BSG participates in Workshop on ‘Celebrating Innovation in Health and Sustainable Development’

January 04, 2017
XIMB, Bhubaneshwar.
BSG participated in Workshop on ‘Celebrating Innovation in Health and Sustainable Development’ organized by Xavier Council of Innovation (XCI) and Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB) in Collaboration with Planning & Convergence Department Govt. of Odisha on January 04 – 05, 2017 at Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB), Bhubaneshwar.

The workshop was organized to create a platform for celebrating innovation in the field of health and sustainable development and promote a culture of innovation at team, organizational and community level.

Professionals from Business corporations, Government Agencies, UN agencies, International and National NGOS, Academic and Research Institutions who are actively engaged in nurturing and promoting innovations in sustainable development participated in the workshop.

Shri.R.Balakrishnan, IAS, DC-Cum-ACS, Planning & Convergence Dept., Govt. of Odisha gave the inaugural address. The other distinguished speakers who graced the occasion were Dr. Ramakrishnan, CMO, Arvind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Prof. Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes S.J., Vice Chancellor, XUB & Director, XIMB, Dr. N.K. Panda, Joint Director, Planning & Convergence Dept., Govt. of Odisha, Mrs. Arti Ahuja, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism Department, Govt. of Odisha and Shri N.K.Nayak, IAS, OSD, Planning & Convergence Dept., Govt. of Odisha. Representatives from leading corporates, Government and Non-Government Organisations like UNFPA, GRI, & UNICEF also participated.

In her address to the audience, Ms. Sumita Mehta, Head of BSG Public Relations, Bharat Soka Gakkai, expressed the importance of fighting for peace, respect for others and the power of dialogue.

Prof.S.Peppin, Dean, Xavier School of Sustainability (XUB), thanked everyone for their enthusiasm and positive spirit and said that participants presence helped to make this workshop both productive and fun.

“Building a Culture of Peace Exhibition” at Green Fields School, New Delhi

August 5-6, 2016
New Delhi

Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) organized the exhibition, ‘Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World’ in collaboration with the Green Field School, Safdarjung Enclave, at latter’s premises on August 5-6, 2016.

The exhibition that has been shown in many countries over several years, has impactful panels such as ‘The United Nations and the Culture of Peace’, ‘Paths to Peace’, ‘Community’, ‘Disarmament’, ‘Heroes of Peace’, and many more. It brings together the ideas of thousands of people and organizations dedicated to finding a path to lasting peace in daily life.

Ms Mini Khanna, Principal, Green Field School, while inaugurating the exhibition, appreciated the efforts of BSG in the fields of peace, culture and education. The energy and dedication of the student volunteers explaining the exhibition panels was overwhelming and each one made an effort to know about the panel for which they were responsible.

The exhibition was very well received by the visiting students who enthusiastically viewed each panel. Many shared what they have learnt either by participating on visiting the exhibition. Students shared that they feel empowered by learning that even one individual can change the world, by changing one’s immediate environment.

A class seven student, said “I learned that we should consciously try to respect other people. Harmony can we achieved this way.” A lot of students shared that they have decided to write to the president of India, sharing with him about their ideas of spreading peace and happiness. The teachers who accompanied the students for viewing the exhibition, took the theme to their classes and discussed the theme “Peace” with the students.

The responses from the parents were also very encouraging. Few parents even took time to explain some of the panels to their children accompanying them. Many appreciated the initiative taken up by the school and communicated the importance of having such forums as the need of the hour. A visiting parent remarked that after seeing the exhibition he realised how important it is to inculcate these values in young children.

At the end of seeing the exhibition, each visitor was asked to write their remarks on peace-pigeon cut-outs, which were later pasted on huge posters to be given to the school for display.

Gandhi, King, Ikeda Exhibition Held at the ASN School, New Delhi

April 21-23, 2016
New Delhi

ASN School in Mayur Vihar-I, New Delhi hosted the Gandhi, King, Ikeda: Building a Legacy of Peace exhibition in association with Bharat Soka Gakkai, from 21-23 April. This is an international exhibition put together by the Morehouse College, USA.

Indian freedom fighter Mohandas K. Gandhi, American civil rights advocate Martin Luther King Jr., and Buddhist philosopher, educator and author Daisaku Ikeda — three men from three different cultures and continents, have followed a common path of profound dedication and achievement in improving the lives of all people. The exhibition conveys the ideals and principles that these giants of the 20th century, lived by and propagated.

Mr. Dinesh Kumar Bhawsar, Deputy Education Advisor, HRD, Govt. of India inaugurated the exhibition, which was also attended by the BSG Chairperson Mr. Vishesh Gupta. The event started with the two of them going through the inspiring panels featuring colourful photographs, inspiring quotes and factual information about the three personalities; beautifully explained by the school’s students. Next was a thought provoking cultural programme presented by class XI students of the school, comprising skits, songs, and quiz, on social and humanitarian issues.

The school’s Principal, Ms. Sonia Luthra in her speech said that the need of the hour is to ensure world peace and it is only possible if each individual especially the young generation feel it their responsibility and take action to spread it.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Bhawsar said that there are many friends of peace, such as courage, love, kindness, honesty, and if one inculcate these qualities then once can spread peace. Earlier he also left his comment after seeing the exhibition that “The school and BSG organised a thoughtful event to teach us and understand peace. Students of the school explained peace in a very simplified way.”

Mr. Gupta praised the school students and said the values they learn in the school will help them throughout their life. He further said that one individual can change the world for better by becoming a good human being. He also asked students to imbibe their school’s motto ‘Faith & Follow, Act & Achieve, Serve & Smile’, in their lives.

Students very enthusiastically explained the importance of panels to the visitors and some of them shared what they have learnt from it. Kaustubh Joshi from class XI said that he learnt more about Gandhi’s life and he will strive to imbibe his qualities. Divesh Khanagwal said that this is for the first time that he got to know so much about Martin Luther and he’ll try and make friends by changing himself.

