The Nazification of the Holy Aum, the Hindu Symbol of universal harmony and an assault on the spirit of Diwali.
It is with sadness that we write regarding an act of great harm and religious violence, the depiction of the Hindu and Sikh sacred image, the Aum/Aumkar syllable, in a manner associating it with the Nazi ideology. The image in itself (which we will not portray here) is sufficient to simultaneously inflame and denigrate but the image was then projected on the Houses of Parliament, on the day before Diwali celebrations are begun worldwide. There have been many holocausts perpetrated around the world but the holocaust inflicted on the non violent Jewish people by the Nazis is the one which still resonates in the living european consciousness as an example of the capacity for humans to descend to levels of blind hatred far beyond the depths of any other living being.
The Nazis infected the German people with their hatred for life and inflamed the fears of a whole population, so much so that one vulnerable sector ceased to be human and became merely a label, to be erased without a second thought. The horrors of the Holocaust became the catalyst for humanity to come together and to resolve to enact laws which prevent the hate-inspired labelling of innocent peaceful communities, to prevent the human capacity for irrational hatred, from being inflamed and yet this weekend the British Hindu Community became the target of a small group of intolerant hatemongers.
This group of the “professionally and perpetually outraged” calling itself Awaaz and led by Suresh Grover, projected a desecrated image of the Holy Hindu Aum, an ancient symbol of universal harmony and tranquility, onto the Houses of Parliament, identifying Hindus with Nazis. They appear to have had no qualms in leveraging the terrible suffering of the Jewish people in an attempt to vilify a wholly non-violent British Hindu community.
In doing so they ignored decades of legislative effort behind the laws which protect religious and racial freedoms, they tossed aside the efforts of many Governments and billions of pounds of political and legislative investment in nurturing and fostering inter community peace, and they openly attacked a wholly tranquil and fully integrated British Hindu Community. All of this whilst at the same time presenting themselves as “defenders of tolerance” and the “voice of the oppressed” .
In traditional Hindu families, the Aum mantra is the first sound a child hears at birth and the last sound a Hindu aspires to hear at passing. It is the heart of all mantras and is the sound our ascetics retreat to mountain caves to hear, in the depths of meditation. It is the sound which when chanted, brings tranquillity and harmony to the listener and the articulator and is the primal sound – there is no symbol more sacred for Hindu and Dharmic communities.
Diwali is the festival where all fears and differences are discarded and Hindus and increasingly non Hindus happily celebrate the universal delight of light and life conquering darkness, fear and death. It is a time for forgiveness and for reaffirming all of our family and community ties with an explosion of light, sound and joy
This year this sacred symbol, which appears in our NCHTUK logo, was desecrated and this was done at the time of Diwali. Immediately we began to receive calls of horror and dismay and also anger from members of our community nationally and internationally. Our organisation spent much of the day before Diwali calming the more “assertive, reactive and passionate” members of our community, reminding them that the joyous atmosphere and radiant sanctity of the Diwali festival must be protected and that delivering an appropriate response after the festival was over, would be wise. I am pleased to report that largely our advice has been taken and that there were no hasty or violent acts against the perpetrators of this sickening assault on our religious community.
We are known as a peace loving community but often the strength taken to remain peaceful in such times is misinterpreted as weakness. Over the last 24 months the British Hindu community have borne religious denigration and wholly unjustified humiliation with reserve and resolve assuming that the authorities to whom we delegate the preservation and protection of our human rights, would respond in accordance with law and in the interests of harmonious co-existence. The results have been mixed and educative but I would emphasise that this recent act of religious hatred has now breached all boundaries
This is a matter of great significance, we would suggest pivotal significance, to the manner in which the British Hindu and Dharmic community, views its own sense of security here in the UK. Several Hindu organisations have also commenced own investigations into the persons behind this act of anti-Hindu religious hatred and desecration and we are greatly troubled that the organisations responsible for this act and supporting this act, appear to be associated both with Lambeth Palace and Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP.
We will be publishing the findings of the investigations as soon as they have been verified and documented. The British Hindu community wish for nothing more, than to return to our state of working diligently to make the UK a more prosperous, tranquil, healthier, and harmonious nation for all its citizens but this act is such that we are now deeply concerned about the safety of our own rights and freedoms.
We hope and expect that the Law, which we assume protects Hindu religious and human rights and freedoms, will act in a manner which demonstrates that our expectations are not ill founded and that the legal remedies and consequences will be exercsed in a manner which acts as sufficient deterrent to prevent future acts of anti Hindu, indeed all religious, hatred. Hon Bob Blackman MP and Hon Priti Patel MP have raised the issue with the honourable Speaker of the House regarding the flagrant abuse of the Palace of Westminster itself but it must be emphasised that we are deeply concerned that the Palace of Westminster was used to escalate and fuel the act of nazification of our sacred religious symbols thus expanding the act, globally and that the level of intolerance and friction generated by this act, could not be exceeded.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, who joined British Hindus to celebrate Diwali in Parliament only last week, has initiated an investigation as have the Metropolitan police and the Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May has also been informed. In the 21st Century whilst the leaders of the oldest European democracy and the largest democracy were forging critical vital links, seeking to look past difference and senile prejudices, the oldest symbol of universal harmony and tranquility was desecrated – all in the name of religious tolerance and freedoms, on the Houses of Parliament.
The National Council of Hindu Temples UK
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