Dr. A Padmanabhan IAS (Retd), Former Governor of Mizoram and Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu and President Emeritus, World Poetry Society Intercontinental presided over the function. Dr Gowri Ramnarayan, a renowned playwright, theatre director and music composer and Professor, Dr. R. Thandavan, VC, University of Madras were invited as speakers on the occasion.
Mr Vishesh Gupta, Chairperson, Bharat Soka Gakkai welcomed the gathering and highlighted the key areas of Ikeda’s 2014 peace proposal. Hon. Dy Chairperson of BSG, SGI representative to India Dr Akash K Ouchi expressed his thoughts on the occasion. He said that Ikeda’s peace proposals are relevant not just for governments and activists but also for the ordinary people.
Dr A. Padmanabhan appreciated the efforts of Daisaku Ikeda for his consistent efforts to promote peace and his vision of sustainable global society. He said that no one has ever talked so fervently about the need for elevation of human dignity for attaining universal peace. Though there may have been others who might have had similar values, there was none other that Ikeda who has been so consistent year after year in his focus on attaining universal peace.
Dr Gowri Ramnarayan said, ‘Reading President Daisaku Ikeda having dialogue with farsighted achievers in diverse fields is to join his stimulating, thought-provoking sangham with world leaders and public intellectuals. In these talks Mr Ikeda’s own comments, questions and reactions are marked by a deep understanding of the human condition today, and the possibility of transformation, before tomorrow. It is easy to see that he is motivated by compassion (karuna), for all the people of the world, a quality we associate with true vidya (knowledge) and genuine gnana (wisdom). I am particularly struck by how easily he encapsulates the highest truths in the simplest language. This is what makes his Peace Proposal 2014 relevant and convincing’.
Professor, Dr. R. Thandavan, said that he was particular impressed with the theme of the symposium as he found peace a rare commodity today. It was a rare combination of humour and seriousness when he pointed out that peace was missing in the university.
Coming to the peace proposal, Thandavan, pointed out that he would like to focus on Ikeda’s mission for establishing education for global citizenship. He said that he was in complete agreement with Ikeda’s conviction that ‘education can develop the capacity to create value, underpinned by indomitable hope and the spirit of learning from the collective wisdom of humankind.” Dr Thandavan also referred to Dr. Ikeda’s discussion with Dr. Arnold Toynbee and Dr. Nelson Mandela on this issue and pointed out that Dr. Ikeda believed that ‘Education is the key source for empowerment. He expressed his commitment to creating an educational system on the lines of Dr. Ikeda’s dream at the University of Madras.
Ms Naveena Reddi, Head-External Relations and Honorary Dy. Chairperson of BSG concluded with a vote of thanks.