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India takes up Gita ban issue with Russia

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 08:58

Moscow: India has strongly taken up the
demand for banning Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which a
group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as
`extremist`, with the Russian authorities, Indian Ambassador
to Russia Ajai Malhotra said.

"The matter has been taken up by the Indian Embassy in
Moscow with the Russian Government at senior official level,
seeking its favourable and positive intervention in the
matter," Ambassador Malhotra said, as the court in Tomsk
postponed its ruling on the petition banning Bhagwad Gita as
`extremist` and allegedly `sowing` social-discord in Russia.

Describing Bhagwat Gita as extremist, a group linked to
the Christian Orthodox Church has demanded ban due to conflict
of interests between the Russian followers of Lord Krishna and
the local authorities in the Siberian region of Tomsk.

Malhotra personally and his mission here have been
publicly expressed their support to the local chapter of
International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

The final hearing in the Tomsk District Court is
scheduled for December 28, as the Court agreed to seek the
opinion of the Russian Ombudsman on Human Rights in Tomsk
Region and of Indologists from Moscow and St Petersburg (all
of whom favour dismissal of the case).

The case pertains to the legal relationship between a
Russian registered socio-cultural organization and the local
authorities. Nevertheless, the Embassy in Moscow has been
publicly supportive and sympathetic in the matter.

"We believe that there are new operational concepts that
link the Indian Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, we want to talk
about the manifestations of that, both in terms of maritime
security and other aspects of commerce and security
interactions and we would talk about developments among all
the key countries in the Asia Pacific region," Campbell said.

"But our talks wouldn`t end there. There would also be
talks on global issues. I am very excited about these
developments and I think they have the potential to advance
trust and understanding among all three Capitals," he said.

Campbell said the future prospects of India-US-Japan
dialogue depends on progress of the today`s meeting.
"Well, it has taken us some time to set up this meeting.

I think, we all will see how this one goes. I think, we
will make our assessment after that. We certainly would be
open to more frequent discussions, but all parties would have
to be comfortable with that. And I think, what we are trying
to do is to take step at a time and just see how this first
set of interactions goes," he said.


First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 08:54

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