More than 2700 visitors who saw the inspiring exhibition were all praise for it. Some in their comments wrote: “Beautiful idea. Wonderfully executed, children got to know the three personalities in detail, their hard life and their contributions to the mankind.” “Great efforts. Tried to make students understand about the significance of peace and harmony.” “The exhibition has been a wonderful eye opening effort, definitely for school children.” “Very informative and facts about Rosa Park and others really left positive impact on children.”

A very powerful documentary on the same theme titled Gandhi, King, Ikeda: Community Builders was also shown many times during the three-days event. On the second day, the school organised poster-making and slogan writing competitions on 22nd April on the same theme, in which the students unleashed their imagination.

“Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy Of Building Peace” Exhibition Held At Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal

February 26-27, 2016
Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal
The two-day long exhibition titled “Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace” was inaugurated on 26th February 2016 at Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal. This exhibition was held in conjunction with an International Conference on Life Skills Education on 26th and 27th February 2016 held at the same venue. The exhibition received great reception and enthusiastic participation from one and all. The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. Keith Falconer, Venture Capitalist, Hong Kong, along with Shri Hari Mohan Gupta, Chancellor of Jagran Lakecity University.
After viewing the exhibition, one visitor remarked, “This is a great presentation that captures the lives of three leaders of the world who are devoted to world peace”. Another visitor summed up the message saying, “This is the way we need to educate our society”.

Many educators and academicians viewed the exhibition and were deeply appreciative of the exhibition panels and by the passionate explanation by the volunteers. BSG members went all out to explain the deep message of ‘power of one’ as conveyed by the panels.

During the conclusion of the two-day conference, Prof. Anoop Swaroop, Vice-Chancellor of Jagran Lakecity University, spoke about the great influence of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Daisaku Ikeda had on our world and spoke about the need for Human Revolution as advocated by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.

Barkatullah University Confers Honorary Doctorate on President Ikeda in Japan

January 22, 2016
Tokyo, Japan
On 22 January 2016, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was conferred the Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by Bhopal’s Barkatullah University. The conferral took place at the Central Tower of Soka University in Japan. The award was conferred by the Vice Chancellor of Barkatullah University, Prof. M.D. Tiwari, who had come to Japan especially for this occasion.

The conferral of the honorary doctorate, announced earlier in September 2015, comes in recognition of President Ikeda’s outstanding contri­bution to world peace and the development of education and culture.
The conferral ceremony began with a rendition of the Indian national anthem. After the citation was read out by Prof. Tiwari, the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) was presented to Prof. Baba, President of Soka University, who received the award on behalf of President Ikeda and also read out President Ikeda’s acceptance speech.

The citation states: The central theme in Dr. Ikeda’s philosophy is that “human revolution”—inner-motivated change—within even a single individual can positively influence all humankind. Ranging from the protection of human rights to sustainability and the empowerment of women and youth, his concerns are all underpinned by Buddhist philosophy and respect for the dignity of life.

The central tenet of Dr. Ikeda’s thought is the fundamental sanctity of life, a value which he sees as the key to lasting peace and human happiness. Indeed, Dr. Ikeda’s unstinting commitment towards humanity makes him a gift to humanity.

Addressing those present at the conferral ceremony, Prof. Tiwari said, “It was my long cherished wish to honour Dr. Ikeda’s contribution. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to be able to confer the Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from Barkatullah University upon Dr. Ikeda today.”

Earlier, Prof. Tiwari and his wife went to the Tagore Square where the statue of the great Indian poet Rabindranth Tagore seemed to be watching over the students. They then moved to the Central Tower of Soka University where the conferral ceremony was held. Here they were welcomed by Soka University student representatives as well as Indians studying there. The honoured guests were overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received and happily joined an informal interaction where those students who went overseas to study in India also joined in.

Prof. Tiwari seeks to develop an education environment that is contextual and centred round the students’ needs. Concerned about those who cannot afford to go in for higher education because of economic reasons, he has raised funds and instituted over 200 scholarships, ensuring that the university treats all equally. He said, “Those who have studied in our institution will spread their wings in society and start serving those who do not have the opportunity to go in for higher education. In this way we can eradicate the inequality that is founded on economic disparities.”

Encouraging the students, Prof. Tiwari said, “Dr. Ikeda who is the founder of your institute is the person whose name should be known all over the world. I am expecting you, who have studied in Soka University, a wonderful university, to fully explore your potential and be truly successful.”

BSG participates in SACH Bharat Conference

December 23, 2015
New Delhi
Renewing its commitment to establish a value-based society, BSG chose to join the SACH Bharat Conference held in the Capital over December 22-23, 2015.

BSG Chairperson Vishesh Gupta was invited to speak on ‘Minimum Governance, Maximum Self-governance’ at this conference that focussed on spirituality and work. Organised by ASSOCHAM and supported by the SREI Foundation and the Times Foundation, the conference had Indian and international speakers from all walks of life.
Mr. Gupta first talked of spirituality and recalled Shakyamuni Buddha’s description of dharma as the fundamental path by which people should live. He went on to say that in our terms it is “to rely on one’s authentic self, the self that we can believe in and be proud of at all times by”. Referring to the Middle Way, Mr Gupta said it was not just avoiding extremes but to live by “constantly interrogating one’s own actions to ensure that they accord with the path of humanity and this is spirituality—the humane way of living one’s life.” An expansion of the inner realm of life, he said, “encourages empathy for others and strengthens the desire to contribute to society; it brings forth the ‘sun ‘ of wisdom and compassion from within the depths of one’s life.” The process of human revolution, “bringing forth this inner sun, is the motive force that can enhance solidarity among people, lead to the prosperity of society, and create peace for humankind”.

