Swastika!

It was a touching and yet a clichéd moment on the latest Gray’s Anatomy. A patient refused to be examined by a lady doctor and when a male doctor offers to help, again says no. So it turns out that the patient being a perfect racist refuses to be examined both by the initial female and male doctors because they were black! Finally he has to put up with the black lady doctor and while performing the surgery she makes an incision running across the ‘swastika’ that the guy has tattooed on his abdomen. Now thats what I am talking about. Ain’t it a fabulous token gesture?

Jokes apart and though I would love to see such parochial attitudes marginalized, it is surprising to see how one man can completely twist the meaning and significance of a symbol!

‘Swastika’ is an Indian symbol (I am told that most of the ancient societies had some version of this symbol) and represents well being and auspiciousness in every day Hindu life. Many houses will have it placed on the threshold of their house in some from or the other. So as much as I hate what Hitler and folks did to the Jews, I hate to see the symbol of auspiciousness mutilated to represent utter disgust and hate.

What is actually more disturbing is that the pairing of Swastika with hatred in peoples mind in this part of the world is so strong, that it almost never seems to occur to anyone that believing in such association may hurt some other societies at the same time. Every time you associate Swastika with hatred you disregard the existence of a belief of almost a billion people in country called India!

So whats the solution? People need to be educated and the concerned activists and the press should refrain from stereotyping things. If you find this difficult and implausible at least call it by its German name dammit!

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