`Ban Gita` court battle restarts in Russia
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Last Updated: Friday, February 17, 2012, 00:49
  
Moscow: Nearly two months after a Russian court rejected a ban on a translated version of Bhagvad Gita, a top Siberian prosecutor has now demanded the removal of a Russian comment only from the book for being "extremist", without affecting the canonical text of the scripture.

On December 28, a court in the Siberian city of Tomsk had rejected a petition seeking a ban on the translated version of Bhagvad Gita, a verdict which was welcomed by India as a "sensible resolution of a sensitive issue".

Tomsk Region Prosecutor General Vasily Voikin has now demanded that "a Russian translation of a comment in this book, earlier published in English, be banned as extremist, not the canonical text of the scripture," his deputy Ivan Semchishin was quoted as saying by 'Ria Novosti' today.

The original petition seeking a ban on the translated version of the holy scripture was filed in June 2011 and the trial prompted a flurry of criticism from across the world.

A day before the Siberian court rejected the petition, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had asked the Russian government to help resolve the issue quickly.

"The bid to ban the Russian translation of Bhagavad Gita has been misunderstood," Alexander Buksman, a Tomsk region prosecutor, said.

"It's important to discern gems from the chatter in this very case; the society's perception of this issue is that prosecutors are standing against the concepts of this religion (Hinduism).

"However, the problem is that the Russian translation has paragraphs that could be seen as promoting extremism; prosecutors started the case for that reason," Buksman was quoted as saying.

Voikin "is now maintaining his claims in an appeal court for that very reason," Semchishin added.

Bhagavat Gita was first published in Russia in 1788 and since then it has been republished many times in various translations.

The controversial Russian translation of "Bhagavad Gita: As It Is" was carried out by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 18:11


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