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TOMSK, February 21 - RAPSI. Head of the Justice Ministry's religion expert council Alexander Dvorkin holds that the Tomsk prosecutor's office has good reasons to declare сommentary on Bhagavad Gita extremist.
"Bhagavad Gita As It Is" is a Russian translation and commentary of the original Bhagavad Gita Hindu scripture. It was written by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The book was translated into more than 60 languages.
The Tomsk prosecutor's office initiated the case in June 2011 following an inspection of the Tomsk Society for Krishna Consciousness.
According to Tomsk University experts cited by the local prosecutor's office, the dogmata described in the book incites religious hatred, humiliates the dignity of people on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, origin and attitude toward religion.
Later Kemerovo University experts found that the book has signs of extremism.
A Tomsk district court held against the prosecutors' request to recognize the book as extremist on December 28. The Prosecutor's Office challenged the judgment on January 23. The regional court will hear the appeal on March 6.
"The Society for Krishna Consciousness has nothing to do with traditional Hinduism. Their policy book "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" is far from the original Hindu scripture. It is a rather liberal and not too skillful translation, and, to make it worse, it is a double translation. First it was translated from Sanskrit into English, then from English into Russian. It exceeds the original text three or four times," Dvorkin told journalists in Tomsk.
He also called the book's commentary "man-hating and insulting to the followers of other religions." Dvorkin said the Society's activities are "criminal" and "using unlawful methods."
The prosecutor's office's petition to declare "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" an extremist text has sparked public indignation in India and was called a violation of Hindu rights. Several lawmakers have called on the Russian government to stand up for the rights of Hindus in Russia.
Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Semchishyn said, in turn, that the prosecutor's office sought to declare extremist the Russian version of the book commentary earlier published in English, rather than the Hindu scripture.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the translated version may be linguistically untrue to the original Hindu scripture, as it contains "semantic distortions", which may affect its meaning.