Russian court dismisses ban plea on Gita rendition : Rest of the World News - India Today
The Tomsk regional court in Siberia on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the prosecutor's office to ban the Russian translation of Bhagavad Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
The state prosecutors filed an appeal in the Tomsk higher court against the decision of the trial court, which had rejected their petition on December 28 to ban the holy book on the grounds that it "is an extremist literature, inciting religious hatred and humiliating the dignity of non-believers" in Russia.
Tomsk region prosecutor Alexander Buksman had publicly supported the appeal, saying the proposed ban on Bhaktivedanta's version of the Bhagavad Gita rather than the Hindu holy text itself was justified because "it is important to discern gems from the chatter in this very case".
Sadhu Priya Das of the Moscow ISKCON welcomed the decision of the higher court. "We have won the case. We are grateful to the Russian justice system for the positive ruling given by the court," he said.
Das also thanked Russian scholars and scientists who had opposed the move to ban the book.
Ajai Malhotra, the Indian ambassador to Russia, said: "I welcome the verdict. It is good that the decision of the lower trial court in this matter has been reaffirmed. I trust that this issue is now conclusively behind us."
Since last June, the controversial case has sparked political and religious turmoil in India, and had even led to Parliament being stalled for a day.
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