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‘Swastika’, Symbol of Well-Being Misrepresented

Hindus symbol of peace cannot be confused with Hitler’s mark of Hatred. Hindu Swastika has nothing to do with Third Reich or Nazis!

Neha Dahiya / New Delhi

On February 2, 2022, Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted that it\’s time, \”to ban hate symbols because we have a responsibility to keep our communities safe for everyone. We can ensure that hatred is given no space to take hold and no air to breathe”.

This was in response to agitating Canadian farmers that waved flags having ‘Swastika’ displayed prominently. Singh’s tweet also hit social media after farmers blocked Ottawa demanding relaxation in Covid 19 restrictions. These farmers, many of them Sikhs, had also laid siege to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office as well as restricted movement of cargo across US border.

Left-Swastika, Right-Hitler\’s Hakenkreuz

Well, none can dispute any campaign against hatred. But then, why should anyone draw in Hindus symbol of prosperity, ‘Swastika’ into a slugfest between the Canadian government and the farmers?

This is not the first time that Swastika has come into focus in Canada and elsewhere. In the past also, Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh had accused that those displaying Swastika were propagating enmity and violence.

Both, Trudeu and Singh are grossly wrong. Their statements laced with political nuances may have associated Hindus’ holy symbol to Nazis’ hooked cross intentionally. Through these controversial statements Canadian government officials seem to be bracketing peace loving Hindus with Nazis into one flock.

This propelled Hindu PACT (Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective) to urge Trudeau and Singh not to conflate “Swastika,” the ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and many indigenous communities around the world with “Hakenkreuz” of Nazis.

Nazi symbol of Hatred from the twentieth century in German or the hooked cross in English was never referred to as Swastika even by Adolf Hitler. He always described it as \’Hakenkreuz\’.

Hooked Cross has also been usage for long as sacred insignia of Christianity, easily visible in art and engraving across various old churches and chapels. The hooked cross existed as a symbol of Christendom. It was identified in the second century CE on early Christian Graves of Rome. 

Moreover, \’Hakenkreuz\’ is nowhere similar to the Swastika. Swastika lays flat to the base, unlike the Nazi hooked-cross that was slanted 45 degrees from the horizontal and always oriented in the “S” letter direction for socialism.


On the contrary, Swastika mentioned in the Vedas (Hindu Sacred Texts) appears differently. It came into being from Sanskrit words \’su\’ which means \”good\” and \’asti\’ that denotes \”to be\”. In other words, well-being or total surrender to Paramatma (supreme soul) and acceptance of the fruits of Karma is what Swastika represents.

It was about 6000 years back that Hindu Swastika appeared in rock and cave paintings in India. It rotates clockwise and represents Surya (the sun) and Brahma, the creator. It is thought to be a powerful symbol and the insignia of Ganesha, the Hindu God of luck.

Swastika was also prevalent in Ancient Greece, and its remnants can be found in ancient city of Troy that existed 4,000 years ago. Ancient Druids, Celts, and Nordic cultures all embraced the Swastika. Nevertheless, the \’Hakenkreuz\’ is misrepresented as the Swastika and anti-semitism associated with \’Hakenkreuz\’ is attributed to the Swastika.

This misrepresentation essentially hides the notion that German socialism originated in Christian Socialism. A legislation in the Canadian parliament restricted display of three different hate symbols that are used to mobilise movements. Bill C-229 barred the display or sale of The Nazi Swastika (misrepresented Nazi Hakenkreuz), the Ku Klux Klan\’s insignia, and the Confederate flag. 


Responding to the erroneous presentation by Jagmeet Singh and Justin Trudeau, Hindu PACT Executive Director Utsav Chakrabarti said, this would lead to hate crimes against Hindus and Sikhs.

Six Hindu temples in Canada’s Greater Vancouver have been vandalised and looted in the past few months. Indian origin member of Canadian Parliament Chandra Arya had appealed for recognising the fundamental difference between Hindu religious holy sign Swastika and the Nazi symbol Hakenkreuz.

Chandra Arya said that in Indian language Sanskrit, Swastika means something that offers good luck and represents well-being. He asked people to stop referring Swastika as a Nazi symbol of Hatred.

Nazi symbol of Hatred, the Hakenkreuz or hooked cross should be banned. By calling it Swastika, we Hindu-Canadians are being denied the religious right and freedom to use our holy symbol Swastika in everyday life. It\’s not first time that the western world misrepresented Swastika or conflated it with Hakenkreuz or Hooked cross. 

In January 2021, New York Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill in New York Senate that proposed making it mandatory for schools in New York to teach \’Swastika\’, an auspicious and revered sign of Hindu Dharma, as an example of Hate.

The Bill titled Senate Bill S2727 conflates the Dharmic Swastika with the Nazi sign of Hakenkreuz, or Hooked Cross, and mandates that the Swastika should be taught as an emblem of Nazi Germany. Therefore it should be taught as a Hate symbol from grade 6 through 12. Currently, the Bill is under review by the education committee of New York. The Bill will then be out for a vote in the New York Senate. 

Not able to comprehensively distinguish between the Dharmic symbol Swastika and the Nazi hate symbol Hakenkreuz seems to be one aspect of the problem. In 2019, Todd Kaminsky introduced a similar bill titled S 6648, confusing Swastika with Hakenkreuz and ignoring Dharmic religious communities\’ sentiments. The Bill was opposed by American Hindus against Defamation (AHAD), an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America. This misrepresentation of Hindu symbol Swastika with Hakenkreuz is also part of well-intentioned individuals, organizations and groups perpetuating anti-Hindu notion. Unless, the world communities sensitize themselves to these devious moves, crimes and abuses against Hindus may get accentuated further.

(Author is content writer for Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies based in New Delhi. Views expressed are author’s own.)

2 thoughts on “‘Swastika’, Symbol of Well-Being Misrepresented”

  1. Pingback: US Figures Big On Human Rights Violations

  2. Thank you for explaining the discovery by the historian Dr. Rex Curry that the hooked-cross under German National Socialist was slanted 45 degrees from the horizontal and always oriented in the “S” letter direction for “socialism.” Dr. Curry is also famous for his revelation that the USA’s Pledge of Allegiance to the flag (written by socialists) was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior.

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