Greek Professor with roots in India

By Soumya Sharmabhu

Dr Dimitrios Vassiliadis (left) with Prof. Bharat Gupt (Chairman) and Dennis Dinopoulos (right) during the conference on Demetrios Galanos and His Legacy in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

On the occasion of the International Conference on “Demetrios Galanos and His Legacy: Indo-Greek scholarship 1790-2018″ that was organized by the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi and Varanasi, the Chairman of ELINEPA Dr Dimitrios Vassiliadis gave a series of lectures and interviews. His interview published on February 11 in the leading newspaper “Sunday Times of India”, (Varanasi edition, page 2) has as follows:

toiAn Indologist from Greece Demetrios Th Vassiliades, professor of Hindi and Sanskrit at the University of Athens, Greece, working to strengthen Indian-Greece cultural relations.

He was at Banaras Hindu University on Saturday to attend a three-day international conference organized by Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA) in collaboration with India Study Center of BHU. Demetrios has had a long association with Varanasi. He first came to Varanasi in 1982 with the scholarships of the Greek Ministry of Education and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. He completed diplomas in Hindi and Sanskrit at BHU, then post-graduation in Indian Philosophy and Religion, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion.

Talking to TOI, Demetrios said that the University of Athens is going to hold an international conference in the month of October this year on “the problem of violence in the world” where 30 Indian scholars of Digambara society of Jain religion will present their research papers and talk about non-violence. “Jain religion is the only religion that practices non-violence in today’s time as well, so this is an initiative for [understanding] this ancient philosophy among the people of Greece”, he added.

He has translated and authored several books based on the philosophical and religious ideas of India so that they can be available to Europeans. Some of his works are – Rabindranath Tagore: 90 years since his visit to Greece, Shiva-Sutra (translation), The Greeks in India, Greeks and Buddhism etc. Besides he authored the first and the only dictionary of Hindi-Greek, titled “Practical dictionary Greek-Hindi and Hindi-Greek” with around 20000 words. He also established the Indo Helenic Society for Culture and Development in Athens and was a founding member of the Hellenic-Indian Friendship League in New Delhi. He said, “Indian culture has very strong roots and there are so many things that world needs to adapt from the ancient Indian scriptures.”

deinik-jagaranOn the occasion of the same Conference in Varanasi, another interview of Dimitrios Vassiliadis was published in the daily Hindi newspaper “Dainik Jagaran”, (Varanasi edition, February 10, 2018, p. 7), where emphasis was given on the need to make Hindi an international language. The published interview has in translation as follows:

Varanasi: Hindi needs to be made an international language. For this it is necessary to promote the “Hindi Day” in a broader way on the international level. This has been said by President of the Hellenic-Indian Society for Culture and Development Dr Dimitrios Vassiliadis in his interview with the reporter of the leading Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagaran during the international conference on “Demetrios Galanos and His Legacy: Indo-Greek scholarship 1790-2018″.