Uproar in LS over bid to ban Gita

Uproar in LS over bid to ban Gita

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned after Question Hour today when members, agitated over a move by a Siberian court to ban the Bhagwad Gita, triggered a storm and demanded that the government take up the issue with Russia.

The matter was raised by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab during zero hours. He called upon the government to take up the issue with Russia through the Indian Embassy in Moscow.

Members from the Shiv Sena, BJP, RJD, BSP, SP, and Congress member Ijyaraj Singh stood up and sought immediate intervention by the government forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till 2 pm.

The issue was again raised by SP members who trooped into the well of the House as soon as it assembled in the afternoon. The Speaker adjourned the House again till 4 pm.

“This House must condemn this development… Gita, in fact, should be taught in primary schools and universities,” SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said when the Chair offered members the opportunity to express their views briefly on this issue.

“This is a wrong trend… The government must register its protest (with Russia)… otherwise, it will fuel anger among the followers of Krishna,” said Lalu Prasad.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government has taken note of the development. “Bhagwad Gita has an important role in our life. What happened in Russia has come into the government’s notice. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will make a statement in the House tomorrow,” Bansal said.

The government managed to pass Chartered Accountants (Amendment), Bill, 2011, Cost and Works Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2011, Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2011, and Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2011 during the din created at 2 pm amid objections from BJP’s Harin Pathak, who wanted to speak on these legislations. [Express news service: Tue Dec 20, 2011]

As Hindus rally, Russia court defers Gita verdict

New Delhi: Hindus in Russia on Monday made a last-ditch effort to save the Bhagavad Gita from a ban by a court in Tomsk city in Siberia.

Following a last-minute plea by Hindus in Russia, represented by their advocate Mikhail Frolov, the Siberian court has told the Russian human rights panel on Monday to come with its deposition before the verdict, scheduled December 28.

Frolov pleaded with the court to hear the Russian Human Rights Committee for its views on Bhagavad Gita and on the religious minorities’ rights, before pronouncing its verdict, he said.

Following the plea, the last of legal options that the Hindus had, the court agreed to hear out the human rights panel, according to Sadhu Priya Das, a Moscow-based Hindu and a devotee of a 40-year old Krishna temple in the Russian capital.

The case, which has been going on since June, seeks a ban on a Russian translation of the “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” written by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon).

It also wants the Hindu religious text banned in Russia, declared it as literature spreading “social discord” , and its distribution rendered illegal in Russia.

Indians in Moscow, numbering about 15,000, and followers of the Iskcon religious movement in Russia have appealed to the Indian government to intervene diplomatically to resolve the issue.

Advocate Frolov said the defense sought the deposition of the human rights panel in the case because they wanted to use all the legal options to defend the Gita.

“One of the last few options was to get the Human Rights Committee involved in the case so that the rights of minorities get highlighted before the court,” Frolov said.

He also said Hindus and Krishna devotees in Russia had much earlier represented to the human rights panel asking it to give its views before the court, which it agreed to. The committee, later, also wrote to the Tomsk court that it would like to present its views on the case, which the court accepted. [IANS | Dec 20, 2011, 06.15AM IST]