On the occasion of the 116th anniversary of Javaharlal Nehru‘s birthday, the Indo Hellenic Society for Culture and Development (ELINEPA) and the Indian Embassy in Athens organised a joint event on Monday, 14 November 2005. This event was a demonstration on the subject “ Javaharlal Nehru‘s Role in World Affairs” at the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Athens (Hall Antonis Tritsis, Akadimias street 50). The demonstration was addressed by the Ambassador of India to Greece, Dr. Bhaskar Balakrishnan, who pointed out the substantial democratic and uncommitted mission of the first prime minister of free India that continues to maintain its importance even up to these days. A speech by the distinguished journalist and author Marina Bichou followed regarding the life of Nehru and the birth of Indian democracy accompanied by a slide show from the museum of Nehru in New Delhi. Then the professor emeritus of Human ecology of the University of Aegean, Dr. Nikos Bernikos took the stage and analysed the politics of the Non–Aligned Movement, indicating parallels to the current foreign policies of India. Closing, Dr. Dimitris Vassiliades, Indologist and chairman of the ELINEPA, mentioned Nehru’s promise to build up a new democratic and socialist India as well as the reasons that hindered the entire implementation of this vision. During the programme songs from the liberating movement of India could be heard.
Contemporaneously, the day of the children of India was celebrated, which has been placed on the birthday of Nehru. Children of India and Greece recited addresses and exchanged flowers and regards.
Distinguished politicians, academics, diplomats and friends of India were present at the event, while European and Indian newspapers and mass media widely reported on this unique event. The Times of India labelled it with the characteristic title “Greece remembers Nehru”.
The successful organisation could be realised thanks to the coordination that was carried out by the general secretary of ELINEPA, Mr. Antonios Papadopoulos and the direct solidarity of the vice-mayor of Athens, Mrs. Mpourdara, the kind sponsoring of Qatar Airways and foremost to the direct interest shown by the new Ambassador of India to Greece, Dr. Bhaskar Balakrishna, who undertakes special efforts for the promotion of a better understanding of the Indian History and Culture in Greece.