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Ever-Deepening Friendship Between India and Japan

PHOTO COURTESY OF SEIKYO PRESS


Soka Gakkai president meets with the president of India and discusses the Soka Gakkai’s efforts for peace.

Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada and his delegation met with President of India Ram Nath Kovind at the president’s official residence in New Delhi on Sept. 23.

President Harada first conveyed a message from SGI President Ikeda to President Kovind. He went on to share that the SGI has promoted its movement of peace, culture and education to 192 countries and territories, including the SGI organization in India (Bharat Soka Gakkai), which is committed to developing a society of contributive citizens.

President Kovind asked about its current activities, to which the Bharat Soka Gakkai chairperson reported that they began having symposiums and exhibitions about peace, and are engaging in different activities in various places. The president of India praised such efforts, saying that he highly values activities that are based on Buddhist philosophy.

President Kovind noted that through promoting interaction between the people of Japan and India, and by having these kinds of cultural activities, the Soka Gakkai is deepening the understanding and connection between the two countries. He also stressed that the values of Buddhism, nonviolence and compassion, are increasingly necessary in our currently divided world. He expressed his hopes for Soka Gakkai activities to build trust and advance peace.

President Harada explained that from an educational standpoint as well, the two countries could deepen their relationship—as India is a great land of education, and President Ikeda is the founder of Soka University. He referred to an encounter President Ikeda had with Kocheril Raman Narayanan, who was the vice chancellor of Nehru University and became the 10th president of India.

In closing, President Kovind shared his wishes to develop a long-lasting friendship with the Soka Gakkai and for its further development.

On behalf of SGI President Ikeda, President Harada (center) accepts an honorary doctorate awarded to the SGI president by Manav Rachna University. The ceremony took place in New Delhi on Sept. 23. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEIKYO PRESS.

President Ikeda receives honorary doctorate from Manav Rachna University.

As founder of Soka University, SGI President Ikeda received an honorary doctorate of philosophy on Sept. 23 from Manav Rachna University (MRU), located in the north Indian state of Haryana.

The ceremony was held in New Delhi at the Dr. Ambedkar International Center, where Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada accepted the honorary degree on behalf of President Ikeda.

Prashant Bhalla, president of the Manav Rachna Educational Institutions (MREI), conferred the degree recognizing the SGI president’s leading efforts in elevating humankind based on his contributions to peace, culture and education.

MREI was founded in 1997 by O.P. Bhalla, who upheld the conviction that “the development of education will revitalize the community.” He established Manav Rachna College of Engineering in 2004.

Manav Rachna means “Human Creation” in Hindi. With this spirit, the school has upheld the respect of students as their top priority and has raised numerous outstanding graduates.

After his passing in 2013, his son and current president, Prashant Bhalla, inherited this spirit and established MRU in 2014. Mr. Bhalla expressed that the more he studied President Ikeda’s philosophy, the more he realized that it resonated with his father’s beliefs and spirit.

“In a world of increasing division, Dr. Ikeda’s humanism is needed more than ever,” Mr. Bhalla said. “We have the mission to convey Dr. Ikeda’s ‘heart of peace’ to the youth who will take on the future . . . With the same mission, we will open a new world together. Based upon this conviction, today’s ceremony was very significant.”

To date, President Ikeda has received over 386 honorary doctorates and professorships from educational institutions of higher learning worldwide. WT

Report adapted from the Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.