Don’t shoot at the Red Crystal

New sign of humanity

The Red Crystal (from the ICRC)

The cross and the crescent, being overtly religious symbols, have often got in the way of humanity. At least, they created controversies that got in the way of the International Committee of the Red Cross & Red Crescent (ICRC). Now international negotiations have led to the adoption of a new, and secular, symbol for ICRC — the Red Crystal. What’s more, national units can even ‘deface’ it with their favourite national-religious symbol. So that cross, crescent, star or even the Shah of Persia’s lion can be squeezed into the crystal. No such luck though for the swastika, which in 1977, long before the hindutva brigade’s political ascendency, the Indian Red Cross society wanted as an additional emblem. (via Wikipedia). Charles Krauthammer is angry but ignorant about the red swastika, which was first proposed by the Sri Lanka Red Cross society for reasons that have little to do with Nazism. (See Yoz Grahame’s post too)

In any case military instruction manuals now need to be updated. Field commanders must be issued with instructions not to shoot at those vehicles with the outline of the Ace of Diamonds painted on them.

2 thoughts on “Don’t shoot at the Red Crystal”

  1. Nitin,

    I think this is taking political correctness to a ridiculous height.
    I am a Hindu (A right winger if you please), but I dont have any problem with crosses.I will not feel slighted if cross is there instead of Swastika or Aum.
    The same with “Happy Holidays” instead of “Happy Christmas”.

    I think Charles is just another plain ignorant westerner.


  2. I don’t think one needs to worry about Swastika or Om entering the Indian relief organizations emblems (or any organization for that matter) because India is now a hyper-secular country. It is so secular that AP secular Congress I government (with full backing from other secular parties such as Telugu Desam) just announced that it wants to change the state constitution to enact education and job reservations for Muslims (never mind that Muslim kings, along with British, used to rule most of AP, just a few decades ago) after the state supreme court deemed religious-based reservations unconstitutional twice, thus creating a path for other states to follow the easy Indian solution to social inequities in a society.

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