Tag: Hindu

Hindus for Human Rights urges for exemption of Hindu swastika while banning Nazi imagery

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 11 October 2021: The Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), Australia & New Zealand has urged the Victorian government to exempt the ‘Hindu Swastika’ when it bans the public display of Nazi symbols illegal in Victoria. It “advises caution about inadvertently targeting Hindus.” Basically, the point being that the Nazi symbol and the Hindu Swastika are different. And, the Hindu Swastika has no connection to the Nazi symbol, a symbol of fascism and hate.

In a media statement Emailed to SAT, the HfHR informs the state government, “We are writing to you on behalf of Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), an advocacy organisation that provides a platform for progressive Hindus to speak out in support of democratic freedoms and pluralism.”

The rest of the release says:

“Hindus for Human Rights applauds the Victorian Government’s decision to make the public display of Nazi symbols illegal. Recent anti-Semitic incidents have used Nazi imagery to target Jewish Australians, and a ban on hateful imagery would help diverse Victorians feel safe in their communities. However, HfHR is concerned that without specific language exempting the Hindu Swastika from scrutiny, Hindus could inadvertently become a target of these new laws.

The word “swastika” means “conducive to well-being” in Sanskrit. While the Swastika was used by the Nazis as a symbol of hate, it was originally used by Hindus as a symbol of prosperity and good luck, and Hindus continue to use the symbol to represent the faith today. Buddhists also consider the symbol to be sacred, representing the footprints of Buddha. Swastikas are often present on the doorsteps of homes, and people often wear the swastika on jewelry for good luck. The Hindu swastika and Nazi Hakenkreuz also look completely different.

Most Hindu Australians are aware of the history of the Holocaust and the implications of the Swastika in Western society and do not generally display the symbol in public. However, for Hindus, the outright banning of this symbol is hurtful, saying a beautiful symbol of faith, stolen in the name of genocide, is inherently evil. Under these new laws, Hindus may also risk facing significant fines and jail time. For people who have recently immigrated and are unfamiliar with the Nazi swastika, this law could cause particularly dangerous consequences.

HfHR recommends that any statutes, policies, or other legal documents created to ban Nazi imagery create an exemption for the Hindu Swastika. Guidance to enforcement agencies must also explain the difference between the Nazi and Hindu swastikas to avoid inadvertent targeting of the Hindu community.

Hindus for Human Rights – Australia and New Zealand (HfHR-ANZ) is the Australian and Aotearoa branch of Hindus for Human Rights USA, which was founded in 2019. We advocate for pluralism and human rights in South Asia and beyond, rooted in the values of our Hindu faith: shanti (peace), nyaya (justice) and satya (truth). We provide a Hindu voice of resistance to caste, Hindutva (Hindu majoritarianism), and all forms of bigotry and oppression. We work with a broad coalition of partners to educate elected officials and the public in Australasia about human rights issues in South Asia. Our advocacy takes many forms, including government briefings, peaceful protests, op-eds, webinars, conferences, and social media mobilisation.”

New Hindu temples body in Australia


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 23 March 2021: Hindu temples across Australia have come together and set up the ‘Australian Hindu Temples Council’ (AHTC). “The aim of the AHTC is to preserve, promote and advocate the values of Hinduism and the essence of Hindu temples in Australia, in line with the multi-cultural ethos of Australia.

The Council aims to have a united voice to represent the collective views of the Hindu temple community in Australia,” a media release says.

Talking to SAT the current Convener of the Council Karthik Arasu said, ” The Council is Australia wide though in the newly elected committee all are from Victoria.

We have our 18 temples as members from Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, etc. and our constitution is almost ready,” he said.

According to the media release the following pro-tem managing committee has been elected on 14 March 2021:

President – Kulwant Joshi (President – Sri Durga Temple Rockbank)
Vice President – Balasubramaniam Rangarajan (President – Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple Carrum Downs)
Secretary – Shanmugaratnam Pillai (Secretary – Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple Basin)
Joint Secretary – Eswarampillai Vimalanathan (Secretary – Kundrathu Kumaran Temple Deanside)
Treasurer- Biren Joshi (President – SMVS Swaminarayan Temple, Tarneit)”
Joint Treasurer- Ramesh Rao (Patron – Sri Venkata Krishna Brundavana Melbourne)

Pro-tem committee with Karthik Arasu. Photo-Supplied

HSV Cultural & Heritage Centre inaugurated

By our community reporter

Melbourne: The Hindu community in Victoria now has a big cultural & heritage centre. The Hindu Society of Victoria’s Cultural & Heritage Centre was inaugurated on 5th May adjacent to the Sri. Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs. The Centre’s stage one started in 2007 has an estimated cost of ten million dollars.

The centre was inaugurated at a glittering program by Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras,MP with leaders and VIPs from both sides of politics present. The gathering was addressed by HSV and political leaders followed by a beautiful cultural program.

The Cultural & Heritage Centre has a big hall for social functions, a library, meditation centre, museum and a canteen. It is situated at 52 Boundary Road, Carrum Downs, Victoria.

Oz Hindu priest’s passport impounded in ‘indecent sexual assault’ case

The priest coming out of the Frankston Magistrate court

By our legal reporter

Melbourne, 3 March: A Frankston court, Magistrate today ordered the Sri Lankan passport of a Hindu priest to be impounded and barred him from going near any airport in Australia. He was asked to deposit his passport within 24 hours at the Frankston police station. Premakanthan Rajaratnasarma, a priest at Melbourne’s Sri Shiva Vishnu temple, Carrum Downs is facing alleged Indecent Sexual Assault charges in relation to a woman of Indian origin. The court also granted him bail till March 15 when the case will be heard again.

Earlier, the case came up for’ mentioning’ and the ‘prosecution’ produced a devotee of the temple who gave evidence that there was a chance of the Hindu priest fleeing the country.
Premakanthan Rajaratnamsarma, was arrested last year on May 23 from his residence in the temple complex after complaints by an Indian origin woman of alleged indecent sexual assault. The Sri Lankan priest is working in the temple run by the Hindu Society of Victoria on a work contract.

In Australia, indecent assault is defined by law as any unwanted sexual behaviour or touching which is forced upon people against their will. The meaning of indecency depends upon prevailing views of what is unacceptable behaviour. This might include behaviour such as forcing someone to watch pornography or masturbation.

Each State has provisions which describe the crime of indecent assault, which require proof of an assault. Assault is legally defined as unlawful contact or an apprehension of unlawful contact. Consent is not a defence if the child is under 16.

The charges if proved are punishable by imprisonment.