The California State Assembly passed a bill AB.2282 on 26 May, taking a historic step, making the state lead the United States as the first provincial legislative body to legally recognise the difference between the ancient Hindu sign of Swastika and the Nazi emblem, the Hakenkreuz.
HAF’s Fremont-based Managing Director, Samir Kalra, Esq., stated, “HAF and Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan both recognize that the passage of AB.2282 (a bill), as amended, is a significant change that is the first step in reform. We still need to educate the public, media, and law enforcement about the differences between the hateful Nazi hakenkreuz and the peaceful meaning and sacred use of the swastika as has been done for thousands of years in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain communities.”
“The Hindu American Foundation is excited about this historic step and appreciates the leadership exemplified by Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan in overhauling the California Penal Code to ensure all Californians are treated equally, regardless of race or religion,” said HAF’s California Advocacy Director, Easan Katir, about the passage of the bill.
To learn more about the Swastika, read: Swastika: Use And Abuse of a Sacred Symbol, which HAF created in collaboration with the American Jewish Committee and Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington.
In March, an Indian-origin Canadian lawmaker had urged the people of Canada and the country’s government to distinguish between the Swastika, an ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus with the Hakenkreuz, a 20th century Nazi symbol, which symbolises hatred in Western societies, and not to put the two in the same league.
The move was welcomed by Hindu Americans, who had slammed recent attempts by certain vested interests in Canada to use this as an occasion to fuel hatred against Hindus in Canada.
“On behalf of over one million Canadians of several religious faiths and in particular Hindu-Canadians and as a Hindu-Canadian myself, I call upon members of this house and all Canadians to distinguish between the Hindu religious sacred symbol Swastika and the Nazi symbol of hatred called Hakenkreuz in German or the hooked cross in English,” Canadian Member of Parliament Chandra Arya said.