1. You Are At:
  2. English News
  3. World
  4. Australia to ban 'swastika' symbol | KNOW its history and relevance in India

Australia to ban 'swastika' symbol | KNOW its history and relevance in India

Swastika is an ancient and greatly auspicious symbol of the Hindu tradition. It is inscribed on Hindu temples, homes and other prayer rituals.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Canberra Updated on: June 08, 2023 11:05 IST
Australia to ban 'swastika' symbol
Image Source : FREEPIK Australia to ban 'swastika' symbol

Australia to ban swastika symbol:  The Australian government is planning to pass legislation to ban swastikas and other Nazi symbols nationwide due to an increase in far-right activity, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Thursday. The federal law would go further by outlawing the trade in such materials, Dreyfus said, even though the majority of Australian states already forbid such Nazi symbols.

Next week in Parliament 

“There’s been a rise in this kind of violent far right activity. We think it’s time for there to be a federal law which I’ll be bringing to the Parliament next week,” Dreyfus told Nine Network television. “We’ve got responsibility for import and export. We want to see an end to trading in this kind of memorabilia or any items which bear those Nazi symbols,” Dreyfus said. “There’s no place in Australia for spreading of hatred and violence.”

Will not affect use of swastika for Hinduism

Displaying symbols for religious, educational or artistic purposes would be among a range of exclusions from the ban. It will not affect the use of the swastika for people observing Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

History of swastika 

The swastika is synonymous with fascism in the West, but it goes back thousands of years and has been used as a symbol of good fortune in almost every culture in the world. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being." The swastika is thus understood to be a symbol of auspiciousness and good fortune.

The symbol has been used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia and is commonly assumed to be an Indian sign. Its positive and historical associations encouraged early Western travellers to Asia to begin using it at home. The swastika was widely popularised as a good luck charm at the start of the 20th century. 

Swastika as a Nazi Symbol

It was used by American military units during World War One. However, after the Nazis gained power in Germany in the 1930s, the connotations of the swastika had forever changed and the majority of these beneficial uses came to an end.

During its rise to power, the Nazi Party in Germany wanted to adopt a new flag. The swastika or hakenkreuz (hooked cross in German) rotated clockwise at 45 degrees, was seen as a befitting symbol. In 1920, Hitler formally adopted the swastika as the symbol of his National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party). The Nazis used the hakenkreuz (Nazi swastika) to represent their notion of Aryan identity. In his 1925 work Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler writes: "I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black hooked cross in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the hooked cross."

Later, the swastika was banned in Germany at the end of the war and Germany tried unsuccessfully to introduce an EU-wide ban in 2007.

Swastika a Hindu religious symbol

The swastika is commonly seen in India today. A symbol adorning temples, homes, vehicles, and on walls above entrances and doors. It carries a purely auspicious and welcoming meaning. Unlike the black hakenkreuz of the Nazis, the swastika used by Indians is usually red or yellow in colour and it is not tilted to the right, and has dots at each corner, which are believed to represent the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva).

For Buddhists, the swastika symbolises the auspicious footprints of the Buddha. For Jains, the swastika is the symbol of the seventh tirthankara (literally “ford-maker,” one of the liberated souls showing the way for others in the Jain tradition), with the arms symbolizing one of the four places a soul can be reborn in the cycle of birth and death.

(WIth AP inputs)

Latest World News

Read all the Breaking News Live on indiatvnews.com and Get Latest English News & Updates from World