Gita verdict: Russian prosecutors planning to file appeal

Undeterred by a Siberian court's rejection of their plea seeking a ban on a translated version of the Bhagvad Gita, Russian prosecutors are planning to file an appeal against the verdict on the holy book dubbed by them as "extremist literature".

Prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk argue that the Russian translation of "Bhagvad Gita As It Is" promotes "social discord" and hatred towards non-believers, an issue which caused anger among believers around the world and forced New Delhi to take up the matter with Moscow.

The text is a combination of the Bhagvad Gita, one of Hinduism's holiest scriptures, and commentary by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, that is commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKCON.

AP

The deadline to file an appeal against the December 28, 2011 ruling by a Tomsk court, which turned down the petition seeking a ban on the book, expired yesterday, Sadhu Priya Das, of ISKCON, Moscow, who is also Chairman of newly-formed Hindu Council of Russia.

His comments came when asked about reports in the Russian media that prosecutors in Tomsk were filing an appeal against the court's ruling.

"The prosecutors have sought more time from the same court (which rejected their plea last month) for filing an appeal against the verdict" in a higher court, he said.

Prosecutors in Tomsk insisted that the Russian translation of the book should be banned as "extremist literature" and were filing an appeal against an earlier court ruling not to ban the book, a court spokeswoman was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti.

It quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying that the translated version may not be linguistically true to the original of the Hindu scripture as it contained "semantic distortions," which may have an effect on its meaning.

Prior to the December 28 ruling, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had summoned the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi, Alexander Kadakin, and told him that Moscow should provide all possible help to resolve the issue.

He had also conveyed to the top Russian diplomat the sensitivities involved with the issue.

Kadakin had assured Krishna that the Russian Government would do all it can within its power.

PTI


Updated Date: Jan 26, 2012 17:41 PM

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