New York: A zoom call on the true spiritual meaning of the Swastika was organized by Nilima Madan, a community leader who invited over a hundred heads of various organizations and elected officials from New York on May 5 to discuss and educate those who are less informed about the NY Senate Bill S2727, which is currently in the Senate Education Committee and will be considered in the Assembly.
Madan shared a power point distinguishing the Swastika from Hakenkreutz (hooked cross) used by Nazis and Hitler. And that the Swastika is revered and worshipped by Hindu, Buddhist and Jains the world over. So, remove the word Swastika from the draft of the said bill which can keep Hakenkreutz as a symbol of hate.
Several community leaders spoke of the disrespect, emotional hurt and misrepresentation the bill would cause if passed to multitudes and then kids will learn about the Holocaust and think about Swastika only as a hate symbol. The webinar made a call for all organizations to stand united to ensure that either the bill does not pass or is amended appropriately.
The sentiment was that if Hitler distorted and appropriated an ancient symbol in wars against the British or Russia, it doesn’t change the value of Swastik as a religious symbol for many, and to fight any misconceptions of present-day politicians in USA is imperative.
NY Senator John Liu acknowledged that the issue needed to be further discussed with other leaders, especially the Jewish community and relevance of the bill revisited in a manner as to not hurt any ethnic group and yet pass the right educational material and information for further consideration.
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar said, “I support you and am in your corner.” Nathaniel Hezekiah III, Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Gregory W. Meeks commented that meeting was helpful to get educated on this issue. Assemblyman David Weprin, Manhattan Borough President Eric Adams, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino were represented by their staff.
Community leaders in attendance included: Dr Dattatreyadu Nori, Nikunj Trivedi, Animesh Goenka, Vimal Goyal, Dr Raj Modi, Dr Bindu Babu, Dr Anila Midha, Uma Sengupta, Vibhuti Jha, Dr Narinder Kukar, Sunil Modi, Balaji Nagraj, Radho Bathija, Narinder Kapoor, Mukesh Modi, Dr Raj Bhayani, Pradeep Tandon, Dr Jay Sarkar, Sadhvi Chandra Bharti, Venus Bhasin, Dr Urmilesh Arya, Gobind Munjal, Gunjan Rastogi, Dr Dheeraj Kaul, Veena Lamba, Dr Rakesh Sharma, Anju Sharma, Dr Shashi Shah, Jasbir Singh, Sunil Hali, Dr Hari Shukla, Thomas Abraham, Dr Bhavani Srinivasan, Gayatri Murli, Dr Indranil Basure, Dr Neeru Bhambri, Koshy O. Thomas, and Krish Rudra. Beena Kothari and Jyoti Gupta helped organize the meeting.