India’s Birsa Agricultural University Presents Honorary Professorship
On April 21, 2022, Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) in India conferred an honorary professorship upon Soka University founder Daisaku Ikeda in recognition of his longstanding dedication to spreading a philosophy of peace, culture and education rooted in humanism throughout the world. BAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Onkar Nath Singh entrusted the award to Soka University’s advisor and former president Yoshihisa Baba, who received it on Mr. Ikeda’s behalf at a ceremony on the BAU campus. This was the 399th academic honor conferred on Mr. Ikeda.
On April 20, the delegation from Japan also
met with BAU Chancellor Ramesh Bais, governor of Jharkhand, at his official
in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand State in eastern India, BAU is one of the
largest agricultural universities in the nation. It is named in
honor of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, a seminal figure in the struggle against British
In the citation, BAU Registrar Dr. S.
Chattopadhyay recognized Mr. Ikeda as “one of the world’s leading interpreters
of Buddhism, bringing its timeless wisdom to bear on the many complex issues
Vice-Chancellor Singh remarked in his address:
“For years, Dr. Ikeda has been
contributing through his ideas on agricultural policies and warning about the
danger of taking agriculture lightly. In his view, thinking about agriculture
involves thinking about all aspects of the future of humankind: culture,
tradition, respect for life and environmental protection. . . . I can very
proudly say that the honor conferred on him today is very special and
significant for all of us.”
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s sentiment that “The farmers are the heroes of the world,” Mr.
Ikeda, in his acceptance message, commended BAU for its efforts to support
those engaged in the noble work of agriculture.
He recalled his dialogue with the renowned agronomist Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, saying,
“In our discussion, we agreed that
the happiness of a nation depends upon the smiles on the faces of its farmers.
Farmers are the very people who safeguard and nourish the population. A future
in which the world’s farmers are living proudly with happy smiles on their
faces is the very picture of a world in which respect for the dignity of life
is upheld and enshrined. This is the vision to which we all aspire. . . .
Amidst the pressing realities of the world today, BAU’s efforts under the
leadership of Vice-Chancellor Dr. Singh to foster young researchers and carry
out innovative research are a beacon of hope for humanity’s future.”
[Adapted from an article in the April 25, 2022, issue of
theSeikyo Shimbun, Soka