September 8, 2017
Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, Lodhi Road, Delhi
The third peace symposium of this year – commemorating 60th Anniversary of Toda Sensei’s Declaration Calling for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons – was held in New Delhi on the 8th September 2017 based on Ikeda Sensei’s Peace Proposal for 2017.
The symposium was held in Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, Lodhi Road, and was attended by 584 members and guests.
To discuss the peace proposal the eminent speakers at the symposium were, Cmdr. C. Uday Bhaskar, Retd. Commodore, Indian Navy and Director, Society for Policy Studies, Mr. Rajat Kathuria Head, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Ms. Prathibha Prahlad, Eminent Classical Dancer, Cultural Visionary and Padma Shri Awardee. The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Arun Maira, Former Member Planning Commission and Former India Chairman of Boston Consulting Group.
Speaking first, Cmdr. Uday Bhaskar, retired commodore in Indian Navy, said “I submit it to your consideration that global peace is even more elusive this year than it was in the last, but nonetheless I believe the efforts now should be made with renewed vigour.” He remarked that the younger generations require “higher levels of awareness of the problem at hand”
Elaborating on the economy’s part in achieving global peace mentioned in the peace Proposal, Rajat Kathuria, Head of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said that conflict could be reduced by increasing trade between countries. “The probability of conflict reduces considerably if two countries or a group of countries trade with each other or are economically interdependent. That’s one way to approach it,” he said.
Eminent classical dancer and Padma Shri Awardee, Prathibha Prahlad, reflected upon President Ikeda’s words about young people’s part in upholding and protecting the core values of human rights. She also said a deep connection to culture was required. “Education needs to be linked to culture. Culture of hearts brings people together, it teaches us to respect others and yourself” she said.
In his keynote address, Mr. Arun Maira stressed the importance of dialogue by referring to President Ikeda’s 2005 Peace Proposal titled ‘Toward a New Era of Dialogue: Humanism Explored’ and said “We should work to reduce WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction). But there is one WMD that we must proliferate; it is Ways of Mass Dialogue. We must learn to overcome the fear of the stranger, then we develop and learn more. When we keep searching for the familiar, we are not evolving.”
All the four speakers quoted extensively from Sensei’s Peace proposal in their speeches and deeply appreciated the significance of the proposals in today’s times.
The symposium concluded with presentation of mementos to the speakers.
The welcome address was given by BSG Chairperson Mr. Vishesh Gupta and vote of thanks by WD Chief Ms. Rashi Ahuja.
The key highlight of the symposium was the presence of 250 Students who were in attendance from different universities making the gathering truly youthful. The presence of the large number of youth was deeply appreciated by all the speakers.
Thanks to the efforts of members to reach out to a wide segment of society, the Auditorium was packed with guests. As mentioned by a Speaker, the warm welcome of the volunteers uplifted the lives of everyone who walked in. The meticulous and advance preparation by the volunteers ensured that the Symposium was a great success.
The symposium was widely covered by both national and local media. A few media clips are attached.