Peace and Disarmament
Culture of Peace Seminar in New Delhi, India
Will peace remain elusive? To many it might seem so, with media reports calling attention to the escalation in senseless acts of violence occurring around the world. In such a social climate, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai (BSG) jointly organized a seminar titled "Daisaku Ikeda: Building a Culture of Peace" at the IGNCA lecture hall in New Delhi on May 3, 2007. Over 400 guests attended, including former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Abid Hussain and Professor Lokesh Chandra, a renowned scholar of Buddhism and Indian art.
The seminar was realized at the behest of Dr. K.K. Chakravarty of IGNCA, whose library has a permanent collection of Daisaku Ikeda's writings on peace and photographic panels introducing BSG and SGI activities. IGNCA was also the venue for the SGI's "Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World" exhibition (April 2007) and the "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace" exhibition created by the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, USA (October 2006).
Participating in a symbolic lamp lighting ceremony, artist Sushma Agarwal, whose works were displayed at the seminar, spoke of her paintings as a spiritual quest for peace "where all turbulence is erased from the mind. Peace emerges from within."
Dr. Hussain discussed Mr. Ikeda's commitment to peace, lauding the Buddhist leader for his compassion reflected in his efforts to encourage and inspire people to lead lives of value and take personal action for humanity's welfare. Dr. Hussain said, "I am a great admirer of President Ikeda. He is a philosopher, statesman, educationalist--a man who believes in peace and has spearheaded many dialogues and movements in order to build peace in this restless world."
Professor Chandra said he agreed with the SGI's philosophy of value creation and the emphasis on the sanctity of life, saying, "Once we accept the supremacy of life, peace will follow."
In her closing remarks, BSG Director-General Naveena Reddi stated, "Peace is the most pressing issue when it comes to the future of humankind, and the problems facing the contemporary world are all issues transcending national and regional boundaries and whose resolution requires the cooperation of the world as a whole."
[Adapted from a Bharat Soka Gakkai Press Release dated May 3, 2007, and an article in the May 17, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]