Russia has expressed regret over a Siberian court trial considering a ban on a one Hindu holy book causing an 'uproar' in India.
State prosecutors in Tomsk seek to ban the Russian translation of the Bhagavad Gita , contending it is an extremist religious text that should be banned. They said the book spreads social discord, the IANS news agency reported.
Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said:
I consider it categorically inadmissible when any holy scripture is taken to the courts. For all believers these texts are sacred.
He claimed that Russia was a secular and democratic country where all religions enjoyed equal respect.
The Siberian court is expected to deliver its verdict in the case on December 28.
Update: Not banned
31st December 2011. See article
A judge in Tomsk, Russia drew a round of applause from the court room as she dismissed charges of extremism against the Bhagavad Gita As It Is , a Russian commented translation of the Bhagavad Gita published by the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness. This decision put an end to the six-month-long trial of the book accused by the state prosecutors of fostering social discord and incitement to religious hatred .
The Indian Foreign Ministry, which had been urging Moscow to avert the possible ban they termed as absurd , welcomed the verdict calling it a sensible resolution of a sensitive issue which demonstrates yet again that the people of
India and Russia have a deep understanding of each other's cultures and will always reject any attempt to belittle our common civilizational values and thanked the Russian government for their support.
The controversial court case on the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text regarded sacred by millions of Hindus, had caused political and societal turmoil in India, with the Indian Parliament stalled over the proposed ban and Hindu activists burning
Russian flags. The trial also evoked strong criticism from the international media.