21 December 2011, 17:29
Indian authorities misinformed as to Tomsk proceedings against Bhagavad-Gita as It Is - expert
Moscow, December 21, Interfax - Director of the Human Rights Center of the World Russian People's Council and religious expert Roman Silantyev considers Indian authorities critics of Russia groundless in connection with legal proceedings in Tomsk.
"Most likely, Indian authorities were misinformed by Russian Krishna followers regarding legal proceedings in Tomsk on banning the book Bhagavad-Gita as It Is with commentaries of the founder of the International Society for Krishna conscienceless Swami Prabhupada," Silantyev told Interfax-Religion on Wednesday.
Thus he commented on the statement of Indian Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna made on the eve in the Lower Chamber of the Indian Parliament. He spoke for Russian followers of Krishna and their table book Bhagavad-Gita as It Is with Prabhupada commentaries.
"Bhagavad-Gita is not just a religious text, it is one of the defining tractates of Indian thought that describes the very soul of our great civilization", S.M.Krishna said, "It is much higher than any cheap promotion or attacks of illiterate people, who, as I understand, applied to the local Russian court."
Today, the Tomsk court considers a question of banning Bhagavad -Gita as It Is with Prabhupada commentaries as "having elements of extremism." In this connection MPs urge authorities to "interfere immediately and achieve observing guaranteed freedom of religion for Hinduists in Russia," and Indian diaspora in Moscow and Russian Krishnaites turned to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sing with the request not to allow banning of the holy for them text. The theme of "prosecutions of Hinduism in Russia" has become breaking news for leading Indian media.
According to Silantyev, basing on statements of the Indian part, it can be supposed that they were informed about probable ban on Bhagavad-Gita and not on Prabhupada's commentaries, and "it's not one and the same thing."
"For example, there's the Koran and there are interpretations of the Koran written by some Said Buryatsky (earlier eliminated terrorist - IF) and they're quite different books. No one is going to ban the books of the first category as they belong to holy texts of traditional religions, but their perverted interpretations are banned quite often, and not only in Russia," the interviewee of the agency said.
He pointed out that Russian scientists had accurately examined Prabhupada's interpretations of Bhagavad-Gita and "all who wish can get acquainted with their conclusions saying that it has nothing to do with traditional Hinduism."
Besides, Silantyev said that Krishnaites in Russia have "extremely nasty reputation" and authoritative scientists characterize them as sectarians. He reminded that leaders of Russia's Interreligious Council concluded in 2004 that Krishnaites were marginal pseudo-Hinduist sect and spoke against realizing programs of distributing their sacrificial food in places where Orthodox, Muslim, Jews and Buddhist believers live.
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