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NEWS: UK Hindus fight to reclaim swastika from Nazis

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posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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The fight to ban the use of Nazi era symbols picked has a new opposition group. Hindus in Britain have launched a campaign to take back the swastika and restore its 5000 year old history as a luck symbol. Outrage over the pictures of Prince Harry wearing the symbol at a party has led to the banning calls.
 



story.news.yahoo.com
LONDON (Reuters) - Hindus have launched a campaign in Britain to "reclaim" the swastika from its Nazi past and reinstate the 5,000-year-old emblem as a symbol of good luck.

They were stung into action when European parliamentarians called for a Europe-wide ban on Nazi insignia after Britain's Prince Harry provoked international outrage by wearing a swastika armband and Nazi costume at a party.

"What we have decided to do is to reclaim the swastika," said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum representing 700,000 Hindus in multi-cultural Britain.

He said of the Hindu religious symbol purloined by Adolf Hitler for his National Socialist Party: "It has been used for 5,000 years to promote life. It brings good luck and wards off evil."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Its also a symbol for Buddhists in general. My wife is a Buddhist. When we first started dating, we visited one of the biggest temples outside of Asia located in Talmage, California. As I was walking the grounds, imagine my surprise when I came across the swastika in several murals and the giant bell. I started to think about skinheads and the like. I asked a monk that was walking by and we had a lengthy conversation about the subject. As it turned out he was the head monk, and to this day some 13 years later, whenever we visit, he still remembers me by name. At any rate, the symbol they use looks the same, but it is opposite of the way the Nazi's use it in comparison. Most people do not notice and view it the same way.

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[edit on 1/25/05 by FredT]




posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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Good for them man, its about time someone reclaimed that powerful symbol for the side of good. Doubt they'll be able to do much about it tho, but at least someone is standing up for something somewhere!

The swatstika is one of the oldest things man ever made, apparently there are positively prehistoric remains, a carving of a bid with wings outstreched, with a swatstika on each wing! Its the eternal wheel, the cycle, the great tribal dance transfixed, everything, technically! Thats why, I think personally, it evokes such wrath when seen, because its such an ancient and powerful symbol of the human skull that it can only elicit very strong responses.

Of course, there is the problem that hindu and other indian nationalists during the wwii colonial period, the 'revolutionary government in exile' so to speak, fought with the nazis during the war,the tiger legion, and returned to become that indian nationalist party (the one that just lost to the communists).



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Amazing how people latch on to symbols isn't it?

The swastika was apparently a VERY early religious symbol. People brought it with them as they spread around Europe Asia and the Americas. It theoretically may have been a part of a "proto-religion" which most of the ancestors of modern man believed in.

All of that, and BAM it's evil because we saw Hitler wearing it. You'd think there would be some residual positivity from 5,000 years of good-luck charm status, wouldn't there?

I forget the number of the unit, but did you know that up until 1939 there was an American military unit with a swastika on it's shoulder patch?
(In a quasi-related historic oddity, Hitler's private train was codenamed Amerika until America declared war.)



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 10:16 PM
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Too late..
The swastika (note that we even call it by the nazi name instead of the original name it had) has been poisoned by th nazis. I cannot ever imagine it being seen again as a "symbol of peace". These things happen, meanings change through history.



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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Quote: "5000 year old history."

You see I told you! You are right - it has been poisoned by the Nazis! I know lets call it "Sun Wheel" or
"Thor's Hammer" again! Ever read Marvel Comics - Thor is COOL!


[edit on 25-1-2005 by Seraphim_Serpente]



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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Wasn't it always called a swastika? We use the german spelling rather than the sanskrit translation, but it's the same word. Literally translated it means "related to well-being".



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 11:17 PM
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As a Hindu, it pains me to see desecration of our religious symbol by Nazi's by committing heinous atrocities under it. Considering what was done by the Nazi’s, I’m not surprised that Europeans react negatively to our Swastik.

Its time we took back what is rightfully ours… and the only way to do it is by eliminating the ignorance that surrounds the symbol.



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 11:30 PM
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History does not change the meanings of symbols. It is people who change it - and they can just as easily change it back too. And I am going to help change it back by adding the Hindu swastika to my avatar to show my support. I hope others who are for this change will do the same(could ask a moderator to add it to your avatar)



posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 11:37 PM
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im a hindu too. i was pained to heat that swastika was to be banned. why? only because it is a symbol of hitler's heinous crimes? and hindus have been worshipping swastika fron the beginning of time. i guess that has no meaning. i just hope this is not another subject for fighting between different religions.



