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Australia: Hindu woman Swastika was de-platformed by Uber for 5 months because of her name, but fought against it and won

After a period of five months, Uber has conceded, expressed regret and offered her permission to re-join the platform. However, it required the assistance of the New South Wales attorney general, the Jewish community, The Hindu Council and Australia's leading Hindu organisation to intervene.

Swastika Chandra, a 35-year-old woman from Sydney and the multinational giant Uber are at odds after she was forbidden from using the services and removed from the platform for violating its terms only because of her name. Notably, Swastika/ Swastik are a common name in India because the Swastika symbol is an integral part of the Hindu faith. It symbolizes good fortune and prosperity in the ancient Sanskrit language.

The young mother stated that throughout her formative years in Fiji, she frequently heard the name called in class. It is a country with a large Indian population and Swastika is a popular name among them. She expressed, “It is a very common name. I personally know four or five other girls with the same name. In school, we had two or three other girls with the same name. It means good luck. It means good things to me.”

Her birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate, health care card and driver’s license all bore her name without any trouble. However, Uber suspended her account in October of last year citing her name’s appropriation by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and neo-Nazis as a breach of their conditions of usage. She was informed that in order to regain access to the application, she would need to modify her name.

She revealed, “I was putting in an order for food one afternoon and went to the payment stage and this pop-up came up saying, ‘Your first name is in violation and you need to change your name on the app’.” Uber introduced fresh restrictions on potentially offensive phrases, including the Swastika, at the same time as the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

Although the Hindu woman is well aware of the wrong perception of her name in the West, she believes that the public should be aware of the word’s etymology. “They don’t know that the Hindus used it for thousands of years before Hitler used it in the wrong way. A bit of education, I think, is needed. I’m very proud of my name. I believe in the good that comes with it and I’m not changing it for anyone.”

After a period of five months, Uber has conceded, expressed regret and offered her permission to re-join the platform. However, it required the assistance of the New South Wales attorney general, the Jewish community, The Hindu Council and Australia’s leading Hindu organisation to intervene.

The Hindu community is now honouring Swastika Chandra for her efforts in opposing a multinational behemoth and also offered advice for all the other young girls who might not share a similar name as others. “Don’t let the past be a stepping stone for your future. Be proud of your name. It’s your identity – it’s who you are.”

The rideshare giant also released a statement on the issue and claimed, “Uber is committed to facilitating a safe and welcoming environment for all users. For that reason, Uber has a global policy of restricting access to users whose names entered into the Uber app contain potentially offensive words. We understand that there are different cultural nuances to names, and therefore our teams address incidents like this on a case-by-case basis to ensure we evaluate each account fairly. In this case, after reviewing Ms Chandra’s request, we reinstated her access to the app. We have apologised to Ms Chandra for the inconvenience this caused her, and we appreciate her patience as we reviewed the matter, which took longer than we hoped it would.”

“We welcome the decision by Uber to permit Ms Chandra to once again access Uber services. It is clear in the circumstances that there is a material difference between Ms Chandra innocently, and without malice, using her natural name and the deployment of a sinister symbol to promote hate or foster division,” mentioned the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies in response.

Difference between Swastika and Nazi symbol: How the West continues to denigrate a sacred Hindu symbol thousands of years old

There is an important difference between the two symbols, which international media houses, leftists, and propagandists ridiculously use interchangeably, not only to hurt Hindu feelings but also to display their inherent Hinduphobia. A religious symbol for Hindus, the Swastika was first mentioned in the Vedas and is made up of ‘su’ meaning ‘good’ and ‘asti’ meaning ‘to be.’ The word has been translated from the Sanskrit base. In other words, the symbol indicates well-being and attracts happiness. It dates back some 6,000 years. Scholars generally agree it originated in India. Other ancient cultures, including the Vikings and Greeks, as well as Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, recognised Swastika as a symbol of good luck, prosperity and all things auspicious.

The Nazi symbol ‘Hakenkreuz’ which means twisted or hooked cross in German on the other hand is widely recognized as a symbol of anti-Semitism, having resulted in the deaths of approximately 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. The symbol represents fascism and also it is a trauma for many people to date. It is banned in many countries.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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