Buddhist movement builds a culture of peace | india | Hindustan Times
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Buddhist movement builds a culture of peace

india Updated: Mar 04, 2009 01:12 IST
Serena Menon

THE INDIAN branch of the Soka Gakkai movement, Bharat Soka Gakkai, brought their message of peace to Mumbai for the first time.

The movement, which espouses a creed called Nicheren Buddhism, claims to have 12 million members around the world.

The Indian chapter’s exhibition titled ‘Building a culture of peace for the children of the world’ opened at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Deonar on Tuesday.

“We are entirely self-funded and believe that since the children are going to be granted the world we live in, we should start spreading peace via education, as it is the most important stage,” said Aurobindo Mohanty, a volunteer for the Indian chapter who is the vice president of marketing for a Reliance retail store.

“Soka Gakkai, meaning ‘value creation’ in Japanese, is the motto that drives this initiative.”

The exhibition, directed at college students, explained the movement’s concepts on a series of bulletin boards. One board described the barriers to world peace, another described what we need to attain peace. This includes listening, respect for diversity and love of the earth.

The exhibit brings together the ideas of hundreds of people of organisations dedicated to finding a path to lasting peace. It has already visited Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies and will move from TISS to the South Indian Educational Society College on Thursday.

Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, the president of Soka Gokkai and a leading Buddhist philosopher, has been submitting peace proposals to the UN every year.

Besides holding exhibitions, the movement screens short films, conducts research and has cultural exchange programmes.

The movement attracts volunteers from various walks of life. “I am a builder and my contribution to the cause is to encourage people to realise how important peace is,” said Suresh Kalani, a volunteer.