Manav Rachna University (MRU), a leading Indian private university, conferred an honorary doctorate to Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda, on Monday at New Delhi’s Dr Ambedkar International Centre. This was in recognition of Dr Ikeda’s spectacular contribution towards global peace and building a humane society. Reflections of his grassroots movement can be seen in the growing acceptance of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism in the Jammu region, especially by the youth in transforming their lives.Amidst a well-attended gathering including educationists and other prominent citizens, Minoru Harada, president of Soka Gakkai, received the honorary doctorate degree on behalf of Dr Ikeda from Dr Prashant Bhalla, President of Manav Rachna Educational Institutions.Talking about Dr Ikeda’s path-breaking peace initiatives, Dr Bhalla, who is also Chancellor, MRU (Manav Rachna University) said, “We at Manav Rachna, had a close tryst with some of his profound philosophies while reading about his works.” He quoted from a speech delivered by Dr Ikeda at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies in New Delhi in October 1997, “Education makes us free . ...It is through education that we are liberated from powerlessness, …Education enables us to look beyond superficial difference to perceive the great earth, the great sea of life that sustains us all.”
He said further, “Observing his illustrious credentials in making world a better place to live in, his spectacular contribution to creation of a culture of peace in the field of humanities, and taking human happiness to the next level, Manav Rachna University considers it an honour and a privilege to confer Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa upon Dr Daisaku Ikeda.”In his acceptance speech, read out by President Harada, Dr Ikeda emphasized the importance of education: “The ultimate goal of education is the happiness and growth of each individual.” And that, “Wisdom, creative ingenuity, and relentless effort exerted in the field of education has the power to draw the outlines of a new future for humanity and for our planet, beyond all limitations.”Bharat Soka Gakkai Chairperson, Vishesh Gupta echoed this sentiment and said, “In one of his essays titled ‘Why Education’, Dr Ikeda says, ‘I consider education to be the culminating undertaking of my life. That is because the victory of education means the victory of the people’.” He added that it was a matter of great pride that Manav Rachna University recognized Dr Ikeda’s extraordinary achievements to build peace and create a truly humane society.The conferral ceremony was attended by key representatives of the SGI, which had a large delegation of Youth. Manav Rachna University was represented by key functionaries including Dr N. C. Wadhwa, Director General, MREI (Manav Rachna Educational Institutions); Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, MRIIRS (Manav Rachna International Institute Of Research and Studies); Prof. (Dr.) I.K. Bhat, Vice Chancellor, MRU (Manav Rachna University) and Prof. (Dr.) Sangita Banga, Dean Academics, Manav Rachna University.