Source: Hinduism Today
LONDON, ENGLAND, January 21, 2007: (HPI note: The following press release is from the Hindu Council UK.)
While Germany holds the European Union presidency, its Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has, without realizing its wider implications, proposed to ban the swastika throughout Europe. This is evidently to demonstrate Germany's repentance of the treatment meted out to the Jews by the Nazis. Although such a show of repentance is something everybody can appreciate, it does, however, look preposterous if it harms the world's oldest religion in its wake. This is because the proposed ban would have far reaching implications as it strikes against the very heart of Hinduism.
The swastika is the most auspicious symbol of the Hindu religion, symbolizing the four right angle arms of the ancient sun sign, with its attendant inner significance. The Swastika symbol is worshiped in the Hindu religion in order to bring well-being and peace from the four corners of the universe. Indeed, the Sanskrit meaning of swastika is "well-being." On the contrary, the Nazis had used the Swastika to usher in havoc, destruction and mayhem.
Anil Bhanot, HCUK's General Secretary said, "All ceremonies in the Hindu religion are initiated with the use of the swastika. To think of banning its use would render law-abiding Hindus as criminals. The Nazis used it for evil purpose and, as ordained, this powerful symbol of wisdom representing Lord Ganesha destroyed its abusers. It is ironic that the same country now wishes to pass punishment upon a people who use it rightly to pray for the welfare of all mankind. Banning an auspicious sign would be to inflict abuse on the Swastika once again. I hope the Germans would learn that two wrongs cannot make a right. Hindus seem to be becoming the new persecuted race, in a contemporary sense of the word."
The holocaust remembrance has been held annually all over the world, and Germany has very good relations with Israel and the Jewish people in general. It is therefore ludicrous to go a step further and ban the symbol when it clashes with the Hindu religious sign. It is hoped that Germany would not like to hurt one religion to please another. In view of the above, Hindu Council UK would urge Germany to initiate and give more prominence to the remembrance of holocaust, the evil that was perpetrated.
Any move to ban the swastika will be met with strong protest and resistance from the Hindu community because it will interfere with the Human Right to Freedom of Worship. This proposal having also been brought up in the past, it is now hoped that in view of its deep implications the German minister will abandon the idea once and for all.