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by vrushalk
Its time we took back what is rightfully ours

Not for nothing, but the symbol is hardly the property of the hindus or any other group. Its usage predates any form of hinduism, having said that, its got an obvious association with buddhists and hindus.

ic
History does not change the meanings of symbols.

Context defines the meaning of symbols. This one, in a nazi context, means a completely different thing in a buddhist contet, and a different thing in a prehistoric context.


why? only because it is a symbol of hitler's heinous crimes?

Well, the idea is to make nazism effectively illegal, but obviously its not going to work because of other cultures that use the swatstika.



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:16 AM
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I am sure that in India and the surrounding societies that the use of the swastika would be seen for its original meaning.

However in the western and european culture it is associated with the reign of the nazis. You need to abide by the rules of the culture. For example doing the "thumbs up" for hitchhiking in greece means "sit on this". Although by now greeks would understand what you would mean because of all the western tourists, it is still better to resepct their culture and not use it (unless you want some irate elderly greek punching you out)

If I went to india and demanded to be able to set up a cow slaughterhouse in varanassi how acceptable to the local culture would that be? What if I demanded that Indians stop throwing bodies in the Ganges as its unacceptable to western culture? What would you think of a person who demanded that these cultural practices stopped just because THEY objected?

There is plenty of evidence in india recently with the murders of hindu and muslim followers that there is no respect of each others cultural symbols among the local population. How can Indians then demand that the west respect their cultural symbols? It is a demand that they themselves do not follow.

So the symbol is contextualised by the society you are in. In THIS society it is an unexceptable symbol, and those who would want to change the meaning to something else do not show respect to the people in this society who suffered or who's families suffered by the nazi regime.

It is out of RESPECT for the people in western society who are offended by it, that it should be banned. What the people above are advocating is that their rights are greater than the respect owing to those who suffered.

To ignore the meaning of it now is to ignore one of the worst events in western civilization, and to ignore those who suffered and still suffer by it. If you want to use the swastika then move to a society (such as india) where it holds a different meaning, it the height of selfishness to demand that in western society the right to use it.

Try and use it as an avatar here and it will be immediatly removed.


Originally posted by hanks7772000

im a hindu too. i was pained to heat that swastika was to be banned. why? only because it is a symbol of hitler's heinous crimes? and hindus have been worshipping swastika fron the beginning of time. i guess that has no meaning. i just hope this is not another subject for fighting between different religions.



[edit on 26-1-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:22 AM
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There is such a viceral reaction to the symbol and all it stood for, that excpet within the neo-Nazi clowns, I doubt even 200 years from now it will be acceptable in any form. No matter what the intentions, even when i still visit the temple you know what I always think back to? The Huge flaming swastika shown in "triumph of the Will" and all the death and destruction assosiated with it.



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
It is out of RESPECT for the people in western society who are offended by it, that it should be banned.

I disagree. Something should'nt be banned becuase its offensive. In the US , there isn't much basis for banning it, except out of some take on the sedition act. In europe, entire ideologies are outlaw, so they could do it on that basis.


What the people above are advocating is that their rights are greater than the respect owing to those who suffered.

Well, of course their rights are. And what could be better than making the swatstika the goodly symbol its supposed to be?


If you want to use the swastika then move to a society (such as india) where it holds a different meaning, it the height of selfishness to demand that in western society the right to use it.

Its a guarentee of western society that outright nazis can use it at nazi rallys to advocate naziism, let alone that buddhists should be legally entitled to wear it. I understand what you are saying, it's like, a person wouldn't be allowed to have a pic of a person at a concentration camp here, but the swatstika is something a little different no?


Try and use it as an avatar here and it will be immediatly removed.

Really? Wow, you obviously feel very strongly about this. At least you are making a stance. I have to question it tho, this is, after all, an international forum. The cross is conceivabl horribly offensive to some poster, does it have to be offensive to administration in order to be banned? Its a religious symbol for many hindus and buddhists, just doesn't seem right to allow nazi horrors continue to supress people.

Heck, ATS allows nazis to operate here, but shuns a scribble?



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:33 AM
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Rats Nygdan you missed my added comment above...
There is plenty of evidence in india recently with the murders of hindu and muslim followers that there is no respect of each others cultural symbols among the local population. How can Indians then demand that the west respect their cultural symbols? It is a demand that they themselves do not follow.

As hindus have no track record of respecting others rights (cf the partition) why do you demand the west to respect yours?

