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Messenger of peace

Thursday, 19 September 2013 | Pioneer

Holding on to faith in the limitless possibilities of life in uncertain times is a challenge. But there lies the solution — building confidence in each other, working together as one human race.

Towards this end, the Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) held its annual symposium entitled, Compassion, Wisdom and Courage: Building a Global Society of Peace and Co-existence in the Capital. The discussion was on Soka Gakkai President, Dr Daisaku Ikeda’s 2013 Peace Proposal.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Virendra Dayal, former Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary General at the UN, said that what impressed him most about the observations and recommendations put forward by Dr Ikeda was how he combined spirituality and sustainability. “His vision is both profound and optimistic,” he said, adding that it is time “to internalise the difference between true and false, the religious and the pseudo.” He spoke at length about Dr Ikeda’s contribution to the UN and his account of how France and Germany overcame their hostility through high-level meetings and people to people contact. The more difficult the situation, the more important it is to engage in dialogue. “Silence and sulking are not stations on the road to peace,” Mr Dayal agreed with Dr Ikeda and added, “It would be great to listen to the wise voice of Dr Ikeda.”

Wajahat Habibullah, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities, also stressed on the need for a culture of peace and stressed on the importance of valuing diversity. In her address, Naveena Reddi, Director General, Bharat Soka Gakkai, said, “The peace we seek cannot be brought about through a struggle for dominance in military or economic power. It can only be won through peaceful means. Peace built on the unhappiness and sacrifice of others is a meaningless sham. What’s needed is to create a world in which people of all races and nations can enjoy peace and happiness.

“The SGI is a gathering of ordinary people. We struggle to ensure that the people are not despised and exploited by the powerful. To help all people become strong and wise, we are developing a network of peace and culture and putting great effort into education. Dr Ikeda has expressed the strong belief that the social mission of religion in the 21st century must be to bring people together in an ethos of reverence for life’s inherent dignity and worth.

“Dr Ikeda has said that peace can never be attained by passively waiting for it. It is necessary for each of us, no matter how weak we may feel we are, to build deep within our hearts a stronghold for peace that can withstand, and in the end silence the incessant calls for war.”

Every year, Dr Ikeda sends a peace proposal to the UN that goes beyond diagnosing obstacles to peace and provides solutions that encompass both attitudinal change and other concrete suggestions. These peace proposals have been well received by the international community and the UN has implemented many of the suggestions and recommendations.

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