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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:14 PM
Original message
Hindus fiercely defend Swastika, slam Nazi controversy

Hindu radicals have reacted strongly to a call by European parliamentarians for a Europe-wide ban on Nazi insignia, a symbol of good luck and prosperity for Hindus and part of all that is auspicious from marriages to starting of new businesses.

The ban was proposed after Britain's prince Harry provoked international outrage by wearing a Swastika armband and Nazi costume at a party. The pictures, beamed worldwide, prompted deputies in the European parliament to call for a ban on Nazi insignia, an idea that the European Commission said was worth considering.

In New Delhi, Giriraj Kishore, general secretary of the VHP slammed the move saying the ban could be devastating to the sentiments of the Hindus who have accepted and respected all religious symbols in their homeland. Kishore said any disrespect to the Swastik, a 5000-year-old emblem finding mention in the most ancient scriptures, could evoke a backlash against the Christian community, increasingly being suspected by India's radicals as being leading a silent conversion campaign.

"In reality, the religious symbol is sacred. Some people misuse it. It is improper if one were to ban it because of one person's misrepresentation. If one has to be banned at all, then the cross will have to be banned first," Kishore said in New Delhi.

interesting--since the Klan has taken the cross and made it a symbol of hate--would it be banned as well

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XNASA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. I thought that the Nazi swastika and the Hindu symbol were mirrored images
And really not the same. :shrug:
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. I think you're right.

At any rate, the swastika Kipling drew in an illustration in the Just So Stories would be rotating clockwise if it were a catherine wheel, and is square on, whereas the Nazi symbol is almost always drawn rotating anticlockwise, and at an angle as though it's rolling forwards.

It's a fairly subtle distinction, though, and I'd be very wary about ever using one even if it was going clockwise.
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moroni Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. The swatstiks I have seen
in another part of the world were "reversed" or left handed. I saw many in small and medium towns in South Korea where the majority of folks are buddist (not that the buddists use that particular symbol of course). I knew it symbolized a place of worship but did not know the religious connect to the Hindi....

blessings to all,
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Nazis stole the swastika from the Hindus
just like the Ku Kluxers stole the Christian Cross from the Christians,and bikers stole stole Saint John's Cross- St. Florian's Cross- Maltese Cross from the fire fighters.

    We just buried three Fire Fighters in NYC yesterday
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:22 PM
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3. it's a ridiculous proposition
try some education about the issue so that silly young princes don't do stupid things. Educate your people!

It's treating a symptom, and not the cause. Educating people about why the swastika used in some contexts is evil and wrong and when used in other contexts is a symbol of prosperity is what is required here. Anyway, don't the arms on a swastik point the other direction or some such? I dimly remember something like that from grade school (yes, grade school) in Germany.

I agree - they should go ahead and ban the cross while they're at it since it was used as a symbol in the crusades to kill hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, and later again in America as a symbol of righteous hatred in race and religious bigotry.
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illflem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. The word Swastika has its roots in Sanskrit
the language of ancient India, but the actual symbol is older it's been a Hindu symbol for thousands of years. For many millennia, before it was appropriated by the Nazis, the swastika was a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Almost every race, religion and continent honored the swastika -- a perfect example of the universal spread of a symbol thru the civilizations of American Indians, Hindus, Buddhists, Vikings, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Mayans, Aztecs, Persians, Christians, and Neolithic tribes. There are even Jewish swastikas found in ancient synagogues side-by-side with the star of David.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm thinking if I were Hindu that I would be upset
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 09:30 AM by supernova
at the usurpation of an eons-long symbol of my faith and culture by some whacko group that killed all their "enemies" and flamed out in less than 20 years.

That sorta brings up an interesting question. Once a symbol of basically "good" acquires a "profane" connotation, can you ever reclaim the "good" meaning?
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
7. Unfortunately
the symbol is irretrievably lost. It is, and will forever be, the Nazi symbol. I don't think the Hindus are getting it back.

As to the cross, it's not really identified with the KKK. Does ANYBODY look at a cross and think KKK? No.... perhaps a flaming cross, but not any old cross. Can you look at a swastika and not think Nazi? I doubt it.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. The swastika is only lost to Nazism if people continue to believe
that it serves as a symbol of Nazism.

