Russia not to ban Gita

In a major relief to the Indo-Russian relations, a Russian court has decided not to ban a translation of the Hindu religious book, Bhagvad Gita.

This augers well for the bilateral relations – the former Soviet Union has shared strong ties with India for many years – from Bollywood movies to arms supplies. India is the world’s largest buyer of arms, and is Russia’s largest customer.

The decision of a district court in Siberia comes just in time for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India, as part of a BRICS summit – a group of emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Extremist groups in Russia have unsuccessfully tried to ban a Russian translation of the Gita, first published in 1984. Russia has already banned more than 1000 texts. Russian diplomats had earlier explained that the objection to the book did not relate to the holy text, but to a preface of the book written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Bhagvad Gita is part of Hindu scripture Mahabharata, and provides philosophical guidance to leading a just life. It is narrated in the form of a conversation between Krishna (symbolic human form of God) and Arjuna (symbolic human facing dualism of life).



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