The symposium was held in collaboration with IIM-Bangalore and was attended by around 350 members and guests.
To discuss the peace proposal, the eminent speakers at the symposium were Dr. Smita Srinivas, Head, School of Economic Development at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Dr. Corinne Kumar, Founder, World Courts of Women, and Prof. Ramnath Narayanswamy , Professor, Economics and Social Sciences, IIM-Bangalore.
Speaking first, Prof. Ramnath Narayanswamy said, “The Buddha is not a person, it is a process. Real renunciation is ego renunciation; we are fascinated with the story of Gautam Buddha’s four encounters outside the palace gate because that is my story, your story and the human story at large. Unless nations are able to subdue their ego and desire to conquest and expand at all cost, we cannot have lasting peace. SGI President Ikeda extended this truth affirming that what is true of individuals is also true of nations. His emphasis on the cycle of dependence, independence and inter dependence illustrates precisely this continuum.”
Drawing a parallel from President Ikeda’s urge to bring forth the ‘courage of application’, Dr. Corinne Kumar said, “We live in times where human rights are preserved for the more privileged and powerful. We must spearhead in dialogue with those who are powerless, nameless, oppressed and marginalized and find new perspectives on the universality of human rights.” Sharing key takeaways from the Peace Symposium later that evening, Dr. Corrine Kumar said, “Dialogue! Dialogue! Dialogue! You must have dialogue with everybody.”
Complimenting SGI President Ikeda on his persistent engagement with the United Nations on secular and geo-political issues, Keynote speaker Dr. Smita Srinivas said, “I consider it my good fortune to be interacting with an organization that is thinking about global issues with such consistency. SGI President Ikeda has been writing peace dialogues since 1983, telling us clearly what his propositions are, and suggesting where we might act. I see this as remarkable persistence and courage to keep at a dialogue when the stake seems so high and the odds seem slim and yet here we all are, in one room, discussing something that has the momentum of several decades. However, the real challenge for us is to take what SGI President Ikeda has said and apply it in our professional lives.” Dr. Srinivas reiterated, “Dialogue without learning does nothing for us. We can learn but unless we are communicating it and hearing back what somebody else does, learning is also insufficient.”
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 Ms. Rashi Ahuja.
The detailed and advance preparation done by the volunteers and behind-the-scene group members and many members who traveled from nearby cities 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.
The symposium was also covered by Radio Channels like Big FM and Fever 104 FM.