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Dr. Radhakrishnan delivered a lecture on Resilient and Sustainable Societies
On June 18, 2015, Dr. N. Radhakrishnan presented a lecture titled, “Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies: Lessons from Gandhi and Dr. Ikeda” in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.

Prior to the lecture, Dr. Radhakrishnan and his wife visited Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture, an area severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. One of the local volunteers explained how high and far inland the tsunami reached at that time. Dr. Radhakrishnan also met Mr. Ken’ichi Kurosawa, who made a well-known signboard that reads “Let’s keep going, Ishinomaki!” to encourage local people affected by the disaster. Dr. Radhakrishnan commented that he was inspired by Mr. Kurosawa’s unlimited power and courage.” He also conveyed words of encouragement to those who are still engaged in recovery work.     

In his lecture, he said, “My wife and I went to Ishinomaki. The area had been devastated by the tsunami that hit there four years earlier. What we saw there brought tears to our eyes. It was heart-wrenching and would have been very difficult for anyone not to weep upon seeing what we witnessed there, even after four years of reconstruction. ‘Gambaro! Ishinomaki.’ I learned from this expression how the local people faced their problems with courage, and how they stood up and fought for justice. I was reminded that we humans can face any problems we may encounter with courage, conviction, and the inner fortitude that resides in each of us.”

He also elaborated on the thoughts and actions of Mahatma Gandhi and SGI President Ikeda and said that the way they interpreted social change and individual capacities have very interesting similarities. He remarked, “Gandhi and SGI President Ikeda have stressed the value of harmony in human survival. Harmony is needed within individuals as well as for peace in society. Ultimately, it acts like a beacon for world peace.” He also emphasized the importance of educating, trusting and empowering women so that we can create a world without war and hatred but with harmony, tolerance, and respect.

Lastly, Dr. Rahdakrishnan said that human beings control and consume nature, but that we must also learn to give back and live in harmony with nature. Rather than being mere consumers, he said, we need to become producers. He stressed that this holistic approach, which Dr. Ikeda proposed, will contribute to sustainable development and peace.

Dr. Radhakrishnan is one of the most eloquent and expressive Gandhian Scholars in India. He has been very active as a non-violence advocate, philosopher, writer and artist. He served as Director at the Gandhi Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Vice-President at the Delhi School of Nonviolence, Chairman of the Gandhi Media Centre, and President at the Centre for National Integration and Communal Harmony as well as General Secretary at the Asian Forum for Peace Research and Action. He is devoted to the propagation of Gandhian ideals for peace and international understanding.

Among many others, his publications include; Daisaku Ikeda: In pursuit of a new humanity (1993), Gandhi, King and Ikeda (2002), The Living Dialogue: Socrates to Ikeda (2006), Toward a Humane Century: Gandhi and Indian Philosophy (2009).

To date, Dr. Radhakrishnan has been involved in various IOP activities that started with an India-Japan joint symposium cosponsored by the National Committee of Dr. Ramachandran’s Centennial Anniversary held in September 2015. In April 2012, he gave a lecture entitled, “Nonviolence of Gandhi and Human Revolution of Ikeda: Their relevance to world peace.”

Organizer: The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP)
Lecturer: Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Chairman at The Indian Council of Gandhian Studies
Venue: Sendai City Welfare Plaza
Date: June 18, 2015

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