians affected by the two-week war fought between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
While India hasn’t officially taken any side in the conflict, New Delhi has previously supplied weapons to Yerevan. In March, India secured a $40 million defence deal with Armenia for supplying four SWATHI weapon locating radars.
“By backing Armenia’s stand, India will willy-nilly be endorsing the right to self-determination”, said Malhotra, in a conversation with Sputnik. “There is an accepted interest of territorial integrity involved in the conflict. India’s backing of Armenian secessionists’ demands could have diplomatic repercussions for us on Kashmir, he added.