MPs condemn Siberian court move to ban Gita

An ISKCON follower holds a placard during an agitation in front of Consulate General of the Russian Federation Office in Kolkata on Monday.

An ISKCON follower holds a placard during an agitation in front of Consulate General of the Russian Federation Office in Kolkata on Monday.  

Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted repeatedly on Monday with several members condemning a move to ban Bhagwad Gita by a Siberian court. They demanded that the government take it up strongly with Russia.

External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna will make a statement on the issue in the House on Tuesday. Announcing this Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the sentiment cut across the party lines.

"We will not tolerate any move to insult Lord Krishna," Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, said, adding that it was a `conspiracy against Lord Krishna.’ He was supported by several members who expressed their anger over reports that a court in Tomsk was due to pronounce its verdict in a case calling for a ban on the Bhagwad Gita.

The Russian translation of a book 'Bhagwad Gita As It is' written by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is being sought to be banned by a court for reportedly spreading "social discord".

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bhratruhari Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal) demanded that the Indian Embassy in Moscow should take the issue up with the Russian authorities. Demanding that religious freedom of the Hindus in Russia should not be compromised, he said the ISKCON had also appealed in this regard to the Indian government.

As soon as he finished speaking, members of Shiv Sena, BJP, RJD, BSP, Samajwadi Party and even Congress member Ijyaraj Singh stood up and protested the move. They also sought an immediate intervention by the government.

Speaker Meira Kumar, while asking them to maintain order, advised them to submit notices to have a full-fledged discussion on the subject.

Mr. Lalu Prasad said the government should lodge a strong protest with Russia, adding ``insult to Lord Krishna and the Gita will not be tolerated.’’ The Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shiv Sena's Chandrakant Khaire and BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi were on their feet while trying to make their point in an agitated manner.

As the melee continued, the Speaker adjourned the House until 2 p.m. When the House met, similar scenes prevailed and had to be adjourned once again until four p.m. when several members including Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal (United) spoke and said sentiments of millions of Indian were associated with the issue and the government should take the initiative to resolve it.

A case filed in June this year, seeking a ban on the Russian translation of the ISKCON chief's book on Gita, is to come up for hearing in a court in Tomsk in Russia soon.

The petitioners there have argued that the holy book is extreme in nature and could cause social discord. The ISKCON argument is that the proponents of the case have not consulted any Indologist and have based their arguments on misplaced information.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:57:29 PM |

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