Hindus have welcomed the reported decision of Russian prosecutors of not appealing against rejection by Tomsk regional court in Siberia (Russia) of proposed move to ban their ancient scripture Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord).
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was a “step in the right direction”.
According to reports, Tomsk Region Prosecutor’s Office, which initiated the case in June 2011, will not appeal the court’s decision to refuse to declare Bhagavad Gita as extremist. In March last, Tomsk regional court reportedly reaffirmed the December lower court ruling.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked the Prosecutor’s Office for this reported decision saying that it was a right and sensible move befitting a democratic, open-minded and pluralistic society.
Rajan Zed said that Bhagavad Gita was one of the holiest scriptures of Hinduism and banning it would have deeply hurt the devotees. No faith, larger or smaller, should be maltreated, Zed argued.
Zed noted that attempt at banning Bhagavad Gita was apparently an attack on religious freedom and belittling of the entire community.
Rajan Zed stressed that this philosophical and intensely spiritual poem, often considered the epitome of Hinduism, was highly revered by Hindus. Besides being the cornerstone of Hindu faith, Bhagavad Gita was also one of the masterpieces of Sanskrit poetry and a world treasure and had been commented by hundreds of authors and translated into all major languages of the world.
It was a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, just before the beginning of the great Mahabharata war, in which Lord Krishna gave spiritual enlightenment to the warrior Arjuna, who realized that the true battle was for his own soul. Its 700 verses in 18 chapters considered the nature of action, the religious and social duty, the human relationship to God, the means of liberation, and the nature of sacrifice, etc., Zed stated.
Established in 1604, Tomsk, one of the oldest towns in Siberia, is a major center for Russia’s IT industry and houses Siberia’s oldest university Tomsk State University. Nikolay Nikolaychuk is reportedly the acting Mayor.