Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Possible Ban On Bhagavad-Gita in Russia Angers Indian MPs

Arjuna and Krishna in a scene from the Bhagavad-Gita


Editor’s Foreword:

After doing some checking, it’s clear that what the Russian court is thinking of labelling “extremist” is the Hare Krishna version of the Gita… not the common-garden Gita. Let’s see, the Indian government just backed a Russian resolution in the Security Council… it’s clear that the “misunderstanding” over the banning of the Gita originated in Langley (or in Whitehall) and has the purpose of driving a wedge bwteen India and Russia. In short, it’s a provocation; the same folks that ginned up the Tonkin Gulf Incident, the overthrows of Mossadegh, Arbenz, and Patriarch Maximos Vaportzis, and the killing of Allende bring this little production to you. There’s truly nothing new under the sun, is there?



On Monday, Indian parliamentarians urged the government to intervene diplomatically in a Russian trial that might ban one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, the Bhagavad-Gita, local media reported. A court in the Siberian city of Tomsk is expected to announce a verdict on Monday whether to impose a ban on the Russian translation of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, written by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prosecutors claim that the scripture promotes extremism.

During an Indian parliamentary session on Monday, the leader of the Biju Janata Dal political party, Bhartruhari Mahtab, called on the government to ensure the rights of Hindus in Russia in view of the possible ban. “I want to know from the government what its doing. We should protect the religious rights of Hindus in Russia. The government should impress that upon the Russian authorities through diplomatic channels,” India Today quoted Mahtab as saying. Mahtab’s mention of the issue plunged the parliament into chaos, the newspaper said, with other parliamentarians wanting to speak on the subject. Parliament’s Speaker Meira Kumar was forced to adjourn the session for several hours.

The Russian Embassy in India said it’s closely following the situation in India and the trial in Tomsk. “The Embassy can‘t comment on the course of the trial, but it closely follows the development of events, which raised a great public concern in India”, Nana Mgeladze, a spokeswoman for the embassy, said. She added that the first Russian edition of the Bhagavad-Gita appeared in 1788, and since then has gone through many publications in various translations.

19 December 2011



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