New Delhi, Dec 17: A Russian court in Tomsk is going to give a verdict on Monday banning Hinduism’s most revered book Bhagvad Gita, and ISKCON devotees across Russia and India have appealed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to raise the issue with the Russian leaders.
Bhagvad Gita is facing a legal ban and the prospect of being branded as ‘an extremist’ literature across Russia, with the court in Siberia’s Tomsk city all set to deliver its final verdict on Monday in a case filed by state prosecutors.
The case, which has been going on in Tomsk court since June this year, seeks to get a Russian translation of Bhagavad Gita As It Is written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), banned in Russia and declaring it as a literature spreading ‘social discord’, apart from rendering its distribution on Russian soil illegal.
Nearly 15,000 Indians settled in Moscow, and followers of the ISKCON religious movement here have appealed to Manmohan Singh and his government to intervene diplomatically to resolve the issue in favour of Bhagvad Gita.
“The case is coming up for a final verdict on Monday in Tomsk court. We want all efforts from Indian government to protect the religious right of Hindus in Russia,” Sadhu Priya Das of ISKCON and a devotee of a 40-year-old Krishna temple in central Moscow, told the media.
The court, which took up the case filed by the state prosecutors, had referred the book to the Tomsk State University for ‘an expert’ examination Oct 25 this year.
But Hindu groups in Russia, particular followers of the ISKCON, say the university was not qualified, as it lacked Indologists.