Talking of self-governance Mr Gupta spoke of President Makiguchi’s description of the perfect job as one combining “beauty, benefit and good”. He stressed that ‘good’ is the most vital for self-governance. “Do you live for yourself alone, or for a greater purpose and value? It is easy to live thinking only of oneself, but to live for a great ideal requires steadfast commitment and courage… A person’s attitude to their work reflects their attitude to life and to people; it reflects their beliefs about life’s purpose…. Whether one works only to earn a salary or rather to create value for oneself and others—this is the question?” How can one achieve this inner awakening and inner motivation?

“Inner motivation implies self-control” he said, “one acts in a correct and responsible manner not because one is forced to, but spontaneously and on one’s own volition.” Adding that Dr Daisaku Ikeda calls it “Soft Power”, he went on to say that the process of soft power unleashes the inner energies of the individual. But, without the support of a philosophical foundation to strengthen and mobilise the spiritual resources of the individual, the use of soft power would become nothing more than ‘fascism with a smile’.

Soft power requires the recognition of dependant origination – it also seeks the development of harmonious relationships based respect for the sanctity of life, seeking harmony as a deeper level, and here, dialogue hold the key. Giving instances where this can be applicable in daily life, he said its starts with saying “Hello” “Good morning,” or “thank you,” brightly and cheerfully. It doesn’t matter if your greeting isn’t returned. Taking the lead in greeting others is important. Those who can respect others will be respected in turn.

Mr Gupta ended with a poem by Emerson — “Friendship”:

O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form
And look beyond the earth,
The mill-round of our fate appears
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.”

Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal confers Honorary Doctorate on President Daisaku Ikeda

November 28, 2015
New Delhi
Jagran Lakecity University (JLU), Bhopal, conferred the Honorary Doctorate Humane Letters (Humanity and Arts) to Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher and President, Soka Gakkai International (SGI).

The award was conferred in recognition of President Ikeda’s untiring pursuit of peace and love for humanity and accepted on his behalf by Soka Gakkai President, Minoru Harada.

The citation expressed appreciation for President Ikeda’s 2015 Peace Proposal and his emphasis on dialogue across differences for the sake of mutual co-existence as well as the self-directed transformation within the individual that leads to social transformation.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Anoop Swarup, the Vice Chancellor of JLU said, “The very ethos and central tenet of Ikeda’s thought, and of Buddhism, is the fundamental sanctity of life, a value which Ikeda sees as the key to lasting peace and human happiness.”

“Today in times of great global turmoil in the wake of terrorist attacks, be it Mumbai, New York, London or Paris and our retaliatory response to it, with no end in sight, Ikeda and his thought becomes ever so relevant.”

“In Ikeda’s view, global peace relies ultimately on a self-directed transformational change within the life of the individual, rather than on societal or structural reforms alone.”

He said that only iconic personalities such as Dr Daisaku Ikeda and the path of Buddha, Gandhi and (Martin Luther Jr) King will bring lasting change in this world of ours for our future generations to cherish.

The award was announced earlier at the university’s convocation ceremony that was held in the institution’s sprawling campus in Bhopal.

President Ikeda’s unceasing dedication to the cause of peace has gained him appreciation world over. He is a rare recipient of 363 honorary doctorates so far. The current honour will be the 14th academic honour from India. Earlier prestigious institutions from India that have given awards include the University of Delhi, Vishwabharati University and Himachal Pradesh University, to name a few.

In his acceptance speech as conveyed by Mr Harada at the event, President Ikeda conveyed his deep appreciation for this honour and said that it was a great privilege to be recognised by a distinguished institution of higher learning. He said, “Educational efforts grounded in a philosophy of respect for the dignity of life can be a source of enduring inspiration to people and create unfathomable value. Jagran Lakecity University continues to vibrantly extend the influence of human spiritual awakening and spread the message of peace.

“I am moved by your motto, ‘Igniting Minds, Changing Lives,’ and the ways in which you seek to concretise it….The state of Madhya Pradesh is known for its diamonds. I believe that the lives of young people are like diamonds in the rough. As humanity wrestles with the darkness of the times, the world yearns for the light that issues from young people imbued with indestructible hope.”

Echoing these thoughts, Mr Vishesh Gupta, Chairperson, Bharat Soka Gakkai (the Indian affiliate of the SGI) said, “Fixing his gaze on the distant future, President Ikeda is always focusing on taking action in the present moment. President Ikeda says: ‘Life is short. The most valuable thing we can devote our lives to is fostering people who will build a new age for the sake of tomorrow.’

“And, in exact accord with this belief, both Soka Gakkai and Jagran Lakecity University are engaging in fostering the new generation who will shoulder the responsibility for the future of humanity.”

In the vote of thanks, educator Ms. Vandana Jain said that President Ikeda believes that education is one of the most sacred and valuable tasks and he urges us to always ask: For what purpose should one cultivate wisdom? The true purpose of education he believes is to serve the people, remove suffering and protect humanity. So, as we leave today, let us respond to Mr. Ikeda’s expectations by reaffirming to bring in a new age of value creating education for the sake of peace and human happiness!

BSG Education Division Seminar on ‘Education for Nurturing Humanity’ at Jamia Millia Islamia

August 11, 2015
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
At the invitation of the Department of Education of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, BSG’s Education Division organised a symposium on Soka Education titled Education for Nurturing Humanity for their faculty, postgraduate and undergraduate students and research scholars on 11 August 2015.

The presentations and experiences shared by the six panelists, all graduates from Soka University America (SUA), were compelling evidence of how their time at the university forged their personalities, gave them a deeper understanding of their mission to work for humanity, and strengthened their bond with their mentor, President Ikeda.

After warmly welcoming the participants, Prof. Shoeb Abdullah, head of the Institutes of Advanced Studies in Education (IASEs) at Jamia Millia Islamia, drew on the commonalities between the philosophy of education bequeathed by the first three presidents of the Soka Gakkai, and the principles taught at Jamia’s Department of Teacher Training and Non-formal Education.

