Bhagavad Gita row: SM Krishna meets Russian envoy

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday conveyed to Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin the country`s concern over the Gita row.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna on Tuesday conveyed to Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin
the country`s concern over the "sensitive" issue of a Siberain
court hearing a petition seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita.

Ahead of the court hearing tomorrow, Krishna called
Kadakin and told him that the Russian Government should
provide all possible help to resolve the issue.

Taking up the issue, which has created a uproar in India,
strongly with the Russian Ambassador, Krishna conveyed the
sensitivities involved in the issue of seeking a ban on the
religious scripture, sources said.

During the meeting at Hyderabad House, Kadakin assured
Krishna that the Russian Government will do all it can within
its powers.

"The External Affairs Minister conveyed the concerns of
the Parliament of India and the people of India on the issue.
The Russian side has been saying that it is a judicial process
and that it will take all steps it can within its power (to
resolve the issue)," a source said.

The Siberian court in Tomsk city will hear tomorrow
petition from a group connected to the Christian Orthodox
Church, seeking to declare the Gita an "extremist text."

This is the second time in four days that the Russian
envoy has been called by the Ministry of External Affairs to
convey the country`s concerns on the issue. Foreign Secretary
Ranjan Mathai had met Kadakin last week in this regard.

After the meeting, the Russian envoy told reporters that
the Russian Government will do everything it can within in the
realm of its powers.
"You understand that it is a court case but the Russian
Government can do one thing. It can ask the people to express
our love and admiration for the Gita. That (assurance) you can
get from anyone in Russia," he said.

Kadakin said that he had himself read Gita and that any
human being can have only one opinion on the scripture -- Gita
is a great scripture and it is a scripture of the world.
The Russian Ambassador said his attitude on the issue
remains the same that "no holy scripture, whether it is Bible,
Quran or Gita cannot be brought to a court."
"I am of the opinion that no religious scripture can be
judged in a court," the envoy said.

During the meeting, Krishna and Kadakan also discussed
the recent visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia
and other issues.
On the delivery of Nerpa nuclear submarine to India,
Kadakin said it is on its way.


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