There are infact 2 meanings of the swastika now, one for each culture you are in. Would it be better if the west demanded that hindus removed the swastika from their culture because it is offensive to Jews? Each symbol holds equal and opposite meanings depending on the culture you are in. Tough.

People gather around the symbol. If you want to ban christianity you ban the cross. The symbol of naziism is the swastika to ignore that is futile.

We allow nazis to operate here (infact its just been a matter of debate in the mod forum) because their ideas are easily refuted and the members are clued up enough to distinguish truth from fallacy.

We ban the symbol because it offends people, just as we ban pornographic and hate symbols, beacuse of the offence they cause.


[edit on 26-1-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:53 AM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
As hindus have no track record of respecting others rights (cf the partition) why do you demand the west to respect yours?

Because its incumbent on westerners, americans at least, to protect peoples inalienable rights, certainly within their own borders. I agree, there is a great deal of irony in an intolerant person demanding to be tolerated. But its just an ironic world is all. Besides, what reason is there to think that the hindus (and keep in mind its buddhists also) here are intolerant?

We ban the symbol because it offends people, just as we ban pornographic and hate symbols, beacuse of the offence they cause.
Man, I dunno, doesn't seem quite right, to scrub away the symbols, because they represent an offensive ideology, but allow the offensive ideology. I know you guys have a board to maintain and all tho. Look at it like this, I am in the west, in the nazi context when it comes to the swatstika, but I am also familiar with the actual context of the swatstika and its various meanings, that its on buddhist statues, in hindu illustrations, even on greek and roman temples, along with nazi badges and the like. Thru education, one no longer only sees it as one or the other. Now, when I see a swatstika, I think, nazi! But thats a visceral reaction, not my rational self that is put on edge by it. Would it not be best to promote understanding on the issue? Rather than have some relic of the nazi horrors offending and terrifying people a hundred years from now?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that on it.



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 01:03 AM
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"There is plenty of evidence in india recently with the murders of hindu and muslim followers that there is no respect of each others cultural symbols among the local population"



It has always been a westerner's habit to look at the negative aspects and point out and make remarks about a miniscule incident in india. India has got the largest no of muslims and hindus in the world. Our Prez is a muslim and PM is a sikh. Out of a million people if u point out a few murders ur goin in the wrong direction. cant u see that except rare circumstances, indians, muslims, christians, jains, buddhists r living together in harmony and they feel good. we all respect each others religions and a small incident cant and above all shouldnt let u conclude that we dont respect each others religions



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 01:09 AM
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Nygden, I can see your problem, you are a product of both cultures. As a result you see the symbol in its schizophrenic wholeness.

Here is a solution, I assume that you are of Indian extraction, therefore in your personal use feel free to use the swastika, as neo nazis are not often associated with Indian people, you will be given the benefit of the doubt and you can explain the original reason.

This also has a positive aspect, if you find yourself accidently in a darkened alley with some skinheads sizing you up and no help in sight, you can whip out your swastika, shout "Heil Hitler!!", and goose step past them. Then while they are saluting back run like hell....



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 01:09 AM
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Let's ban the cross, too. The nazi's used them also on their bombers and uniform. Now it's cool to have one on a harley or a custom Jesse James bike.

People are too selective. It would be an insult to someone out there to ban the cross, and it would be an insult to someone to ban the swastika.

Just because some chump used it in a war and now other chumps use it as symbolism for their suffering(imagined or real).



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 02:35 AM
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Netchicken, even though you're a moderator I think you're out of line in saying that a swastika avatar would be immediately removed. What if I were to use an upside down cross as my avatar would it be removed as well?

Nygdan is right, it's all a matter of education.

From your statements Netchicken, I assume you live in America? Wasn't America established by embracing different cultures? It is the land of the free and opportunity. Also, if an individual wanted to put any symbol in his/her avatar would it not be considered practicing the first bill of rights under the American constitution? Even though the first amendment states freedom of "speech" there have been many court decisions that break this word down to the point of non-verbal expressions (such as wearing of symbols) are now encompassed.

Even if you are not American and reside in another country are not people allowed to express themselves? Unless you live in a communist / dictatorship country, you would not be reading this right now anyway.

Now, you could take the easy way out of this argument and just simply state that this is a private forum and it doesn't follow the rules of edict but, I would hope you would not and give some sound input as to why individuals of this community cannot start to educate the rest of the community.



posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 02:41 AM
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You're all missing something. You can ban the swastika as used by the nazis and still allow the use of the swastika as a good luck symbol. They are different. People will get them confused and when they are chastised for the use of one and not the other it will serve to educate them.



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