Court drops extremism charges against "Bhagavad Gita as It is"
TOMSK, December 28 - RAPSI, Sergei Levanenkov. A Tomsk district court has held against a local prosecutor's office in its petition to declare the Russian version of "the Bhagavad Gita as It is" Hindu poem with commentary an extremist text, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
In June the Tomsk prosecutor's office appealed to the court to place the Bhagavad Gita's Russian-language version on the federal extremist materials list. The prosecutor's office initiated the case following an inspection of the Tomsk Society for Krishna Consciousness. The court was expected to pass its judgment on December 19, but the case was postponed until December 28.
The Tomsk prosecutors offices petition to declare "Bhagavad Gita as It is" an extremist text has sparked an explosion of public indignation in India and has been called a violation of Hindu rights. Several law makers have called on the Russian government to stand up for the rights of followers of Hinduism in Russia.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich commented on the Tomsk prosecutor's office's claim on Thursday. He said the prosecutor's office is challenging not the Bhagavad Gita itself, but the comments made by the book's author Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu scripture that is a part of the ancient Mahabharata epic.
"Bhagavad Gita as It is" is a translation of the Bhagavad Gita Hindu scripture with commentary, made by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in the 1960s. The book was translated into more than 60 languages.