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Gita issue:Prosecutor wants 'extremist' Russian comment banned

February 16, 2012 22:22 IST

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' on Thursday.

Confirming the report, Sadhu Priya Das of Moscow The International Society for Krishna Consciousness told PTI that an appeal has been filed by prosecutors in Tomsk District court against the earlier judgement, dismissing their plea to ban Gita.

"The next hearing will be held on March 6," he told PTI.

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.

State prosecutors, who had filed the petition, have branded the test as "extremist" literature full of hatred and insult to non-believers, which promoted social discord. 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.

he controversial Russian translation of Bhagavad Gita: As It Is was carried out by founder of the ISKCON A C  Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

PTI
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