Hindus in Europe Come Together for Common Causes

December 3, 2007

Author: Indrani Bagchi

Source: Times of India


Hindus in Europe are in search of a recognized social and political identity and soon they will come knocking at the door of the Indian government for diplomatic assistance as they look for official recognition from different European countries.

Earlier this year, Hindus across Europe banded together for the first time to oppose a German proposal to ban the use of the swastika, saying that though Hitler may have misused it, it has been a Hindu symbol for 5,000 years. For the first time, Hindu groups from Italy, Belgium and UK found a common cause.

They took this new-found concord forward in June, when different Hindu organizations from European countries set up a pan-European body at the European parliament in Brussels to become a first point of contact for EU institutions in enabling European Hindus to participate in public policy and EU legislation alike — to give them a political voice, so to say.

The next step, says Mahaprabhu Das, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Belgium, is to ask for recognition for Hinduism as a religion from different state governments.