South Asia and Beyond

Pandemic Is The Consequence, Not Cause: Armenia’s Physicist President

NEW DELHI: As countries the world over struggle to battle the Coronavirus, the President of Armenia, a small Asian nation that has a population of 3.5 million, has what he calls a “strange” take on the current scheme of things. “Where we are now is not because of the pandemic. The pandemic is not the cause but the consequence,” President Armen Sarkissian told StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale in an exclusive interview. “Many things in this world are not behaving in a classical way. Pandemics are one of the risks. Humanity has not realised that we live in a completely different world,” said Sarkissian, a physicist who believes ideas of quantum mechanics can work in social life and politics. To illustrate how people are becoming ‘quantum objects’ in their behaviour, he cited an example: 60-70 years ago, people were shocked when a President made a public address through radio or television. Now, Presidents communicate with people through Twitter. The President called upon Turkey to recognise the genocide of Armenian Christians committed on its soil over a century ago. It takes strength to admit one’s mistake, he says. President Sarkissian also thanked India and PM Modi for the supply of medicines to his country in the wake of the pandemic.

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, and focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale


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