Peace and Disarmament

Back to listSep 8, 2011

SGI President's Peace Proposal Discussed in India

Dr. Shashi TharoorDr. Shashi Tharoor

A seminar based on the 2011 Peace Proposal by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, on September 8. Referring to Mr. Ikeda's proposal, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, remarked, "At the UN, I often found myself talking about the need for talking. I was struck by Dr. Ikeda's emphasis on interfaith dialogue. Very often the problem is not with the faith, but with the faithful." Dr. Tharoor also pointed out that a premise of accommodation is necessary for there to be constructive interfaith dialogue.

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New DelhiAt Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi

Dr. Indu Anand, principal of Janki Devi Mahavidyalaya at the University of Delhi, who has championed the cause of women, spoke about the significance of helping people tap creative value. She stated that there is a need for women to be educated, equipped and represented in post-conflict planning. She further pointed out that countries where women enjoy equal rights are prosperous.

Mr. Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief of Outlook India, emphasized two points from the 2011 Peace Proposal and discussed their relevance today. The first point, he said, was the importance of the role of youth and civil society. He cited recent examples, such as the Arab Spring and the social activist Anna Hazare's movement in India. He pointed out that whether or not one supports the cause, these movements illustrate the power that people have when they unite for a common cause. The second point Mr. Mehta highlighted was Mr. Ikeda's emphasis on the need for interfaith dialogue.

The seminar was of special significance as it took place the day after a deadly bomb attack on the New Delhi High Court which caused numerous fatalities and injuries. In response to recent terrorist attacks, many eminent leaders have been emphasizing the need for dialogue in promoting peace and harmony among people of different faiths.

In Chennai, India, a similar seminar was cosponsored by the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and Bharat Soka Gakkai on September 24. MS Swaminathan, MSSRF chairman and former president of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, attended among other guests.

[Adapted from articles from the Political Business Daily, India and the September 29, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun; photos courtesy of Bharat Soka Gakkai]