Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Indian minister steps into Gita row in Russia

Protest against Russia's ban on Bhagvad Gita in Kolkata on December 19, 2011
 India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met with Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin on Tuesday, a day before a Siberian court rules on whether to ban a Russian translation of the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita, Indian media reported.
Krishna told Kadakin that India is concerned over the “sensitive” issue of the Siberian court hearing and that the Russian government should provide all help to resolve the issue expeditiously.
The final hearing on whether to impose a ban on the Russian translation of “Bhagavad Gita As It Is,” written by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is scheduled for Wednesday in Tomsk district court. Prosecutors claim that the scripture promotes extremism.
After the meeting, the Russian Ambassador told reporters that the Russian government will do everything it can. “You understand that it is a court case but the Russian government can do one thing. It can ask people to express their love and admiration for the Gita. That (assurance) you can get from anyone in Russia,” The Times of India reported, quoting Kadakin.
Kadakin had denounced last week those seeking the ban on the Gita as “madmen”.
The trial has prompted a flurry of highly critical publications in the international media.

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