Monday, 23 January 2012


View profile
 Should the Swastika Be Banned?

Sam Panthaky/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Hindu religious men gave final touches to a folk art piece shaped in the form of the Swastika on Oct. 24, 2011.

By Diksha Sahni, Wall Street Journal (Blog), January 13, 2012

New Delhi, India -- The Swastika, a Hindu and Buddhist symbol later associated with Nazi Germany, sparked fresh controversy as local authorities requested a store in a New York borough to stop selling Swastika-shaped earrings because they deemed them offensive.

“Let me be clear – a swastika is not a fashion statement. It is the most hateful symbol in our culture, and an insult to any civilized person,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said in a statement, adding that selling the earrings amounted to a “hate crime.” Arguing that the sale of the Swastika earrings was “shocking to the sensibilities of all New Yorkers,” he demanded a recall of the earrings.

In an interview with Fox News, the store’s manager said the design of the earrings was “not a Nazi symbol.”

“I don’t know what’s the problem. My earrings are coming from India as a Buddhist symbol,” she said. In Hindu culture, the Swastika is depicted as an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles. In the Nazi version, the Swastika is tilted. The earrings could’ve been either.,10679,0,0,1,0

1. No, why ban a symbol because the nazi's adopted a counter clockwise version of it.

View profile
Would we want to ban the cross because the KKK uses it?

9. Actually, the Nazis used the clockwise orientation. But for certain historical dramas and docudramas

View profile
filmed on location in Europe after the war, law or strong local sentiment has prevented display of the clockwise swastika during filming so film-makers have instead used a counter-clockwise swastika in props such as the Nazi-era flag

10. My mistake. Thanks for the info. Very interesting.

View profile

11. The rotation does not matter, cos both versions predate the Nazis

View profile
Its not uncommon to see the right as well as the left rotating Swastikas in the East, Especially Hindu and Buddhist temples.
During religious ceremonies my grand mom usually draws four swastikas(in two mirrored pairs) on the doors of the room where the ceremony is held. It's a way of denoting sacred space, if a i remember correctly.

Furthermore, some of the swastikas are angled too(but rarer), like the Nazi one.
The only way I can differentiate the Nazi Hakenkreuz(hooked cross) from the Eastern Swastika is by the background and the colors used.

Also it has to be pointed out that the Nazis never called it the Swastika..they called it the Hakenkreuz.

14. Yep. I got it now. Thanks.

View profile
A real travesty that such a time honored symbol was misappropriated by the forces of evil.

2. No (nt)

View profile

3. Wherever they are banned, the Nazis just make alterations to bypass the rules.

View profile
Banning them doesn't do any good, but education does.

4. Uh.

View profile
First Amendment, anyone?

This isn't even a Nazi thing, and GODDAMN NAZIS CAN PARADE.

This is America. Geez.

5. Sure, but Only after the Cross is banned

View profile
Last edited Sat Jan 21, 2012, 02:53 AM USA/ET - Edit history (2)
The fact that even such a question arises speaks volumes about the ignorance of the ones who raise such a

Scott Stringer should take a history 101 class. People like him make me sick.

Ps: Ok I was just gonna put "nt" on the heading but decided I should explain a bit more.

The Swastika has been used for more than 6000 years In the Indian subcontinent/Asia(not to mention the
native American traditions). Hinduism and Buddhism consider it one of their major symbols. And no it is not
just found in the right-turning form, but also as its mirror image, and anything in between. Hitler hijacked it (it
had no relation to Hitler whatsoever till he hijacked it!) and used it for his agenda.The Nazi symbol has
absolutely nothing to do with Hinduism/Buddhism..nothing nada..
The Nazis called it the Hakenkreuz (Hooked cross)

We Hindus/Buddhists do understand what our Jewish brothers and sisters went through and do not flaunt the
symbol openly in the west ( Anyone who visited Asia will know how ubiquitous this symbol is, used in the
Hindu/Buddhist iconography). But to make such a big issue out of a piece of Buddhist/Hindu jewellery, and
have it taken down only serves to underscore the ignorance of the accuser. If only he had known a bit about
the world, he would not have made such a stupid claim.

As a Hindu I find these actions highly offending. And yeah...btw Hindus are the only people; in the History of
Judaism who have held no ill will towards Jewish people. Jews have lived/live in India for more than 2000
years, from the time long ago,when they came as refugees after their temple was destroyed in Jerusalem.
More came from Spain after the Spanish inquisition. India was the only nation where there was not even
a single incident of AntiSemitism( Except during the Goanese Inquisition by the Portuguese who carried
out pogroms against both Hindus and Jews).

Unlike many parts of the world, Jews have historically lived in India without any instances of antisemitism from
the local majority populace, the Hindus. However, Jews were persecuted by the Portuguese during their
control of Goa

Why does not Mr Scott Stringer also make such a statement against
the cross then? after all countless pogroms and inquisitions were 
carried out on its name...not to mention the KKK. Hell..during the
crusades and the inquisitions the cross was the rallying icon for all 
religious fundies. But we are more than willing to not associate the
cross with any such actions...however its fair game when it comes 
to Hindus and Buddhists though.


