History is an interesting subject but if it is doctored or manipulated to suit a particular narrative or push particular propaganda, then it can put both the present and the future in jeopardy. In Bharat, specifically, Hindus face a grim situation where their religion, culture, and heritage have been distorted and maligned to such an extent that they are totally cut off from their roots and therefore not in a position to fight such distortions.
Let’s take the example of ‘Swastika‘, which is an auspicious and ancient symbol of Hindu Dharma, which has been and still continues to be used in our homes, temples, cultural and religious rituals, and our daily life. But do you know it is one of the most misunderstood religious symbols in the world?
Let’s try to search Swastika on google and see what you get.
As shocking as it sounds, the unfortunate reality is that even most of the Hindus feel that Hitler’s Nazi party symbol and Swastika are similar. However, the Nazi symbol is known as Hakenkreuz or the Hooked Cross, and it is an infamous symbol worldwide owing to its association with the Nazi Army, which committed grave atrocities on Jews and other European people.
What is Swastika?
It is a cross with arms bent at right angles and has always been used as a sign of positivity and hope. It is an ancient symbol, that has been used for thousands of years representing prosperity and good fortune. It symbolizes the Sun and evokes a divine feeling and a sense of auspiciousness. The word Swastika itself is derived from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “conducive to well-being”.
What is Hakenkreuz or Hooked Cross?
The Hakenkreuz or Hooked Cross is a Christian symbol, that became the emblem of the Nazi Party in 1920. The European world used various terms such as gammadion, cross cramponnee, fylfot, tetraskelion, or Hakenkreuz. It was Hitler, who designed the flag of the Nazi party. He used the black, red, and white colors from the old German imperial flag to connect the past with the future.
However, he gave a whole new meaning to this flag where the white color portrayed nationalism, the red color stood for the social idea of the movement, and the Hakenkreuz was used to reflect the importance of the Aryan race. In 1925, Hitler mentioned this in his autobiography Mein Kampf.
How Swastika was demonized post Second World War
After the Second World War, some nefarious attempts were made to equate the Swastika with Hooked Cross. The German government banned the public display of this symbol, and it still remains illegal there. The Swastika was dubiously associated with Hitler and the neo-Nazis, and the western world made it a potent symbol of white supremacists or far-right groups.
The image of Swastika was corrupted and an entire intellectual army was roped in to associate it with the horrors of Nazism and their atrocities. Even in 2007, several german politicians tried to ban the ‘Swastika’ symbol in the European Union, which forced Hindus to oppose such attempts vehemently.
Now Canada’s NDP party led by Jagmeet Singh, who is a well-known Khalistani supporter, is also trying to get the Swastika banned by calling it a hate symbol. NDP House Leader Peter Julian is planning to introduce a private member’s bill that aims to ban the display and sale of hate symbols in Canada, which includes the Swastika, Ku Klux Klan’s insignia, and Confederate flags flown at a trucker convoy in Ottawa in recent times.
Jagmeet Singh also promoted a petition related to the bill and while expressing his hatred towards Hindus said, “Swastikas and Confederate flags have no place in Canada. We have a responsibility to make our communities safe for everyone — it’s time to ban hate symbols in Canada.”
It is clear-cut propaganda to mislead the people by drawing parallels between Swastika and the Nazis’ hooked cross in their attempt to get the Swastika banned. Hindus have slammed this nefarious attempt of Singh and Canadian lawmaker Chandra Arya has urged the people of Canada to distinguish between the Swastika, an ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus, and the Hakenkreuz, a 20th century Nazi symbol of hate and not to put the two in the same league.
In a victory for pro-Hindu groups, politicians, and the Indo-Canadian community, Peter Julian has now agreed to amend the language of the bill to differentiate the pious swastika from the Hakenkreuz, or the hooked cross.
However, this is just one small victory and there is an urgent need for Hindus to come up with a strategy to ensure our religious symbols are not misunderstood or used as a tool for propaganda against our own religion and people. The biggest aspect here is to enlighten Hindus themselves so that they can understand the importance of their religious symbols, and various propaganda being spread to demonize them.
Fortunately, we have some tireless Hindus who made a documentary – “The Silence of Swastika – biggest betrayal of the 20th Century”. It is a very well-researched film directed by Garvit Bhardwaj and Anuj Bhardwaj under the banner of AKTK Documentary. It exposes the pseudo mindset of the western world that has tried to demonize the sacred Hindu symbol.
This documentary explains the origin and significance of Swastika while highlighting the West’s stigmatization of the symbol leading to misunderstandings and unwanted protest while also highlighting the influence of Christianity on Adolf Hitler. Hindus must watch such pieces of art and spread the information to others so that nobody can orchestrate such evil propaganda against us, and malign our religious identity.