The speakers from BSG were Priyanka Sabarwal, Shivangi Khattar, Aishani Khurana, Hideko Piplani, Alankrita Chhikara and Daman Chhikara. They spoke on the varied topics on the goals of education as ‘The Happiness [and Empowerment] of the Learner’, ‘Dialogue’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘Building Character through Reading’, ‘Global Citizenship’ and on ‘Moving from a Self-Centred to an Altruistic Mode of Living’.

Madurai Institute of Social Sciences confers Honorary Professorship on President Ikeda

April 18, 2015
Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, Madurai
The Madurai Institute of Social Sciences (MISS) awarded the title of Honorary Professor in Social Sciences to SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, founder of Soka University, “for his outstanding and valuable contribution for the cause of world peace”, on 18 April 2015.

Prolonged applause and loud cheers followed the announcement of the award at the ceremony held in the Dharmalakshmi Auditorium cum Stadium on the MISS campus. Dr. Akash Ouchi, BSG’s honorary deputy chairperson, Ms. Bharati Ramachandran, BSG’s director and all-India deputy WD chief, and Mr. S. Seshadri, BSG’s general area chief of Tamil Nadu-Kerala General Area, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Ikeda from Dr. (Capt) D.V.P. Raja, founder and chairman of MISS.

The conferral ceremony was held in conjunction with the 46th College Day celebrations and inauguration of the Centre for Thiruvalluvar Studies.

Also in attendance were Dr. M. Kannan, principal of MISS; Dr. G. Pankajam, former vice chancellor of the Gandhigram Rural Institute; Dr. M. Lakshmanan, well-known microbiologist and former vice chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University; Mr. N. Manimozhiyan, principal general secretary, Ulaga Thirukkural Peravai; faculty, staff and 600 students of MISS; and BSG members from Chennai, Salem, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Madurai. After Dr. Raja read out the citation, the hall was again filled with great jubilation and warm applause.

The Madurai Institute of Social Sciences, established in 1969, is a multi faculty research centre affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University and the first college in South India to offer courses related to professional social work and human resources management.

In his acceptance message, Dr. Ikeda said, “Nothing would please me more than to share this great honour with my beloved and noble friends of Bharat Soka Gakkai and my fellow members of the Soka Gakkai International in 192 countries and territories, the men and women who are striving to advance peace, culture and education as civic-minded citizens and good neighbours. I will cherish this academic honour for the rest of my life.”

Ramachandran-Ikeda Award Conferred on Raha Naba Kumar in New Delhi

March 12, 2015
Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi
THE RAMACHANDRAN-IKEDA Award for 2014 was conferred on Mr. Raha Naba Kumar, director of the Gandhi Ashram Trust, Noakhali, Bangladesh, on 12 March 2015 at a lively award ceremony at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi. Mr. Naba Kumar is the seventh recipient of this award, which consists of Rs. 50,000 cash and a citation in recognition of his significant contributions in the areas of nonviolence, human rights, education, peace and social service.

Presenting the award, the chief guest, Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, former ambassador and currently secretary of the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, quoted a popular Urdu sher by Majrooh Sultanpuri to emphasise that the courage of one individual can change the course of history: “Main akelaa hi chalaa tha jaanib-e-manzil, magar / log saath aate gaye aur kaarvan bantaa gayaa.”

Accepting the award, Mr. Naba Kumar said, “I am a practitioner, I work in the field, I’m not very interested in theory. I have seen the spirit of youth at work in different areas, different places.” Mr. Naba Kumar’s wife, Tandra, received sustained applause for standing by her husband when he decided to leave his well-paid job and work with the Trust.

Youth Division members of the BSG Choir roused the whole hall to sing the SGI song ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ along with them. Speakers at the event included Prof. Sankar Kumar Sanyal, chairman of the all-India Harijan Sevak Sangh; Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, New Delhi; and Mr. N. Vasudevan, director of the Indian Council for Gandhian Studies.

Dr. Akash K. Ouchi, BSG honorary deputy chairperson, said the award was constituted to foster youth in the spirit of mentor and disciple and enable them to become capable leaders in the future. “We all need someone by whom we are inspired. Dr. Ramachandran was inspired by Gandhiji, and Ikeda Sensei by his mentor, Toda Sensei.”

In closing, Mr. Vishesh Gupta, BSG chairperson, said: “There is a lot in common between Dr. Ikeda and Gandhiji in their ideology, their aspirations for mankind and their struggles for peace. One thing that stands out is their love, hope and expectations from the youth.”

In his vote of thanks, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “There have been umpteen awards in the name of Gandhi but this award is special for Raha who has admired from a distance the educational ideas and the value creating culture fostered by Dr. Ikeda.”

“Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World” Exhibition at Blue Bells School, New Delhi

February 20-21, 2015
Blue Bells School, New Delhi
On 20th and 21st of February 2015, Bharat Soka Gakkai brought the ‘Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World’ exhibition to Bluebells School International. The two day long exhibition was a culmination of the desire of a teacher who wished to inculcate the importance of peace in her community beginning with her students.

The exhibition, which was attended by a number of students and parents, was inaugurated by chief guest Dr. Madhumita Chakraborty, PHD and assistant professor of English at Zakir Hussain College. The first day saw many students from classes 6 to 10 in attendance, who actively participated with the volunteers as they covered the spread 30 thought intriguing panels. The exhibition began with the lighting of a lamp, followed by a welcome address by two young students who introduced Dr. Daisaku Ikeda and his contributions to peace and education. The girls also shared self-composed poems on the importance of a peaceful world free from violence and intolerance.

