An Indian-Canadian legislator has urged the Canadian people and the country’s government to distinguish the “swastika,” an ancient and missionary symbol of Hinduism, with “Hakenkreuz,” a Nazi symbol of hate in the 20th century, and not to place the two. in the same league.
The move was welcomed by Hindu Americans, who have criticized recent attempts by some vested interests in Canada to use this as an opportunity to stoke anti-Hindu hatred in Canada.
“On behalf of over one million Canadians of several faiths, particularly Hindu Canadians, and as a Hindu Canadian, I call upon members of this House and all Canadians to distinguish between the sacred Hindu symbol of the swastika and the Nazi symbol of hate called Hackinkreuz in German or Swastika in English.
Speaking before the Canadian Parliament last week, Mr Arya said that in Old Hindi Sanskrit, the swastika means “that which brings good luck and well-being”.
“This ancient and missionary symbol of Hinduism continues to be used today in our Hindu temples, in our religious and cultural rituals, at the entrances to our homes and in our daily lives. Please stop calling the Nazi symbol of hate the swastika,” he said.
“We support the banning of the Nazi hate symbol Hakenkreuz or the swastika. But calling it a swastika is depriving Canadian Hindus of our religious right and freedom to use our sacred symbol of the swastika in our daily lives,” said Mr. Arya.
My statement in the Canadian Parliament today calls for a distinction between the sacred Hindu religious symbol swastika and the Nazi hate symbol Hakenkreuz in German or swastika in English pic.twitter.com/1Os0rFTedm
– Chandra Arya (@AryaCanada) February 28, 2022
The Hindu Alliance of North America (CoHNA), in a statement, welcomed Mr Arya’s remarks to clearly express his concerns regarding efforts to declare the swastika as a symbol of hate in Canada.
“We thank Representative Arya for taking a firm stand on this matter of great importance to over half a million Canadian Hindus and nearly two billion Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and others for whom the swastika and its equivalent are considered sacred and very auspicious,” Nikong said. Trivedi, President of CoHNA.
“Since 2020, our swastika education and awareness campaign has partnered with Buddhists, Jains, Jews and indigenous groups to ensure a better understanding and mutual respect around this ancient and sacred symbol,” he said.
As part of these efforts, CoHNA recently organized an interfaith dialogue with Jewish, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu leaders to highlight multiple perspectives on the topic and discuss the way forward.
In the recent past, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian-born leader Jagmeet Singh made statements disrespecting the swastika.
In February, amid massive protests by hundreds of truck drivers against Canada’s Covid restrictions, NDP leader Singh tweeted, “No place for swastikas and confederacy in Canada.
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