Gita ban: Centre asked to consider representation in Russia

Any failure on Indian government`s part to intervene, supported by in-depth research, scholastic views and analysis, would cause irretrievable damage to the country`s and rich culture and heritage, the petition contends.

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2011, 21:29 PM IST

Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked
Government of India to consider the option of the country
being represented before a court in Russia to defend the
Bhagwad Gita, the holy Hindu scripture which is facing a ban
there.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice
Roshan Dalvi also asked the Centre to inform the court about
what action it has initiated to monitor the issue on the
next date of hearing on January 9 next.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation
seeking the government`s intervention in the case before the
Russian court where a ban on Bhagwad Gita has been demanded.
The petitioners have quoted newspaper reports that a ban
has been sought on Gita in a Tomsk courtin Siberia dubbing it
as a literature spreading social discord.

Beni Chatterji, counsel for the Central government,
informed the court that S M Krishna, Minister of External
Affairs, had made a statement that the ministry is monitoring
the case.

M I Sethna, counsel for the petitioners, however, said
that the government is just monitoring and has asked Iskcon
to defend the literature there. "It is a grave insult to our
culture. Instead of asking Iskcon to defend, the government
should defend the Gita," Sethna said.

The PIL states that Gita is a sacred text and attempts
to ban it would have far-reaching implications not only in
India but also internationally. It contends that the subject
concerned not just the Indians in Russia, but had world-wide
significance.

Any failure on Indian government`s part to intervene,
supported by in-depth research, scholastic views and analysis,
would cause irretrievable damage to the country`s and rich
culture and heritage, the petition contends.

PTI