Russians in India

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Russians in India
N Roerich.jpgHelena Roerich 1.jpg
Regions with significant populations
Goa · Karnataka · Maharashtra · Tamil Nadu
Languages
Russian · English · Konkani · Tamil · Marathi · Other Indian languages
Religion
Russian Orthodox Church
Roman Catholicism · Hinduism
Related ethnic groups
Russian people

There is a small but recognisable community of Russians in India which includes Russian immigrants and expatriates in India, as well as Indian citizens of Russian origin or descent. Most of them reside in the state of Goa.

Russians in Goa[edit]

Immigrants[edit]

The state of Goa has become a home away from home to many Russians, in the last few years. Many restless young Russians who are unhappy with city life would head to Goa in search of inner peace. The Russian exodus to Goa has become a trend, and many are moving there for good. Cheap daily charter flights are now carrying thousands of Russians to the former Portuguese colony famous for its beaches and laid-back mood. Many Russians have set up businesses in Goa.[1] Many beach side restaurants post their signboards in English and Russian to attract Russian-speaking customers.

The village of Morjim is dubbed "Little Russia" by locals because of the high number of Russians living there. Congress Party MP Shantaram Naik has condemned the Russian presence, objecting specifically to rudeness, nudity, and crime including assaults and running businesses in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.[2]

Tourists[edit]

With the Russian economy opening up, more and more Russians are traveling to India, with Goa as their favorite haunt. An estimated 3,500 Russians would descend on Goa's shores every ten days in the tourism season.[3]

Russian Mafia[edit]

Russians are facing a backlash in Goa with allegations of organised crime, illegal land deals and even claims that they are "corrupting the minds" of locals in the Indian state and there have been a number of outspoken attacks against them.[4] The Russian Mafia in Goa is mostly involved in real estate deals, drug trade and sex trade and Goa is currently the most favoured destination by the Mafia due to its poor policing and lacks administration.[5]

The mafia is buying huge tracts of land in Goa, Delhi, Maharashtra through benami companies to set up bases for running its arms and drugs trade and millions of dollars of slush funds are being routed into the country through hawala channels to fund mafia operations. Young Russian, Yugoslavian and Romanian girls, sometimes minors, are being trafficked into Goa for commercial sexual exploitation by the mafia.[6] There are fears that the Russian pockets of influence could serve as safe havens for international criminals and terrorists.

Porn Websites have sprouted from Morjim such as Sexy Goa which was shot in Villa Morjim. Performers are mostly Russians and from other Slavic countries.[7]

CNN-IBN specifically accused former town and urban planning minister, Babush Monserrate of ties to the Russian mafia.[8]

Other parts of India[edit]

Karnataka[edit]

Many Russian space scientists and experts work in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore assisting in the development the rover for Chandrayaan-2 and also in the Indian manned mission.[9]

Kerala[edit]

Many Russian space scientists and experts work in the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram. There is a Russian Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram city.

Maharashtra[edit]

Mumbai currently has less than 100 Russians, most of them visiting businessmen or engineers and technicians deputed to support Russian-built engineering in various parts of the city.[10] Many Russian girls are now working as side dancers in Bollywood films. Unfortunately, some of them have also been functioning as escorts for rich Indian businessmen and providing them sexual services and working under the guise as models in the big Indian metros of Mumbai.[11]

Tamil Nadu[edit]

There is a small Russian expatriate community in the state of Tamil Nadu composed mostly of scientists and international students. There is a Russian Cultural Centre located in Chennai.[12] Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute has a number of Russian medical students due to foreign exchange programmes with Stavropol State Medical Academy.[13] There are about 40 Russian scientists working in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant and many of them came with their families when they got transferred to Tirunelveli.[14] Today there are quite a few Russians learning Tamil and they often visit Tamil Nadu to attend seminars and lectures.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]