NEWS REPORT

Moscow:  A court in Russia has turned down a petition that asked for a ban on a translated version of Bhagavad Gita. India had described the application as “patently absurd.”

The petition was originally filed in June in a court in Tomsk in Siberia and had created a diplomatic stress point for India and Russia.

India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna met the Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin earlier this week to discuss the matter. Today, Mr Krishna  welcomed the judgement and thanked the Russian government for its support.

Prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk had  argued that the Russian translation of “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” promotes “social discord” and hatred toward non-believers. The text is a combination of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s holiest scriptures, and commentary by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) that is often called the Hare Krishna movement.

The prosecutors had asked  the court to include the book on the Federal List of Extremist  Materials, which bans more than 1,000 texts including Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

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