Sangh doctors drop Red Cross for Swastika

via http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080404/jsp/nation/story_9093944.jsp published on April 12, 2008
Ahmedabad : Gujarat doctors leaning towards the Sangh parivar are promoting the use of the Swastika instead of the Red Cross.
 
Several,
like Dr Bharat Amin, have already switched over to the Swastika. His
clinic in Paldi sports the symbol, long used in major world religions
such as Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Jainism.
 
Once
in common use around the world without stigma, the Swastika became
controversial after the Nazis adopted it as their symbol.
 
Amin
said those who associated the Swastika with the Nazis were ignorant.
“The Swastika was well known for centuries before the Nazis adopted it.
This is very much our cultural symbol, described in our scriptures,” he
said.
 
The
Swastika being used by the doctors is different from the Nazi Iron
Cross, he said. The doctors are using the Hindu variation with four
dots in the four segments.
Amin
says that within a month, over 1,000 doctors in Gujarat who are
affiliated to Arogya Bharti are likely to switch over to the Swastika
from the Red Cross.
 
Arogya
Bharti, an organisation of medical practitioners that is attached to
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, will request other doctors to use the
Swastika, too. “It is our cultural symbol; no one should have any
problems with it,” Amin said.
 
Doctors
affiliated to the Arogya Bharti have begun printing fresh visiting
cards, letter pads, and clinic and hospital banners that sport the
Swastika, said Pravin Bhavsar,
treasurer of the organisation.
 
The
Indian Medical Association has sought an explanation from its Ahmedabad
arm on the use of the Swastika. Amin and Bhavsar find this strange.
 
They said that the souvenir for the IMA convention in Nagpur last year had carried an article, Red Cross versus Swastika,
which was reproduced in the bulletin of the Ahmedabad Medical
Association last February. “Why should the IMA object to it now?”
Bhavsar said.
 
He said the idea took shape after widespread “misuse” of the Red Cross.
 
The
symbol can only be used by members of the Red Cross Society or the
armed forces medical service. “Ever since we learnt that there were
objections to the
misuse of the Red Cross symbol, known the world over as the sign of
medical help, we have been thinking of an alternative,” he said.
 
“In
November, when we met in Bhopal during our national convention, we
started the campaign for the Swastika. Doctors and medical
practitioners affiliated to the Arogya Bharti then decided to promote
the Swastika and issued an appeal to their colleagues asking them to
switch over,” Bhavsar said.
 
M.C.
Patel, president of the Ahmedabad Medical Association, feels there is
nothing wrong in using the Swastika. Although he claims he is not
affiliated to the Arogya Bharti, he argued the Swastika was an
auspicious sign.

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