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India asks Russia to resolve Gita controversy (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-asks-russia-to-resolve-gita-controversy/213627-3.html)
New Delhi: India on Tuesday described a complaint about the Bhagvad Gita in Russia as patently absurd. The government also promised Parliament that it was taking the controversy seriously and was closely monitoring the case. But the BJP is not satisfied and has even asked the government to declare the sacred scripture as a national book.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna assured Parliament on Tuesday that India has registered its protest to the Russian government on a petition seeking a ban on Bhagvad Gita in a Siberian court.
Krishna hoped that Russia would act appropriately on the Bhagvad Gita controversy.
“The complaint in a local Russian court appears to be the work of some ignorant and misdirected or motivated individuals. While this complaint is patently absurd, we have treated this matter seriously and the Embassy of India is closely monitoring this legal case,” Krishna said.
The government believes that it can’t do more than that because it’s a Siberian court that has to decide on a ban on December 28.
But the South Block is hopeful because the court has asked academics and Indologists to help it decide if parts of the Russian translation of the Gita penned by the ISKON founder are extremist in nature or not.
India has also got support from the Russian government.
Sargei Karmileto, Russian Embassy Spokesperson, says, “Russian side regrets that the issue has reached such controversy . You can not ban any sacred text Bhagvad Gita is considered a sacred text in Russia as well.”
But the critics haven’t been satisfied. The BJP even demanded that the Gita be declared a national book to protect it from being dishonored ever again.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, “Srimad Bhagvat Gita must be declared a National Book so that no country can ever engage in any act of insult to this book in the future. The government should be proactive. This ban must be removed.”
There is also criticism that the government has delayed its intervention, ignoring ISKON’s red alert on a possible ban, an alert sent to the prime minister’s office and to Sonia Gandhi on 1st November.
India has taken up Gita ‘ban’ row with Russia: Krishna (Second Lead)
ians on December 20, 2011 —http://news.hamaraphotos.com/ians/india-has-taken-up-gita-ban-row-with-russia-krishna-second-lead.html
New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) India Tuesday described a legal move to ban the Bhagavad Gita in Russia as the work of “misdirected and motivated individuals” and said it had taken up the issue with highest levels in the government there.
The statement from External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in the Lok Sabha came a day after a belligerent opposition created a furore in parliament following an IANS report from Moscow about an ongoing court case in Tomsk, Siberia, for banning the Gita on grounds that it is an extremist literature,
In a bid to cool down the tempers in the house, Krishna said the complaint “appears to be the work of some ignorant and misdirected or motivated individuals”.
“While this complaint is patently absurd, we have treated this matter seriously and the embassy of India (in Russia) is closely monitoring this legal case,” he told the house.
Krishna said the government was “confident that our Russian friends, who understand our civilisational values and cultural sensitivities, will resolve this matter appropriately”.
In the same breath, he said that not much attention should be paid to the issue as “we do not want to dignify some misdirected individuals who have filed an absurd complaint”.
Sharing the sentiments of the house, the minister said the “Gita is not simply a religious text. It is one of the defining treatises of Indian thought and describes the very soul of our great civilization”.
He said the Gita was far above “any cheap propaganda or attacks by the ignorant”.
Members cutting across their political ideologies thumped their desks to cheer the remark from the minister.
The court case, which has been going on since June, seeks a ban on a Russian translation of the “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon).
It also wants the Hindu religious text to be declared as literature spreading “social discord” and banned in Russia, and its distribution rendered illegal in Russia.
Indians in Moscow, numbering about 15,000, and followers of the Iskcon religious movement in Russia have appealed to the Indian government to intervene diplomatically to resolve the issue.
The minister said ISKCON has been functioning in Russia for decades and has faced problems with respect to its properties and functioning in Moscow and elsewhere in the country.
“Our embassy has intervened on behalf of ISKCON with the local city authorities as well as with the Russian government.”
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj was not happy with the statement and asked the government to declare the Gita as the “national book so that no country dares to insult it”.
The final hearing of the case in a court in Tomsk, Siberia, was due Monday but was rescheduled for Dec 28 after Hindus pleaded to the court to seek opinion of the Russian human rights commission.
India confident about Russian Govt. resolving Bhagavad Gita court controversy: Krishna
ani on December 20, 2011 — http://news.hamaraphotos.com/ani/india-confident-about-russian-govt-resolving-bhagavad-gita-court-controversy-krishna.html
New Delhi, Dec.20 (ANI): Describing the Bhagwad Gita as simply not being a religious text; but one of the defining treatises of Indian thought and the very soul of India”s great civilization, External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna told Parliament on Tuesday that he was confident that the Russian Government would take appropriate steps to neutralise and end the controversy arising out of a Russian language commentary that described the Bhagavad Gita as “Extremist Literature”.
Addressing members of the Lok Sabha a day after several in the opposition had raised strong objection to a court hearing in the Russian city of Tomsk on the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna, in a written statement, said that he fully shared the sentiments expressed by the House on this issue.
He said that the Bhagavad Gita was “far above any cheap propaganda or attacks by the ignorant or the misdirected. In Russia itself, we have many great Indologists, scholars and experts who understand the essence of the Gita and have written on it with reverence and passion.”
He added: “We do not want to dignify with too much attention some misdirected individuals who have filed an absurd complaint. We are confident that our Russian friends, who understand our civilizational values and cultural sensitivities, will resolve this matter appropriately.”
Recalling the facts of the case, Krishna said that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has been functioning in Russia for decades. ISKCON has faced periodic problems with respect to its properties and functioning in Moscow and elsewhere.
On occasion, our Embassy has intervened on behalf of ISKCON with the local city authorities as well as with the Russian Government.
Following the initial proceedings in August 2011, the District Court appointed its own three member expert group from the University of Kemerovo (in Siberia), which was to submit a report within three months.
The final hearing in the Tomsk District Court was due on December 19, 2011, but has been rescheduled for December 28, 2011, as the court agreed to seek the opinion of the Russian Ombudsman on Human Rights in Tomsk District, and of Indologists from Moscow and St. Petersburg, who have greater knowledge and expertise on India.
Krishna said officials of the embassy of India in Moscow have been in regular touch with the local representatives of ISKCON, since this matter came to light in June 2011.
He said that ISKCON representatives have been advised to take legal recourse to counter this misdirected complaint.
“We have also taken up this matter at the senior levels of the Russian Government. The Ministry of External Affairs has been in regular touch with our embassy in Moscow on this issue. The matter was also taken up with the Russian ambassador based in India, H.E. Mr. Alexander Kadakin who is himself a well-known Indologist. In fact, the Ambassador has been publicly critical of this episode. He has stated that Bhagavad-Gita is a great source of wisdom for the people of India and the world. He also said that Russia is a secular and democratic country where all religions enjoy equal respect,” Krishna said. (ANI)
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