This was followed by an address by Dr. Chakraboty wherein she shared her impressions of the exhibition. In her address, Dr. Chakraborty touched upon various important issues such as the fact that peace starts at home, and that the existence of a peaceful world would require a change in the attitudes of the people who have become too accustomed to violence and blood-shed as natural facts of life. Dr. Chakraborty further stressed that it is action that is important, emphasising that it is our responsibility to shape the world we wish to live in. She concluded her speech by urging students who attended the exhibition to think of how they could contribute to peace in practical ways, and become enablers to a better world. In her words, “The kind of society that we need, the kind of society that we desire, and aspire to, has to be made up of the individuals we wish to be.”

Further, the exhibition was made more lively by the presence of the young students who shared their inputs on how to create a peaceful world. They shared how change should start with oneself, and the need to foster a culture of tolerance, respect and sharing through dialogue and mediation. Some of them shared how they were inspired by the examples of leaders on the world stage who were fighting for peace. “If they can do it, then I can do it too” was what students took back with them.

Parents attended the second day of the exhibition and were very appreciative that it was being held in school. Some of them even talked about how their children had told them about the exhibition the previous day. They expressed the desire to have more such exhibitions, as well as classes for their children on action points to take forward. The parents seemed very impressed with the panels on ‘Religion and Peace’ as well as ‘Shared Visions for Peace’. They took many pictures of the panels with the intent to share it with others. The parents also touched upon their responsibility in shaping their children’s outlook and behavior and in promoting the values of peace, respect and harmony. The exhibition also sparked an interest in Soka Gakkai International, and many also inquired about the philosophy.

The exhibition proved to be a starting point in getting individuals of the community to think about the concept of peace in a very practical and non-abstract way. Students as well as parents and teachers left the exhibition with a renewed wanting to be active contributors to building a culture of peace, which is what the exhibition sought to do.

GKI Exhibition Inspires Students of Montfort School, Ashok Vihar, Delhi

December 5-6, 2014
Montfort School, New Delhi
On being impressed by the conduct of the Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) volunteers–their smiling demeanour, their warmth and their discipline held at the peace symposium held in Delhi in September this year. The principal of the school invited BSG members to organize the ‘Gandhi King Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace’ Exhibition together with Montfort School, Ashok Vihar on 5th and 6th December, 2014 in the school premises. This was the third exhibition organized by BSG in Montfort School. Earlier ‘ Seeds of Change’ and ‘Building A Culture of Peace’ had been shown.

About 1200 students from class VI to XI thronged the exhibition on the first day and viewed the 18 panels with keen interest. The exhibition was thrown open to the parents and teachers on the second day. They were also greatly inspired by the vision and the efforts of these three eminent men, especially the completely non-violent means by which they achieved their goals.

Earlier, nearly 80 students of Montfort School volunteered to participate in the training which enabled them to guide and explain the content of the panels to their fellow students, teachers and parents. About 50 BSG volunteers were also there to support them. The Principal of Montfort School, Bro. Monachan, inaugurated the exhibition. The Principal in his address welcomed the exhibition and expressed the hope that the students would imbibe the message of the exhibition and contribute to peace in the society. It was heartening to see the young volunteers, full of enthusiasm and joy, explain passionately and confidently, the beliefs and achievements of the three great leaders.

After viewing the panels, the students moved on to answer a one-page questionnaire to pen down their understanding of the lives and achievements of Gandhi, King and Ikeda and their own resolve to implement the message of the exhibition in their own lives. One of the questions expected them to list what they would do to bring about peace in their family, society and the world.

Almost all of them said that they would first change themselves in order to bring peace in their family, society and the world. To quote a student, “This exhibition has taught me a lot. To change the world, we should first try to change ourselves. That would surely make a difference.” Many students and teachers had not heard of Dr. Daisaku Ikeda before. The exhibition succeeded in introducing Mr. Ikeda’s monumental work in the areas of peace, culture and education and his humanistic beliefs.

The students were greatly inspired by the message of the exhibition that even one individual, if he or she decides to stand up, can make a difference. This was evident from their response to the questionnaire and their interaction with the BSG volunteers. Parents too appreciated the message of the exhibition and admired the effort of the organization in creating peace in this conflict and violence-ridden society. One parent wrote in the visitors’ book, “It’s a very good effort. Please arrange a weekly class for all students as the children becoming more and more aggressive these days.” The seeds of peace were sown in the hearts of almost 600 parents and 200 teachers. Some parents also showed keen interest to know more about BSG and wanted to know how they could be the part of it.

The exhibition was followed by a talk on ‘Soka Education – A system for cultivation human values’ delivered by Dr. Poonam Khattar of the BSG. Dr. Khattar shared the key points of Soka Education through a power point presentation. The presentation highlighted SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s ideas on education and discussed the basic principles of value-creating education promoted by the two presidents of Soka Gakkai—Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda. Some of the ideas shared during the presentation included respect for the sanctity of life, faith in the richness of human potential, and that education’s real aim is the happiness of the individual and the realization of peace. She highlighted the point that teachers and students have to become partners in the process of learning. The essence of education is character formation, teaching young people how to live in society and encouraging them to think independently.

Representing BSG Ms. Roli Gupta concluded the seminar with a vote of thanks and appreciated the school Principal and the school counsellor Ms. Renu Singhla for their initiative and support in organizing the exhibition. Ms. Gupta also presented two books to the school library on behalf of BSG, “A Forum For Peace” and “Soka Education”.

Education is the key for empowerment

November 27, 2014
Chennai
The ‘Peace Proposal Symposium held on 27th November 2014 at F50 hall of the Madras University was witnessed by around 300 people who expressed it as ‘an extremely rare event’.

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.

Resilience is deeply rooted in humanity

November 14, 2014
Mumbai
In collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), BSG organised a symposium on SGI President Ikeda’s peace proposal for 2014-Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies—in the Hall of Culture at the Nehru Centre at Worli in Mumbai on 14 November 2014.

