The first ever All India Peace Symposium Webinar was held on August 24th 2020 based on Ikeda Sensei’s 2020 Peace Proposal.
The webinar turned out to be huge success and was attended by over 700 members & 170 guests including many from the media.
The keynote address at the webinar was given by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Renowned Scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee. Other eminent speakers who shared their views were Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar, Former Ambassador & Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington, Prof. Aditya Shastri, Vice-Chancellor, Banasthali Vidyapith and Ms. Shloka Nath, Executive Director, India Climate Collaborative and Head- Sustainability, Tata Trusts.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Mashelkar shared that he has been a great admirer of President Ikeda over the years and paid respects to him for “his phenomenal work on bolstering the very foundation of a culture of peace for over 50 years”. Dr. Mashelkar (who received the Desikottam award from Viswa-Bharati University in 2006 along with Ikeda Sensei) shared that the Webinar gave him an opportunity to extensively read President Ikeda’s writings and he was simply overwhelmed by the majestic view of his magnificent contributions to the humanity through his unique global peace initiatives.
Ambassador Abhyankar’s speech was thought provoking and insightful. He equated Sensei’s peace proposals to an oasis in a desert and a guide to the people of the world who are searching for the right direction. He also drew the audience’s attention the “shared sense of crisis” as mentioned in the peace proposal and said that the pandemic is giving us an opportunity to create worldwide collaboration.
The next speaker, Prof. Shastri shared the background of Banasthali Vidyapith and the innovative educational ideology practiced in the university. He also drew parallels between Banasthali and the value creating ideology of Soka Gakkai, which was very profound. Prof. Shastri said that he found the peace proposals a ‘roadmap to humanity’ and welcomed the document wholeheartedly.
Speaking at the end, Ms. Shloka Nath, shared her views with youthful vitality combined with objective takeaways which were some of the highlights to the webinar. Ms. Shloka shared that she was touched by the fact that President Ikeda was authoring a peace proposal since 1983 and he has been looking for way to bring peace in the world for such a long duration. Her detailed presentation on the issue of climate change was extremely well received by the audience.
The speeches were followed by a brief Q&A session.
The webinar was opened by a welcome address given by BSG Chairperson Mr. Vishesh Gupta and concluded with presentation of mementos and a vote of thanks by WD Chief Ms. Rashi Ahuja.
BSG membership throughout the length and breadth of India got together as one and worked diligently towards making the first All India peace symposium webinar a resounding success. Members organized relay daimoku sessions and invited many eminent guests to the webinar. Many of these guests expressed their pleasure to be part of the webinar and found the session extremely enriching and insightful.
The symposium was widely covered by media. A few media clips are attached.