Hindu 'Swastika' Causes Offence

May 14, 2008


Source: Central Leader


A World War Two veteran captured by Germans and held prisoner for three years is reminded of his torment every time he looks out the window of his house.

The Mt Roskill man’s neighbours have painted a large white symbol – resembling a swastika – on their roof.

He says the symbol, painted late last year, is distasteful.

"If I could get rid of it I would," says the man, who didn’t want to be named.

"It’s not necessary, it’s actually stupid. It’s insulting to the neighbours."

But Ambrish Gupta says when he painted the symbol, he didn’t mean to offend anyone.

He simply did it as a sign of his religious devotion.

In the Hindu religion, the swastika is the symbol of the god Ganesha, who is acknowledged at the beginning of prayers.

Mr Gupta painted it on his roof as a symbol of protection for his family and house.

He says he had no idea it had another meaning in western culture – as the mark of the Nazi regime – when he painted it.

"If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have done it," he says.