The speakers this year included former political director for peacekeeping, humanitarian and human rights affairs at the United Nations, Dr. Kishore Mandhyan, who was a speaker at the symposium on President Ikeda’s 2013 peace proposal, too; the distinguished diplomat and co-founder of Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, Ms. Neelam Deo; the consul general for Canada in Mumbai, Mr. Richard Bale; and the chairperson of the Jamshetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, TISS, Dr. Jacquleen Joseph.

BSG’s honorary deputy chairperson and head of its external relations division, Ms. Naveena Reddi, set the tone of the Symposium with an overview of the pertinent issues presented in the proposal. The symposium was attended by 73 guests and 140 BSG members.

Dr. Mandhyan, who was moderator of the panel, said that a common thread tied all of Mr. Ikeda’s peace proposals over the years: “Each is rooted in the contemporary moment but is anchored in the teachings of Nichiren, the 13th-century Buddhist reformer.”

He opened the discussion saying that a “conversation” on the peace proposal had three parts: the first “began when you accepted the invitation, when the proposal was written, when you began to think about the issues in the proposal; the second when we begin “to understand the issues at hand”; and the third comes “after you go home; it doesn’t end this evening, it extends until next year before you come back and ask whether I have created purpose in my life and value in my neighbourhood.” He raised the question: “What role does the individual play in change?”

Ms. Deo spoke on a recurring theme in the peace proposals: the abolition of nuclear weapons. She said Mr. Ikeda’s suggestion for a nuclear abolition summit to be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of those cities, would send a powerful message to the world.

Responding to Mr. Ikeda’s urging that we “achieve universal access to primary and secondary education, to eliminate gender disparity at all levels and to promote education for global citizenship”, Mr. Bale said we should make the ideals contained in the proposal a part of our daily lives. He said he would “become involved” and “volunteer” in such projects in India.

Dr. Joseph suggested that while we should consider all three aspects of disaster management—hazard, vulnerability and disasters—our focus should be on resilience, or the “ability to bounce back”. President Ikeda has said that it is not only a select few who have the quality of resilience; each one of us, even the most vulnerable person, is resilient. “Resilience is organic and deeply rooted in people’s natural desire to come together and realise a hopeful future,” she said. Since it is human beings who create the problems caused by war, it is human beings, she said, who can provide solutions to violence.

In his closing statement, Dr. Mandhyan spoke about Yugoslavia, where he was posted on a mission from the United Nations, as a land of civilisation and great natural beauty torn apart by war. “Humanitarian space competes with political space; we need to see how we can reconcile the two,” he said. “Deep within us there is violence, and the veneer of civility is very thin. We have only just begun the journey to ask these questions in a collective sense and that is the central challenge of the proposal.”

The power of one will empower many

October 12, 2014
Bhopal
The exhibition ‘Seeds of Hope – Visions of Sustainability, steps toward change’ was inaugurated in Bhopal, at Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology on October 12, 2014.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Anthony de Sa, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, in his address appreciated the efforts of Bharat Soka Gakkai which is working for peace through culture and education. He drew the attention of the audience to the title of the exhibition which he said “says it all”. Explaining further he said that we all must have two visions for sustainability; first having the community vision which is working collectively towards sustainable development and second to have an individual vision. Citing the fable of the ‘Goose that lay golden eggs’ he related it to the concept of sustainability where he mentioned that when we overdraw on our resources, we are treading a dangerous path. Mr. De Sa believed that “The power of one will empower many”.

Dr. R. N. Saxena, MD State Forest Development Corporation, the guest of honour, highlighted that sustainability should be brought in the legal framework of the country. He emphasised that all resources of mother earth do not belong to a particular generation, rather we are the custodians for the future generations.

Speaking to the audience, Prof. Pramod K Verma, Director General, Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology, emphasised the need to redefine sustainability as part of our daily life. He affirmed his full cooperation towards such initiatives.

Earlier during the inauguration Mrs Jyoti Lal from BSG welcomed the gathering. Citing the example of the Nobel laureates, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi and Ms. Malala Yousafzai, she stressed that the power of one is the power of hope and how a single individual can show the power of change.

Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav, Honourable Governor of Madhya Pradesh, who could not be present due to important engagements, sent a message for this great cause in which he applauded the efforts of Soka Gakkai International and urged every individual to bring a positive change from within so that we can improve not only our present but also leave a better future for our coming generations.

The activities of the inauguration included welcoming of dignitaries with plant saplings by children, signifying the pledge to work towards leaving a better world for generations to come. This was followed by a dance performance depicting the joy of nature and a skit on the theme of the exhibition. The audience were captivated by the screening of the award winning film ‘The Quiet Revolution’ which resonated with the message of “the power of one”.

The chief guest and guest of honour were presented with a copy of the book, ‘A Forum for Peace’ which is a collection of excerpts from the most topical and important peace proposals of SGI President Dr Daisaku Ikeda.

The inauguration ceremony ended with a vote of thanks by Mrs. Kiran Mishra from BSG Bhopal.

Well known personalities from the institutions of national repute were present at the inaugural function which included, Director, MANIT (Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology), Director Indian Institute of Forest Management, Director General M.P. Police, and scientists from the Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology and other distinguished personalities from various fields. Approximately, 700 people saw the exhibition on the day of inauguration.

This exhibition was launched for the public at Regional Science Center, Shyamla Hills, today 13th October, 2014 at 10 am and will be displayed here for the entire next week from 13th – 19th October 2014 for public viewing.

Resilience creates hope for the future

October 11, 2014
Bengaluru
A peace symposium was held today at the Alliance Francaise in Bengaluru, centering around the 2014 Peace Proposal submitted by Dr Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International, to the United Nations. The 2014 Peace Proposal is titled Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies.