In fact There is less of a connection between the Nazi hakenkreuz(hooked-cross) and Hinduism than there is
between the KKK/Conquistadors/Crusaders/Inquisitors and the cross. The former were not Hindus/Buddihsts,
however the latter were most definitely Christian.

^^ OMG Nazi Buddha!!!

(Hindu Children celebrate Diwali, the festival of light)

^^ OMG Nazi Hindu Children!!

^^ OMG Holy (Nazi) cow!!




8. It has a long history with Native Americans, particularly the Navajo and Hopi.

View profile

Chilocco Indian Agricultural School basketball team in 1909

12. yep.

View profile
Also the Celtic people and seem to have used it as well.

I did mention the native americans in my post. Thank you for the pictures, The first one is pretty interesting.

6. No. Not if we want the first amendment to retain any meaning. - n/t

View profile

7. United States of America: Freedom of Religion except yours

View profile
I'll admit, the first time I saw photos from India and saw the swastika, I thought, "I didn't know Indians hated
Jews..." and then I did some research and found out that Hitler misappropriated a religious symbol for his
nefarious purposes. As others have stated, Nazi's have the freedom to have parade's/marches, well Buddhists
and Hindus should have the same freedom for their religious symbols. I think if we started thinking of the
swastika as religious symbols other than the symbol of Nazi Germany, that could take some of the power
away from racists.

13. Have you guys seen this Hindu Symbol?

View profile
Last edited Sat Jan 21, 2012, 01:42 PM USA/ET - Edit history (2)

^^ This commonly found Hindu symbol is made out of the
Shatkona(known as david's star in the west) and the Swastika. 
The Shatkona in Hinduism stands for the union of opposites. 
(Similar to the yin-yang symbolism)

Fun linguistic fact

Shatkona = Six pointed

Often one sees both the Shatkona and the Swastika in various combinations in Hindu places of worship/homes
etc etc

Shatkona also belongs to the class of symbols in Hinduism/Buddhism known as Yantras

Yantra (यन्त्र is the Sanskrit word for "instrument" or "machine". Much like the word "instrument" itself, it can
stand for symbols, processes, automata, machinery or anything that has structure and organization, depending
on context.

One usage popular in the west is as symbols or geometric figures. Traditionally such symbols are used in
Eastern mysticism to balance the mind or focus it on spiritual concepts. The act of wearing, depicting, enacting
and/or concentrating on a yantra is held to have spiritual or astrological or magical benefits in the Tantric
traditions of the Indian religions.

Ironically, a museum in irvine had to take the Shatkona-Swastika Symbol down( which was put up as part of
a exibit about Hinduism) due to protests, they Put it up again with an explanatory text a few days later.

Some more pictures of the Shatkona

A Children's SuperHero Character from the 90s in India, known as Shaktiman has the Shatkona as his symbol

15. Fascinating. nt.

View profile

16. A friend of mine

View profile
worked with an Indian man years ago, and he had a swastika displayed at his desk. At first, she was upset.
(She is Jewish, and it struck her as inappropriate.) She spoke to the man and Human Resources in a meeting
together, where she learned that it was indeed a Hindu symbol; when she learned that, she accepted that he
displayed it at his work station, next to her. But, it still disturbed her when she saw it, despite knowing it wasn't
meant as an anti Semitic symbol that it seems to overwhelmingly represent these days.

It's curious. The Nazi symbol is so embedded in our minds as an anti-Semitic symbol, it's difficult to separate
even when you know it's origin.

So, what to do? I don't know the right answer.

17. Lafayette Escadrille (American) aircraft, WWI...

View profile

When I was in Korea, I visited a Buddhist retreat that had swastikas all over the place. They were even worked into the elaborate trim of the railings on foot bridges.

And here in Los Angeles, there was an uproar not long ago when a Buddhist Center had small swastikas decorating some ironwork on its front gate (IIRC). They had been there for a long time before anybody noticed.

This topic comes up all the time in my Weird Hobby - I build scale models. Germany is very strict about ANY display of the swastika, even in 1/72 scale.

If the box art of a model plane shows a swastika on the tail, it gets a big black sticker slapped on it. Even inside the box, if the decal sheet has swastikas, they are individually cut out.

Most kit manufacturers have caught on, and now print swastika decals as crosses-inside-diamonds. Then
the builder just trims them and presto - instant swastikas.

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, the hobby shops didn't care about the swastika...cough. But in one shop, I noticed that on the box art for WWII German kits, the regular Luftwaffe crosses on the fuselage were crudely blacked out with a marker.

Turned out the shop owner viewed those crosses as some sort of Xian propaganda, and didn't want them displayed in his store.

I guess you can't win...

No comments:

Post a Comment