Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai Holds 32nd General Meeting
On November 26, 2006, 1,200 Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai (BSG) representatives met for their 32nd general meeting at the Soka Bodhi Tree Garden in a New Delhi suburb. In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda congratulated the participants on BSG's development and growth. Encouraging everyone to work in harmony, Mr. Ikeda stressed that "the key to blazing a peaceful future for humanity lies in 'dialogues'..., holding every person in highest esteem."
Tapaswini Pandav, a chapter women's division leader from Orissa, reported that in 2003, there were around 250 BSG members in Orissa. Today, their numbers have grown to 850, with members in Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack and 16 other cities. On November 18, 2006, BSG members in Orissa organized "Seeds of Change--the Earth Charter and Human Potential," an exhibition created by the SGI that points toward sustainable living and environmental preservation. Orissa's Chief Minister Navin Patnaik inaugurated the exhibition opening. A Quiet Revolution, was also screened. The film highlights ordinary people in India, Slovakia and Kenya and their grassroots efforts to rehabilitate their devastated natural environments and contribute to the economic resurgence of their local communities. Dr. Wangari Maathai of Kenya inspired women across the country to plant 30 million trees to stop soil erosion in their country.
Four members shared experiences of bringing forth the courage and wisdom to surmount obstacles and difficulties through their practice of Nichiren Buddhism. BSG Director-General Naveena Reddi reported on BSG's progress in 2006, including the growth of the membership to 30,000. BSG Chair Gopinath Menon congratulated everyone on the advances they made, both in their personal lives and within the organization, and announced activities and programs for 2007. Several SGI exhibitions, including "Seeds of Change," "Building a Culture of Peace" and "Dialogue with Nature" will continue to tour various Indian cities. BSG will also organize various symposiums on education and other topics.
The meeting concluded with everyone singing "Crimson Dawn of Peace" ("Kurenai no uta") and a commemorative photo-taking.
[Adapted from an article in the December 10, 2006 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Japan]