Speaking at the symposium, noted author, playwright and educator Ms Poile Sengupta asked, “What is our attitude to non-violence, away from the anniversaries of Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela? What do we do in the everyday?” She stressed, “It always comes down to us, the human race, to us as individuals,” adding that as a writer, she felt it was important to write for young people, since they are the most susceptible to influence.

Mr Leo Saldanha, environmental activist and coordinator of the Environment Support Group, said that he had hope that peace could be achieved, but added, “Hope is not something you just think about; it requires strategy; it requires steps.” Quoting from Dr Ikeda’s peace proposal, he said, “The willingness to challenge hardships taps the power within human beings to transform even a place of tragedy into a stage for fulfilling one’s mission.”

He drove in the point that each individual has a mission but collectively, individual missions make global peace possible.

Keynote speaker Maj. Gen. Arjun Muthanna, Director of the Center for Counter Terrorism, Internal Security Division, Karnataka State Police, dwelled at length on the Peace Proposal, starting with the importance of enhancing the resilience of communities. He illustrated this point in the proposal, saying that the strongest communities are where people work together. He also stressed that resilience is not just dealing with events but also creating hope for the future. He gave the example of Malala Yousafzai and her remarkable ability to see the silver lining, hope in everything that she faced. The news of her being conferred the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, gives hope to all of us that you can have such an attitude towards life and that it could be rewarded by society.

Maj. Gen. Muthanna concluded by talking about the need for more concrete action by groups like the SGI to reach out to different communities.

The symposium was attended by a diverse audience, comprising individuals from the arts, culture, literature, administration, the media, the police, the Army, academia, entrepreneurship and business. Mr Chiranjiv Singh, IAS (retd), former ambassador of India to Unesco in Paris, said, “These ideas need to be taken to the people at large – to colleges, universities and schools.” and Mr P.A. Nazareth, noted Gandhian and diplomat. G Viswanath, Director, Organisations & Alternatives Consulting, said, “We as individuals need to do something and not delegate it to the police or to the army. It’s about recognising that each of us can influence the process of peace no matter how small it is.”

University of the East in the Philippines Presents Honorary Doctorate to SGI President Ikeda

September 30, 2014
Manila, Phillipines

University of the East (UE) presented SGI President Daisaku Ikeda with the degree of Doctor of Humanities,honoris causa, at a ceremony on the Manila campus, on September 30, 2014. Mr. Ikeda was recognized for his steady efforts to open a path to global harmony and peace. In attendance were: Dr. Minella C. Alarcon, member of the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines; some 400 UE representatives–Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jaime J. Bautista, President Ester Albano-Garcia, Chancellor Linda P. Santiago of the Manila Campus, Chancellor Zosimo M. Battad of the Caloocan Campus, faculty and students; and SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda, representing his father.

Begun in 1946 as a preparatory school for Certified Public Accountant examinations, the school was granted university status in 1951 and changed its name to University of the East. For the January 2011 licensure exams, the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Physical Therapy had passing rates of 96%, 98% and 100%, respectively, some of the highest passing rates in the country. With its main campus in Manila, UE has satellite campuses in Caloocan City and Quezon City.

In a citation, President Albano-Garcia lauded Mr. Ikeda’s dedication to peace, stating:
“Dr. Ikeda, through his bold but humble leadership and persistent yet profound push for inner and global harmony, is unique in his fervent belief in not just the possibility but the perceptibility, the palpability, of peace. Through his words and actions, Dr. Ikeda strongly suggests that intangible concepts such as friendship, hope, love and, yes, peace are not just present all around us despite the continued prevalence of enmity, despair, hate and war. . . . Rather than merely being abstracts that reflect human aspirations, friendship, hope, love and peace as far as Dr. Ikeda is concerned may as well be as tangible as your skin and the clothes on it, your feet and the floor they are standing on, your eyes and all that you see. In other words, Dr. Ikeda has spent his entire, colorful life navigating the complexities of so simple a concept: that peace, despite any evidence to the contrary, is within mankind’s grasp.”

In a message read on his behalf at the ceremony, Mr. Ikeda expressed his joy and honor in joining the Philippine university that is pioneering the effort to educate global citizens and aspires to realize the grand vision of José Rizal, the hero of Philippine independence as stated in UE’s Vision Statement, as “an institution of higher learning committed to producing morally upright and competent leaders in various professions, imbued with a strong sense of service to their fellowmen and their country.”

352nd Academic Honor Conferred upon SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

September 16, 2014
Yakutsk, Sakha Republic (Russia)

The S.F. Gogolev Yakutsk Teacher-training College (YTTC) in the Sakha Republic, Russia, presented Daisaku Ikeda, SGI president, with an honorary professorship for his longstanding contributions to the cause of lasting world peace. The conferral took place on September 16, 2014, on the college campus in Yakutsk, coinciding with the college’s centennial celebrations. YTTC Director Klavdia Kopilova entrusted the certificate and a commemorative badge to SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba, who accepted them on Mr. Ikeda’s behalf. In attendance were faculty members and students as well as SGI representatives from Japan headed by Mr. Oba.

Founded as an institute for training secondary school teachers in 1914, in 2010 YTTC combined with another college and now has six faculties, including preschool education, elementary education, music education and physical education, with two campuses in Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic in eastern Siberia. The former YTTC had also honored Mr. Ikeda prior to the merger, in 2009. YTTC was recently selected as one of “100 Colleges of Excellence” by the Russian Federation.

The college is named after S.F. Gogolev (1896-1933), a famous political figure, who was a YTTC graduate, as was Platon Oyunsky (1893-1939), writer, translator and one of the founders of modern Yakut literature.

Since learning about Mr. Ikeda over 10 years ago, Director Kopilova has continued to read his published works and says she respects him for his active pacifism and concurs with his belief in people and their quintessential value.

