New York State Assembly bills remove references calling Hindu religious symbol Swastika ‘anti-semitic’ and ‘fascist’

On Friday (April 29), the Hindu American Foundation informed that the New York Senate and State Assembly dropped the reference to Hindu Swastika as an ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘fascist symbol’ in their bills titled, ‘S7680’ and ‘A9155’.

The Bills made references to the Capitol Seige of January 7, 2021, when supporters of former US President Donald Trump stormed into Capitol Hill which houses both the Senate and the House of Representatives over allegations of election fraud.

The contentious bills claimed that the Trump supporters had carried ‘Swastikas’ during the incident. “The attackers carried white supremacist symbols including the flag known as the ‘Confederate battle flag’ as well as anti-Semitic and fascist symbols including swastikas,” read the transcript of New York Senate bill ‘S7680’.

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) had informed that the New York Senate and State Assembly dropped the deliberate misappropriation of Swastika as a hate symbol after 4 months of continued deliberations with the legislators.

“HAF’s Anita Joshi and Shereen Bhalla worked tirelessly providing solid arguments and building strategic relationships in making this happen. We thank the NY State Senate and Assembly, and the sponsor leads for their efforts – Bichotte Hermelyn and Liz Krueger,” it said in a tweet.

Hindu American Foundation further thanked the Jewish Allies for their support. “Despite the horrific history of Nazi Germany, we thank our Jewish allies for their generosity in helping us end the false identification of the Hakenkreuz with the #Swastika,” it added.

The Swastika, a Hindu sacred emblem, finds its roots in the Vedas. The term comprises of two words, ‘su’, which means “good,” and ‘asti,’ which means “to be.” In other terms, Swastika implies bliss. The symbol can be traced back 6,000 years to rock and cave drawings.

“It is a common misconception that Hitler used the Swastika symbol. But Hitler himself never used the word “Swastika” to refer to his symbol. He called it “Hooked Cross”(“Haken Kreuz”),” wrote True Indology in Swarajya.

Although the Hooked Cross has been a sacred symbol of Christianity for centuries and Hitler was a devout Christian, evangelists had deliberately associated the Swastika with the Nazis to withhold the fact that “Nazism originated in Christian Socialism.”

Earlier in 2013, the American Jewish Committee, one of the country’s oldest Jewish advocacy organizations, released a leaflet clarifying the distinction between the Swastika used for millennia by Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cultures and the Nazi symbol.

When Hindus were outraged over the compulsory teaching of Swastika as a hate symbol

In January 2021, New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill in the New York Senate that mandatorily required schools to teach ‘Swastika’ as an example of a hate symbol to grades 6 to 12.

This push by the Democrat State Senator had resulted in outrage, with a petition demanding an amendment of the bill amassing more than 40,000 signatures. The AsaMai Hindu Temple & Community Center, Hicksville, NY was also a signatory to the petition.

In 2019, Kaminsky introduced a bill titled S6648, which conflated the terms ‘Swastika’ and ‘Nazi’, without any consideration for the sentiments of various Dharmic religious communities. At that time, it was opposed by the American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA).

Source : OpIndia

Leave a Comment

Notice : The source URLs cited in the news/article might be only valid on the date the news/article was published. Most of them may become invalid from a day to a few months later. When a URL fails to work, you may go to the top level of the sources website and search for the news/article.

Disclaimer : The news/article published are collected from various sources and responsibility of news/article lies solely on the source itself. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) or its website is not in anyway connected nor it is responsible for the news/article content presented here. ​Opinions expressed in this article are the authors personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of HJS and HJS is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. ​