The tune for Deutschland ueber alles was, long before the Nazis, a Christian hymn tune (written by one of the Haydns). I only heard the Nazi version after singing the Xian one for years in church. My view is that they misused it; I happy hum the tune to this day. When in Germany, I avoid humming it; it's banned.

Symbols only mean what people interpret them to mean. I have lots of Soviet posters and paraphernalia, some of which I'd disagree with if I took them seriously, but which look neat or the Russian sounds intriguing (Klin krasnym bej belykh). I knew a collector of Nazi stuff (although he was far from a Nazi, himself).

A bit out of context, but still: Unto the pure all things are pure: but ...
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mojaverose Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. Who Defines Us?
This brings up a very interesting and troubling question. How much do we allow others to define us? How much do We have to change ourselves to accommodate those who might be offended?

The very concept of Political Correctness is based on the idea that, somehow, other people have a right to control our ideas, symbols, and actions. That We have a responsibility to not shock them, or make them uncomfortable. Why?

Because Fundamentalists call themselves "Christians", with the resulting implication that everyone who does not agree with them is not, are all the rest of us to explain ourselves before speaking?

If a white person states a fact, that slaves were bred for strength, does he deserve to be fired because that fact upsets some people?

If a woman, who has told her child several times not to touch the food in a market, slaps the child's hand to reinforce the command, does that make her a Batterer?

Because some Tyrant uses a religious symbol, sacred to millions of people, as a symbol of His reign of terror, are those millions of people to be denied the right to use it if it upsets people who have no idea of its sacred history?

These are questions that need answers, if we are to survive as a civilized species. How far can we go in allowing other people to define us, and Their emotions to control us, before there is a backlash? Every psychologies will tell you that being Other Oriented is extremely dangerous to the psyche. Living on tenterhooks, terrified that we may, somehow, do or say Something that somebody else will find offensive makes people Paranoid. Paranoia leads to "defensive" violence.

Myself, I say "What Would Ghandi Do"? If Every Hindu uses the Swastika at the same time the jails wouldn't be big enough to hold them all. It's time we stopped letting other people decide define us.
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MsMagnificent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-10-05 02:50 AM
Response to Original message
11. You know how you never name a pet "Lucky"?
...because fate inevitably decree's that said pet will meet with ...well, extreme misfortune

In the past couple centuries (at least) the swastika has far from been an icon of good luck. Worse, it's been a sigil that, if not actually causing said misfortune, is one which strongly and positively correlates with bad luck and sorrow.

The last Tsarina of Russia, Alexandra, throughout her life held the swastika as her personal, auspicious symbol of Great Luck. Wherever she stayed, more often than not, she would take one of the Romanov diamonds and scratch that emblem into windowpanes: 'Alexandra was here'. These inscriptions were even applied to the windows in the series of Siberian houses she involuntarily occupied in and on the way to exile and her --and her entire family's-- eventual massacre.

Many of these 'autographed' windowpanes are still extant.

Alexandra lost her mother at a very early age and from then on she very rarely smiled. Although she was born wealthy and a full-blooded royal (granddaughter to Queen Victoria, who raised her) and even though she married into the richest and one of the most powerful families in the world she was always depressed, many times to incapacitation, and constantly, continually weighted down with deep foreboding.
After bearing 'just' 4 daughters, who were nevertheless greatly loved (and each absolutely beautiful); the girls, by Russian law, could not reign on the Russian throne (a law enacted by Tsar Paul I, the bitter and jealous son of Catherine the Great); Alexandra finally bore her beloved Nicholas a
Tsarevitch ...and we know the misfortune and ill health Alexei suffered.

Yet still through all this she had such faith in her swastika.

And of course it was adopted by the Nazi's, that really needn't be said it's so much a part of our knowledge of history.

I completely respect the wish of the people of India to reclaim and attempt to take back their millenia-old symbol

Yet if if this quandary was up to me... personally, I'd let that badge go. Karma is a Buddhist principle (and I believe a Hindu tenet also) but that embellishment is almost unreclaimable as a positive image.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-10-05 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
12. On Japanese maps, the left-facing swastika is still used
as the symbol for the location of a Buddhist temple.

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