In a message, Mr. Ikeda expressed his appreciation for receiving the academic honor on the occasion of the college’s centennial. He lauded the pedagogy of V.P. Vasilevsky, who was the college’s first director 100 years ago and authored its three mottos: teachers should nurture hearts; teachers should help students cultivate their potential; and teachers should make every effort to correctly guide students as they passionately pursue their aspirations. Based on these mottos, Mr. Ikeda proposed three guidelines for the college toward cultivating humanistic education in the next 100 years: Be the sun that inspires, trusting in and shining a light upon people’s potential; be a great tree of indomitable intellect that remains undaunted amidst any storm; and be a mighty river of peace and harmonious coexistence that connects the hearts of humanity.

STRIKING A NOVEL PATH TO PEACE

September 9, 2014
Chinmaya Mission, New Delhi

Aiming to work for a culture of peace, a symposium was held in the capital on September 9, 2014. Titled ‘Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies’, the symposium focused on Soka Gakkai International President, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s 2014 peace proposal on the same subject.

Organised by Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG), an organisation promoting a culture of peace through culture and education and the Indian affiliate of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), the symposium drew a gathering of over 300 people comprising intellectuals, professionals, educationists and thought leaders.

At the start of the symposium, BSG Chairperson Mr Vishesh Gupta said, “I would like to quote here the words of poet laureate of Denmark, Esther Gress: ‘If you want to change the world you must change man. If you want to change man you must make him want to change.’

“The examples from the lives of Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Viktor Frankl, King Ashoka and others which President Ikeda has cited in the 2014 peace proposal are testimony to the fact that when one single individual feels empowered to create hope, brings forth his inner goodness and works together in solidarity with others for a larger altruistic goal, then he or she can create value that has ripple effects in the society empowering many others in the process.”

Rousing the audience to ponder on a critical issue of the day, Prof. Farida Abdullah Khan, Member, National Commission for Minorities, reflected on education in the context of violence and conflict experienced by children. She asked the audience: “Does education have any potential for creating a better world? And are inherently unequal societies capable of creating systems of education that encourage social justice and equality and promote truly democratic systems?”

In his talk, Siddharth Varadarajan, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University, welcomed Dr Ikeda’s call for a treaty on the non-use of nuclear weapons and also on their prohibition. Such agreements would be major milestones in the struggle to rid the world of these dangerous and ultimately illegal weapons. But he suggested an intermediary step — an agreement on no-first use — as the way of getting to non-use. He also said that with at least four de facto nuclear weapon states outside the NPT — India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan — it made no sense to limit the international discussion on these initiatives solely to those countries which were party.

In his keynote address, Mr K.C. Singh (former Ambassador and former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs) said he felt a deep resonance with SGI President Dr Daisaku Ikeda’s concern over the current social unrest the world over.

”With turmoil in West Asia, the rise of new radical religious forces, stand-off in Ukraine and tensions in East and South China Seas, the challenge to global peace is even graver today.”

In conclusion, Ms Naveena Reddi, BSG Deputy Chairperson, quoted pacifist scholar Johan Galtung: “We must be realists in our brains while keeping the flame of idealism burning in our hearts.” Elaborating on this, she said: “To see the world as it is and how it could be are essential to reform.”

Seven-Day Leadership Course Based on President Ikeda’s Teachings

September 2, 2014
S.N. Sinha Institute of Business Management, Ranchi, Jharkhand

The S.N. Sinha Institute of Business Management in Ranchi, Jharkhand, in collaboration with Soka Gakkai International, organised a one-week course from 2 September on ‘International Youth Leadership and Global Peace’. The course was based on the teachings of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

Mr. Mannan Mallik, Jharkhand’s minister for animal husbandry, fisheries and disaster management, inaugurated the course. He said, “Buddhism has always been linked to peace, and education will play an important role in building peace and harmony in the world.”

Mr. N.P. Singh, chairman of the institute, appreciated the efforts of President Ikeda in promoting peace, culture and education. The S.N. Sinha Institute conferred an honorary professorship on President Ikeda in March this year and established a chair in his name.

The participants watched a film on President Ikeda with keen interest.

Dr. Akash Ouchi, BSG honorary deputy chairperson and SGI representative in South Asia, gave a keynote speech on global youth leadership. He said:

The expressions must and have to no longer motivate people. No one will act unless they are truly convinced in their hearts. When a person is truly moved he may display his great potential, showing tremendous power and ability. For this reason, fruitful conferences and discussions are becoming more important.

Small-scale discussion or dialogue is important where you can talk directly. face to face, close enough to sense each other’s warmth; discussions which are not unilateral but convincing. Discussions carried out in this way can relieve worn hearts, open closed minds and change bewilderment and despair into conviction and hope.

In one-on-one discussions, ask yourself: “What are they worried about? What are they trying to say? What are they thinking? What is it they seek?” Try to discern these things in others, try to understand. These are the challenges of leadership. From such compassion arises wisdom.

Of course the work needs to be done. However, there is a huge difference between when someone is ordered to work and when someone is motivated to work, even for somenone who may have reached a position of senior leadership. It is very important for each member of the team to be motivated to work together.

Leaders should make a constant effort to study hard and maintain freshness. The organisation will advance and be filled with dynamism. The organisation will change and develop only to the extent leaders change and develop themselves . . . .

Leaders in particular tend to become arrogant just because they have positions in organisation and think they know everything. This is a common tendency. They put on airs and regard others as being below them.

Authoritarianism alienates people. Sincerity captures people’s hearts. A person of sincerity creates a relaxed and spring-like atmosphere. Because of your sincerity, people will respond with sincerity.

Genuine leaders protect people when they are hired, and nurture them by providing appreciation for their development. . . .

Ultimately, everything depends on whether there is someone willing to take 100 percent responsibility. Someone who takes action for the sake of people and is concerned for the people is a true leader, so working selflessly with dedication will set an example for leadership.

Later, on hearing a report on the event, President Ikeda said: “Please convey my best regards to the organisers and others involved in the event.”