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Mumbai | Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 20:00 | Source : PTI : Bombay High Court today asked Government of India (GOI) to consider the option of the country being represented before a court in Russia to defend the Bhagwad Gita, the holy Hindu scripture which is facing a ban there.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi also asked the Centre to inform the court about what action it has initiated to monitor the issue on the next date of hearing on January 9 next.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking the government’s intervention in the case before the Russian court where a ban on Bhagwad Gita has been demanded. The petitioners have quoted newspaper reports that a ban has been sought on Gita in a Tomsk courtin Siberia dubbing it as a literature spreading social discord.
Beni Chatterji, counsel for the Central government, informed the court that S M Krishna, Minister of External Affairs, had made a statement that the ministry is monitoring the case. M I Sethna, counsel for the petitioners, however, said that the government is just monitoring and has asked Iskcon to defend the literature there.
“It is a grave insult to our culture. Instead of asking Iskcon to defend, the government should defend the Gita,” Sethna said. The PIL states that Gita is a sacred text and attempts to ban it would have far-reaching implications not only in India but also internationally. It contends that the subject concerned not just the Indians in Russia, but had world-wide significance.
Any failure on Indian government’s part to intervene, supported by in-depth research, scholastic views and analysis, would cause irretrievable damage to the country’s and rich culture and heritage, the petition contends.
Bhagavad Gita ban: Outrage grows as sales soar.
New Delhi | Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 20:00 | Source : PTI : The outrage continues to grow against possible banning of Hindu’s holy scripture Bhagavad Gita in Russia. The proposed ban of Gita in Russia has ignited protest on the social media even as trial verdict nears.
Amidst the demand of the Opposition for declaring the holy scripture as the National Book, scores of netizens took to Twitter to express their shock and anger.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commented on Twitter: “Banning Bhagavad Gita in Russia is an unpardonable loss for the people of Russia.”
“The move to ban ‘Bhagavad Gita’ shows intolerance; it is intolerance that is the reason for terrorism and not ‘Bhagavad Gita,” he tweeted.
“Bhagavad Gita begins with word Dharma n ends with Mama. Entire Gita is nothing but Mama Dharma (My Dharma); that which uplifts life,” his tweets read.
Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar expressed his shock over the Gita facing ban in Russia. “Banning Gita ? Have they lost their minds. This great book of wisdom belongs not only to Hindus but to the whole humanity,” he tweeted.
His tweet was followed by comments like: “Please read Gita so you don’t misquote it.”
MP Naveen Jindal also took to the social media in expressing his views on the recent controversy. “I welcome the statement by the Russian ambassador to India condemning the Bhagavad Gita controversy.”
JD leader Subramanian Swamy wrote on Twitter: “Happy to inform that Russian Ambassador will tell my daughter on TV that he is a student of Gita and Russia will rectify matters soon. Ok?”
Bollywood celebrity, Farah Ali Khan also retweeted: “The Russians have banned the Gita. In retaliation let’s ban something equally sacrosanct to them: vodka.”
More than 20,000 people signed an online petition against the trial and the word Gita continued to be at the top of Indian trends on Twitter on Wednesday.
Book sales go up
The controversy surrounding the Gita ban has been proving blessing in disguise for the publishers of the book. The holy book has notched up steady sales through the year.
Booksellers have witnessed a small rise in the sales since the controversy erupted late last week
Hindu American community outraged
“The actions of Russian prosecutors are indefensible and represent a draconian attempt to restrict the religious freedom of Hindus in Russia,” said Mr Suhag Shukla, Managing Director of the Washington-based Hindu American Foundation (HAF). (<read here HAF news on protest).
“By promoting a narrow and intolerant agenda that demonises a sacred scripture revered by more than one billion Hindus worldwide, Russian officials are acting contrary to the principles of a free democratic society,” he said.
Members of the Hindu American Foundation have formally presented their concerns to Russian embassy officials in Washington, DC and requested a meeting to further address the situation.
“We urge the Russian judiciary and government to uphold the basic rights of their Hindu citizens,” said Mr Jay Kansara, HAF’s Washington, DC-based associate director.
“Any court ruling or law that would prohibit the Bhagavad Gita or any other Hindu religious literature would be considered a direct attack on the civil liberties of Russia’s Hindu community and an affront to Hindus throughout the world,” he said.
Krishna assures to talk to Russian govt
Parliament witnessed uproar on Tuesday following the outrage over banning of Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita in Russia after a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church described the holy book as ‘extremist’.
In the wake of the uproar over a move to ban Bhagavad Gita in Russia, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna made a statement in Parliament saying India is in talks with the Russia over the ban issue.
Gita Should be the National Book of India : BJP.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday demanded that the Bhagvad Gita should be declared a national book in the backdrop of a move to ban the holy scripture in Siberia.
Sushma’s statement came after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told Parliament that India had registered its protest to the Russian government on a petition seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita in a Siberian Court. (With PTI inputs).
Chandigarh: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) staged protests and opposed the Russian demand to ban Bhagvad Gita in Russian territory.
The protesters demanded that the central government should take initiative in the matter and ensure that the Hindu sentiments are not hurt in Russia and worldwide. VHP and Bajrang Dal workers protested outside the ISKCON temple in Sector 36 on Tuesday afternoon.
Chandigarh in charge of Bajrang Dal and Punjab state vice president of VHP Naresh Arora said the Holy Scripture preaches peace to the world and is one of the most pious scriptures of Hindu religion; it is a shame to brand it as an extremist literature. He further said that the issue will be raised in the Parlianment.
Bhagvad gita and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf are likely to be included in the Russian Judicial Ministry’s list of banned extremist literature. A Tomsk court in Siberia was scheduled to deliver the final verdict on Monday but it suspended its verdict till December 28 on the demand for banning Bhagvad Gita.
The Bhagvad Gita is a holy Hindu scripture where Lord Krishna preaches to the followers. It also considered a great piece of literature in philosophical studies. It is an important part of the Indian epic Mahabharata.
In Mumbai Hundreds of Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Janagruti Sanithi protested today over the attempt on Gita ban in a Russian Court.
New Delhi : Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : The Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) on Tuesday warned of agitations outside Russian offices in the country if any ban is imposed on Bhagwad Gita by a court in Siberia hearing a case regarding the sacred religious text.
VHP’s International Working President Pravin Togadia in a statement demanded immediate dismissal of the case in Tomsk city and prosecution against those who dared to make an “obnoxious” challenge against the religious scripture revered so highly by “Bharat’s majority.”
Togadia claimed that the move against Gita in Russia was aimed to divert public attention from the real local issues there.
Togadia also said there would be agitations against the Government of India if any ban by the Siberian court goes unchallenged.
“Bhagavad Gita is not just a book but is (God) for the Krishna devotees and all Hindus,” VHP international Working President Pravin Togadia said in a statement.
“The principles taught in the Gita are universal and touch humanity so very deeply,” he said, adding that even Albert Einstein was influenced by the holy book.
He warned that if the Gita was banned in Russia, then Indians would be forced to protest against Russian goods, as well as Russian plants and offices.