Secret of the swastika lies in Harrow

November 4, 1994

It surprises me that to this day Europeans have not been able to trace the swastika (THES October 21) to its rightful origins as an Indian symbol for advancing human well-being and spiritual upliftment.

As Dewali, the Hindu new year, is approaching, if you were to take a walk round Harrow, Wembley or Leicester, where many Gujarati Hindus live, you will see the swastika painted with much affection and spiritual devotion on the porches of Hindu homes, a practice which is thousands of years older than either the American Indian myth of the symbol's origin or the tragic reality of Hitler's Nazi hijacking of the symbol.

Both the words swastika and Aryan are of Sanskrit origin. Both describe or urge humans to aspire to a very high ideal of humanity. It is the intent of the Vinubhai Purshottam Patel Institute for Indian Studies to reclaim the symbol and noun of Aryan as attempts by ancient Hindu scholars to improve humanity and spiritualism.

NANDISH V. PATEL

Senior lecturer in business studies

University of Luton

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