The fourth peace symposium of this year was held in Bhubaneswar on 15th September 2017 based on SGI President Ikeda’s Peace Proposal for 2017.
The symposium was held in IDCOL Auditorium, Bhubaneswar and was attended by over 250 members and guests.
To discuss the peace proposal the eminent speakers at the symposium were Dr. Anup Kumar Dash, Director, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), Shri Jagadananda, Social Activist and Civil Society Expert and Dr. Iti Samanta, Eminent Writer and Editor, ‘The Kadambini’. The keynote address was delivered by Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sitakanta Mahapatra, Retd. IAS, Eminent Indian Poet and Literary Critic
Speaking first, Dr Dash felt the need for a fundamental shift in our thinking and approach to life and happiness. He said, “We must respect the inherent dignity of all life. We should revitalise life by nurturing values of altruism, cooperation and compassion to restore peace and solidarity in society. As SGI President Ikeda says in the 2017 Peace Proposal, budgetary allocations and other quick solutions are not the answer. The change will only come when there is a fundamental shift in the thinking process he calls ‘human revolution’.”
Shri Jagadananda shared, ”The SDGs, Sendai framework and Paris agreement does have a wonderful framework about how the world is going to look like in the years to come. We need active citizens and a critical mass of hope to realize the framework operational.”
Dr Samanta said, “The Upanishads stress on the concept, Vasudheiba Kutumbakam which means that the entire world is one family. Echoing this, the visually challenged Odishan Prophet Bhima Bhoi states that one should sacrifice one’s personal comfort for the betterment of society. So, the concept of solidarity and unity is deeply rooted in our culture. “A major force for good lies with the youth. They can drive the world in positive direction by countering feelings of hatred, inequality and violence. Women play a vital role in social reform for they propagate the concept of harmony.”
In his keynote address, Dr. Sitakanta Mahapatra reminisced his visit to Japan to the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and said “I feel happy and privileged to attend this symposium on peace since it is now the prime need of mankind. This is the objective for which SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has been doing so much over the years”.
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.
Despite heavy rains lashing the city, the Auditorium was packed with guests. One of the guest mentioned “It was an honor to attend your event in Bhubaneswar. I have attended it, experienced the new vibe and will put my best efforts to restore peace in the world”
The painstaking 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.