Response to European Parliament's Discussion to Ban Swastika

November 14, 2006

Author: Clive Roberts

Source: Hindu Press International

The European Parliament is engaged in discussions to ban the Swastika. Their awareness of its symbolism is obviously limited to Europe post 1930! May I offer some information?

If you drive to Scotland, and visit the Queen's Scottish residence at Balmoral, then as you leave the car park and cross the bridge over the River Dee, you will see a monument to the fallen dead in (I believe) the First World War. Possibly the Boer War, I forget, as I now live in Holland. The granite around the inscriptions is bordered by hundreds of small Swastikas! This to me is evidence of the positive elements of the relationship which used to exist between Britain and the (at that time) Colonies in the East.

There are many views of the occupation and exploitation of India by Imperialist nations, and Britain had been one of the most aggressive. (I am English, my wife is a devout Hindu from Malaysia). However, this monument at Balmoral is evidence of the knowledge of the healing and spiritual power of the Swastika, right at the heart of the monarchy of Britain, at the height of its involvement with India and other Asian nations.

I was brought up in post-war Britain, and remember well the picture war comics which dominated and thrilled my youth. The then-recent victory over Nazism was of course paramount, perhaps rightly so, and this appealed to the young boys' imagination. The Swastika was of course demonized - the very word as well as the symbol - and used freely as a dramatic aid to the 'action-packed' stories. I still understand the negative emotional impact of the word 'Swastika'. It is deeply burned into the psyche of those of my generation, and that of my parents. However, more positive publicity is needed, and not just amongst the converted - who, of course, constitute the readers of HPI and the Hindu Council.