Return of the Swastika – Justice For Hindus

Return of the Swastika

It’s September, and that means our Hindu activists are back on college campuses all across America.  It’s time for JFH to revamp our campaigns, and we are starting with the “Return of the Swastika”.  Our first campaign went amazingly and we really started the process of changing public perception about the Swastika from a symbol of hate to its original meaning of power and benevolence.  Please see our previous campaign and join our fundraiser to bring the JFH Swastika campaign to a whole new level.Thanks!Each $20 Donation Provides Our Activists One Shirt
Each $200 Donation Provides Our Activists 5000 Post Cards The Return Of The Swastika IMG_0085[1] How are Hindus going to rehabilitate the Swastika to its rightful place? As controversy continues to plague this devout symbol, little seems to be happening to counter the negative publicity. Why? A lucky charm of sorts; a symbol of prosperity, good fortune, and wealth. These are some of the ideas the ancient Hindus associated with the Swastika. The word “Swastika” is Vedic Sanskrit for “that which brings wellbeing”. Today it is used to adorn Hindu temples, weddings cards, and on doors during festivals such as Diwali. Its widespread usage can be traced to 3,000 BCE, which was during the Vedic Age of the Indus Valley Civilization.PLEASE DONATEIMG_0080[1]For the past 70 plus years the Swastika has come to symbolize hatred, intolerance and xenophobia. However, before World War II and amongst the ancient Indo-European cultures, the Swastika was a symbol of luck, good fortune and the never ending cycle of the Universe. The symbol is as ancient as civilization itself and seems to have it roots in the oldest of them all; Hinduism. Ironically it is Hinduism and Hindu-derived religions like Buddhism that continue to preserve and protect the sacredness and true meaning of this enigmatic sign.IMG_0074[1]The Swastika has been referenced in Hindu Dharma with much frequency. But it has also found sacred meaning in other pagan beliefs such as the Slav pagans who used the Swastika to denote a symbol of the sun. The Illyrians used a clockwise facing Swastika to represent the sun which was the center of their worship. The Swastika remains a physical piece of evidence that connects most cultures of the ancient world. It was once found from the Far East in China and India to the Isles of Greece and the Fjords of the Vikings of Norway. Swastikas line many houses in Rome and can be found on an array of the earliest Greek pottery and as far away as Africa and the tribes of the Native Americans like the Navajo. In fact, the oldest Swastika today does not even come from India but, from Vinca scripts of Neolithic Europe over 8000 years ago. But nowhere did the Swastika enjoy as much prominence as it did in Hindu India, where it is to this day, a ubiquitous symbol.PLEASE DONATEIMG_0046[1]While the Swastika enjoys a venerable position in Hindu customs, its usage was severely undermined and misappropriated when the Nazi Party lead by Adolph Hitler snatched the Swastika from its ancient moorings. Hitler’s decision in regard to making the Swastika as a prominent Nazi symbol was predicated upon the Swastika’s prominence in ancient European culture and had little to do with the Swastika’s prominence in Hinduism. The Nazi Party lasted in Germany for only 12 years, today the Nazis no longer march the streets of Germany, or any other nation for that matter. But unfortunately, the Swastika continues to be a symbol of misinterpretation. It is of concern that not a lot has been done to rehabilitate the Swastika to its rightful meaning in Western countries.IMG_0038[1]It is very disconcerting to learn that several universities and schools across the United States are considering a ban on the sacred Swastika symbol. This effort was reinvigorated when a Jewish student posted a Swastika on a bulletin-board at George Washington University. These proposed bans on the Swastika in colleges and schools cannot be allowed to happen. What happened to a large number of “undesirables” in the Nazi era is despicable, but the Nazis never had a rightful claim to the Swastika. It was high jacked just as so many Hindu concepts and practices have been in the past and are still being hijacked today.PLEASE DONATEIMG_0042[1]Summer is the season of weddings and parties. In the city of New York, calls to the local police stations about loud music and sidewalk brawls are common. But calls over wedding decorations, those are rare. In the summer of 2014, two police officers from the 66th Precinct paid a visit to the Ramlakhan residence because of a complaint over decorations that were being put up for a Hindu wedding. A floral “welcome” banner was hung in the front of the house. The welcome banner had the Hindu Swastika, which is a symbol for ‘purity of the soul’ on either side of the word, “welcome.” At approximately 6pm two cops arrived to settle a hate crime. Their advise to the family was