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Updated: March 24, 2012 14:42 IST

Gita ban plea rejected again

Vladimir Radyuhin
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In this December 29, 2011 file photo, ISKCON followers celebrate in front of Consulate General of Russian Federation office in Kolkata after a lower Russian court rejected the petition to ban Bhagavad Gita.
PTI In this December 29, 2011 file photo, ISKCON followers celebrate in front of Consulate General of Russian Federation office in Kolkata after a lower Russian court rejected the petition to ban Bhagavad Gita.

A Russian court on Wednesday rejected a second bid to ban a Russian translation of the book “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”.

A district court in the Siberian city of Tomsk dismissed a petition by the city prosecutor to classify comments to Bhagavad Gita in the book as “extremist literature”. In December a lower court in Tomsk turned down another appeal by the prosecutor to ban the entire book accusing it of inciting “social hatred” and “violence against non-believers.”

Following an uproar in India and Russia against the trial of the sacred Hindu scripture the Tomsk prosecutor modified his petition exempting the canonical text Bhagavad Gita from the charges of extremism and asking the court to ban only the Russian translation of the comments written by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). However, the second plea was also rejected.

Wednesday’s ruling brought cheers from India’s Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, who throughout the trial waged a diplomatic battle against the legal attack on Bhagavad Gita.

“I welcome the verdict of the Honourable Regional Court in Tomsk today, which has dismissed the appeal petition in the Bhagavad Gita case,” the envoy said in a statement for the press.

“It is good that the decision of the lower trial court in this matter has been reaffirmed. I trust that this issue is now conclusively behind us,” he added.

Russians lack awareness about Bhagavad Gita, and this was one of the reasons for the court case against the text, said Sanjeet Kumar Jha, President of the Indian Association in Russia.

Mr. Jha told a press conference in Tomsk that the Indian Association had set up a council of Hindu communities in Russia which will engage in dialogue with other religious groups and spread information about Hinduism.

A spokesman for the Tomsk prosecutor’s office did not rule out that the higher level prosecutor may appeal against Wednesday’s verdict after studying the court’s arguments.

A group of renowned Russian orientalists, linguists and philosophers in an open letter last week had asked President-elect Vladimir Putin and outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev to take the issue under their “personal control”, warning that the trial was “driving a wedge in Russian-Indian relations.”

@Poovhen, You can read any holy book belonging to any religion, you will find passages or verses, which can be interpreted as divisive, irrational or exhorting one to resort to aggression or even violence. Holybooks like Shrimad Bhagwad Gita or any holy book for that matter must be read with an open mind and you will find it is meant for you. It is very important that we understand the context in which those passages or verses are quoted. The problem is intellectual dishonesty that most of us suffer from and do not want to admit it.

from:  Rohit Nath
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 05:50 IST

Well said Rishi. It's not only about Gita, Any religious book of a moral values, had to be accepted Universally.After all, these are quintessential elements, which are lagging in the current World.

from:  Ravi Teja
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 12:16 IST

Really Happy To Hear This...

from:  Shree
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 11:38 IST

Bhagavad Gita - As It Is by Swami Prabhupada is a beautiful work and as mentioned in that, it is easiest to follow when one surrenders to Lord Sri Krishna. It is understandable that when others who don't necessarily subscribe to Lord Sri Krishna may find it difficult to do so. The easiest to do in such a situation is to substitute Lord Sri Krishna with any other GOD one may follow and understand the essence of what is written and follow it. All that GOD says is 'do your work and while doing it to remember HIM' is that difficult to understand. Sad that we focus on everything else other than what we need to focus on. Life is so much simpler if we just follow the one simple thing, which is 'remember GOD all the time - 24x7' This does not mean that one can do wrong and remember GOD. What it means is remembering GOD all the time and ask HIM to help you do the right thing, for most of us don't know what is right or what is wrong. So at all points in time ask GOD to show you the right path.

from:  Sanat Attavar Chennai INDIA
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 11:35 IST

There are passages in the Gita that give divine sanctity to varnas and caste divisions.

from:  Poovhen
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 11:25 IST

"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder". This saying is also true for those are trying to interpret Gita and terming it as an extremist.
I have personally never seen any ISKON guy, in television or pics or in real life who is violent and offensive. They have developed an attitude(with the help of Gita)which always give them joy (atleast it seems so).
I want to urge people of Russia who want to ban Gita that try to see the beauty of the oldest scripture of mankind. It is not indian or russian or any other country.Dont alienate it. It is for the mankind.

from:  Rishi
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 10:29 IST
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