Prosecutor's office appeals adverse judgment in Bhagavad Gita case
TOMSK, February 1 - RAPSI. The Tomsk Prosecutor's Office has appealed the court's refusal to declare a Russian version of the "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" Hindu scripture an extremist text, the prosecutor told journalists on Wednesday.
The prosecutor said the case was opened on legal grounds.
"When we have to deal with such materials, we are just bound to proceed with them. The law opposes extremism. When scholars say the text is of an extremist character, we just have to respond," prosecutor said.
In June, the Tomsk Prosecutor's Office appealed to the court to place the Russian-language version of the text on the federal extremist materials list. The prosecutor's office initiated the case following an inspection of the Tomsk Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The prosecutor's office's petition to declare "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" an extremist text has sparked public indignation in India and been called a violation of Hindu rights. Several lawmakers have called on the Russian government to stand up for the rights of Hindus in Russia.
In late December, a Siberian district court rejected a petition by prosecutors to ban the book. The petition was originally filed in June and the trial prompted criticism in international media.
"Bhagavad Gita As It Is" is a translation and commentary of the original Bhagavad Gita Hindu scripture. It was written by the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prosecutors say the book promotes extremism and social discord.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said the translated version may not be linguistically true to the original Hindu scripture, as it contains "semantic distortions," which may affect its meaning.