India takes Gita issue with Russian Federal authorities

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Moscow, Dec 20: 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.


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