that they could keep the banner up because after all it was their property, but they were encouraged to remove the banner to, “avoid future problems,” implying that the ordeal would not be over until the banner was removed. Clearly the person who made the complaint could not see the difference between the Hindu Swastika and the Nazi Swastika. Yes – they are different.IMG_0047[1]IMG_0057[1]Had the Nazi symbol been drawn or placed on someone else’s property, the visit would have been understandable. If the symbol were actually the sign of Nazi Germany, then it would have been a viable call as well. But the fact that the plaintiff themselves failed to recognize what they were really looking at is no excuse for an abrupt visit from police officers. Whatever the reason is for the call, or for the visit, or for the passive aggressive warning – the larger issue at hand is that Hindus are constantly put into positions in which they fear their own culture. As a result from the call, the family cut off the Hindu Swastika and left the ‘Welcome’ part hanging. The family should not have been bullied into changing their wedding decorations just because someone with a certain cultural bias had their feelings hurt.IMG_0048[1]IMG_0050[1]With the current rate of globalization, the world and especially the West needs to understand what the Swastika truly means; peace, harmony, luck, the Universe and enlightenment. Many religions claim that some within their communities have hijacked their religion and they go about educating the rest of society on what their beliefs truly mean. Well, there’s one hijacking that is never spoken of; that the Nazis took this ancient symbol of positive meaning and turned it into a force for evil. The symbol of the Swastika itself was flipped on its side and used by others, not even the Hindus themselves, for unthinkable acts of violence.PLEASE DONATEIMG_0070[1]IMG_0064[1]Someone’s murderous insanity should not become a death knell for the existence of a significant symbol going back to antiquity. If the Swastika is to be banned, then let us propose the proscription of the Christian Cross as well. The Cross is emblematic of some of the worse kind of violence inflicted upon mankind under Christianity, even though the cross of course has earlier and different significance in other cultures. When Christianity was young and out of control, its faithful spilled over continents, planting the Cross, and committing atrocities in the name of everything the Cross represented. Yet we don’t see the same level of stigmatization of the Cross as we as we do a Swastika.IMG_0077[1]However, if the Swastika is to be rejected from society because others, besides the original owners, used it for their own cruel purposes and when the Hindus try to use it for their religious beliefs it is frowned upon, then shouldn’t the same be applied to the Cross or Moon and Star? These religious symbols were also used in cruel ways and by people who called themselves followers of the religions, even when those respective religions also claim that their beliefs did not demand such excessive cruelty. Yet the Swastika has never been used by any Hindu or Dharmic group for such purposes. It was a complete hijack of one civilization’s sacred symbol by a completely different group with no associations.IMG_0076[1]So then the questions remains why pick on just the Swastika? Why can’t we just educate society about the truth? Is it because Hindus are too passive? Are we again being punished for our distorted belief in unwarranted aggression? The lesson to be learnt from this is that we need to be more aggressive in gaining our respect. Hindus in no way supported the Nazi use of the Swastika so why should we have to suffer our beliefs and symbols to darkness? Especially when it is a Hindu majority India that sent the largest volunteer army in the world to stop the Nazis? The West must put aside their hatred for the Swastika just as India put aside their rebellion against British occupation and securing their Independence to help the West secure its own freedom by sending the largest volunteer army (2.5 Million) in the world to help the allies in World War II.PLEASE DONATEIMG_0040[1]It’s time that Hindus reclaim their sacred symbol and use it freely, just as Christians do the cross or Muslims do the moon and star. It’s time that the Jewish community, especially, recognize that the two Swastikas are different, and the messages conveyed by the Hindu Swastika are those of peace and purity. Hindus have made great strives in the United States, both in terms of wealth, education, community and religious representation in various forums. But let us not forget the Swastika. It is part-and-parcel of our heritage just as the Aum symbol, or Sanskrit, or Yoga are.Each $20 Donation Provides Our Activists One Shirt
Each $200 Donation Provides Our Activists 5000 Post Cards THANKS TO ADITY SHARMA AND TEAMIMG_0062[1]IMG_0061[1]
IMG_2834IMG_0088[1]Each $20 Donation Provides Our Activists One Shirt