Community expresses gratitude to Senators Kaminski and Thomas

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Jagdish Sewhani and others thank the Senators for “understanding the sentiments of two billion Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikh” and dropping the New York Bill

Our Bureau / New York

The American India Public Affairs Committee, in cooperation with various Indian organizations and temples, organized an online meeting to thank Senators Todd Kaminski and Senator Kevin Thomas for the dropping of the Bill that would have designated the ancient Indian symbol of Swastika as a hate sign. Jagdish Sewhani, in his opening remarks, thanked the Senators for “understanding the sentiments of two billion Hindus,Buddhists,Jains and Sikh”.

Sewhani further said that Swastika is an auspicious symbol which bring peace and prosperity. The Hindus believe, he said, in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means “the world is one family”. The Hindus always believe in “Serve Bhavantu Sukhinah” which means “May all be happy, may all be free from illness and may no one suffer”, he said.  India is the only place in the world where the Jewish were welcomed like a family, he added.

“So, when this Bill was planned to be tabled in the New York State assembly, Hindus all over the world were devastated.Thanks to the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh which mobilized the whole Indian American Community to fight this bill. Numerous calls and emails were sent to the concerned Senators.Thankfully, the senators understood the concerns of Hindu Community and this bill was dropped,” Sewhani said.

Sewhani further said that there is a small town in the up state of New York called Swastika. “I spoke to the town supervisor Jon Douglass,he said the name was given to town by early settlers in 1800s. There was pressure on the town board to change the name but he and his whole committee didn’t succumb to the pressure, he firmly told them that they were totally ignorant as Swastika means well-being. He also agreed to put aplaque at the entrance of the town which will describe the meaning of Swastika,” he said.

Sewhani also thanked the American Jewish Committee for solidly supporting in this fight. He also thanked Jay Jacobs, the State Chairman of Democratic Party for his unwavering support.This battle is not over yet,said Sewhani as “time has come to educate masses and political leaders about Hinduism and Swastika. To achieve this, we will conduct seminars and conferences once the Covid situation improves”.

Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said: “Thank you Senators Kaminsky and Thomas for your support and understanding on the issue of Swastika. Swastika is a sacred symbol of peace and prosperity for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.The United States is a country that believes in respect for diversity and multiculturalism. Your understanding on Swastika has further deepened that seminal facet of your vibrant culture and democracy.As a vibrant democracy, India truly appreciates your kind gesture. Our shared values, indeed, bring us close as two democracies.”

“India as a civilization and society has always welcomed people and ideas that came to its shore. I am delighted that our tradition, ethos and values are being met with the same warm embrace today in the US.”

 Dr Uma Mysorekar, President of Hindu Temple Society of North America, thanked Senators Kevin Thomas and Todd Kaminsky for their efforts in stopping the NYS Hate Sign Bill.

Dr Sudhir Parikh, in his remarks, said “As a Hindu, I have grown up with a deep sense of gratefulness.We express our gratefulness to mother earth as soon as we wake up.We believe in peace, harmony and consider the whole world as a big family.”

Dr Sudhir Parikh said that Senator Kaminski and Senator Thomas responded to the voice of Indian American community with openness and understanding. “I am glad and relieved that we averted that psychological trauma for our next generation in New York,” said Dr Parikh.

Mr Mahesh Kalla, the communication Director of HSS,Mr Sunil Hali, Mrs Uma Sengupta, Sumita Sengupta, Indu Jaiswal, Nita Jain and Dr T Kenjitsu Nakagaki of Buddhist Council and Mr Nikunj Trivedi also expressed their deep gratitude to the Senators. Senator Todd Kaminski and Senator Kevin Thomas assured that they will continue to support Indian community and the dialogue will continue to how best to educate and create awareness about Swastika. Senator Kevin Thomas said that he will make sure that Diwali is declared as a holiday in New York.

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