This will determine the future success in the Kosen-rufu movement of Singapore. Youth is the future. They will either develop into fine individual who will assume the role of the pillars of Singapore Kosen-rufu movement or emerge as monstrous tyrant which persecutes its membership. Whether the youth of today will emerge as tyrant of tomorrow will have to rely on the youth of today who has the ability to develop penetrating insight to view thing basing on justice and integrity, and not from the perspective of one-sided or biased report.
In 'One By One', President Ikeda narrates the followings:
"Toynbee visited Turkey in 1921, when he was about 32 years old. He had gone to observe Greco-Turkish war that had been raging for two years. He first observed conditions from the Greek side, then from the Turkish. For Toynbee, guided as he was by Saint Augustine's injunction "Audi alteram partem" (Hear the other side), this was absolutely crucial. And he placed particular importance on listening to the side that was "the more on danger of not being a fair hearing":
'If one was to see straight, one must also see things from the mute party's point of view...
In the present conflict and controversy between Greeks and Turks. The Greeks were the vocal party once again. The Greeks had the ear of the West, and the West was in the ascendant in the world. I was familiar with the Greeks' case; I felt that it could take care of itself; the Turks' case was the one that I must take the pains to understand.'
Toynbee traveled to a town where Turkish civilians had been massacred. He witnessed the suffering of the Turkish refugees, and was outraged that these atrocities went completely unreported in the West. Writing down the facts exactly as he had seen them, he wired these to the Manchester Guardian, a leading British newspaper. The editor of the paper courageously published the full texts of Toynbee's report.
For centuries the Turks had been portrayed in the West as uncivilized savages. To make matter worse, the horrors of the 1915 Armenian Massacre carried out by the Ottoman Turks were still fresh in people's memories. And indeed, when the articles appeared, the newspaper was besieged by a storm of criticism. People attacked it for shamelessly publishing articles sympathetic to the "unspeakable Turks."
(Daisaku Ikeda in One By One - Page 18, 19)
It is a norm in our culture to always see and believe in the sole source of official report. As a result, it cripples one's ability to develop another way of seeing things. It also attenuates one's motivation from advancing even a single step forward to seek the truth. Except under the circumstances the youth of today is able to penetrate the crust of this cultural barrier and develop the eyes of justice and truth. Otherwise, the future is bleak for Singapore Kosen-rufu.
President Ikeda continues:
"Relying only on informations from the West - viewing things always from the Western perspective - does not provide a true picture of the world. There is an African view of the world, a world seen from the Middle East, from Latin America, through the eyes of various ethnic minorities. There is more to international society than just the West...
Much of the information that floods our world has been selected and tailored to fit preconceived notions and stereotypes.
In the extremity of wartime, repeatedly airing scenes of "our side" coming under attack will incite and outrage the populace. In contrast, scenes of the hellish misery inflicted on the citizen of the other country will rarely be broadcast.
The growth and development of various media can actually increase the danger of proliferating stereotypes and ready-make images. We are all exposed to this risks."
(Daisaku Ikeda in One By One - Page 19, 20, 21)
We strongly believe that the powerpoint presentation exhibited on the screen and the witnesses called upon to testify on the stage, during the expulsion of Stanley and removal of 5 senior YMD leaders, were all stereotypes and ready-make image. They have been selected and altered to fit the preconceived notions. Those were the tools and weapons of the top powerful authorities to execute their operation 'c' in Singapore. A move to shut the mouth of those who spoke against their interest.
It is utterly senseless to believe that a trip to Malacca could be used to plot against SSA. It is even more ludicrous to brand a group of camaraderie sharing the same thought, as 'clique'. It was obviously a joke of the century for the top authorities to paint the notion of people who spoke against the authorities as plotting against the organization. It was sharply pointed out in 'The Big Sweep' that till now, there wasn't a piece of clear evidence surfaced to proof the validity of the authority's claims. In contrast, what presented in 'The Big Sweep' was evidently clear and explicitly elucidated.
By and large, the IS Group of the 80's emerged with ill intention. The source of origin could be traced back to the organization in Indonesia. The purpose of their advent was to deny our mentor, President Ikeda and to oppose Soka Gakkai. They joined hands with our local disgrunted leaders to encroach into our local organization to poach our members to join alliance. Their eventual motive was to divide our membership to form a new community of faith, apart from the family of SGI; apart from our mentor.
To make matter worst, the horrors created by the IS Group are still fresh in the memories of our general membership. Henceforth, the top authorities craftily portrayed the expelled member and the removed YMD leaders as the emergence of another similar group that linked to IS group. These twisted facts was adequate for the top leadership of SSA to justify their execution on the expulsion and the removal. If the youth of today and those who are youthful at heart fail to see straight. That is to see things from the mute's party point of view, we will easily fall into the trap set by the plotter.
President Ikeda continues in One By One:
"It is vital that we each ask ourselves some important questions. For example: Do I accept without question the image provided to me? Do I believe unconfirmed reports without first examining them? Have I unwittingly allowed myself to become prejudiced? Do I really have a grasp of the facts of the matter? Have I confirmed things for myself? Have I gone to the scene? Have I met the people involved? Have I listened to what they have to say? Am I being swayed by malicious rumors?"
When we stop looking at ourselves, when we no longer question ourselves, we become self-righteous and dogmatic. Our discourse becomes a one way street. We cannot hear others, that real dialogue becomes impossible."
(Daisaku Ikeda in One By One - Page 21)
Youth of today and the pillar of SSA for tomorrow, I appeal to you to stop for a moment to ponder. Can we develop another way of seeing things? Its you who can make a change. It's you who will usher SSA into a better tomorrow. The future of SSA depends on you!