A Siberian district court on Wednesday rejected a petition seeking a ban on a Russian translation of the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita.
The Russian translation of “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” was written by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prosecutors claimed that the scripture promotes extremism and “social discord”.
“We expected a fair decision - we got it. It shows that there are still sanity and open-mindedness in Russia,” a lawyer representing the Hare Krishna movement in Tomsk, Alexander Shakhov, said.
The petition was originally filed in June in Siberia and the trial has prompted a flurry of highly critical publications in the international media.
India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met with Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin on Tuesday to discuss the matter. Krishna told Kadakin that India is concerned over the “sensitive” issue of the Siberian court hearing and that the Russian government should provide all help to resolve the issue expeditiously. Kadakin had assured Krishna that the Russian government will do all it can within its powers.
Kadakin had denounced last week those seeking the ban on the Gita as “madmen”.