One way or another there can be arguments not in favour of all these works. But it is a sign of pigheadedness for someone to ask for a ban on the Bhagavat Gita -- as in Siberia. With respect to many, we think not much dignity need be attached to ravings of such pudding-headed ultras.
They say it is an extremist literature. Right enough there was an uproar over the move, for it is inadmissible that a holy scripture is taken to court.
Seventy years after persecution under the communists, the Russian Orthodox Church is copying those tormentors. The public prosecutor of Tomsk is the kind of agent (spy?) Lenin and Stalin used. A Russian court, in a sensible move, rejected this grossly irreverent act toward what is held to be sacred.
The Russian Orthodox Church thinks the Hare Krishna movement is a totalitarian sect and has, for long, been trying to curb the movement's activities. Some months ago the authorities did not allow the organisers to have a prayer hall in a Mosow suburb.
Being insecure, It fears Hinduism will make inroads into its base. Ironically, Tomsk where the case is to be heard is known for its religious tolerance, it is part of that country's Constitution. It is utter foolishness, nothing else.
Russia now says the complaints are misplaced ;it was not the Gita as such that was on trial but some comments contained in a 20th-century Russian translation. The Mahabharata was first published in Russian in 1788 and then went through many editions in different years and in various translations, an official at the Foreign Ministry said, a day after India upped the ante in the controversy.
"The Tomsk court case is about classifying as extremist material the Russian-language edition of the Bhagavad Gita. As It Is, written in 1968 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness," he added. This some may say is a climb down, but the government and many MPs say we shouldn't take it at its face value.
All the same it is disquieting when any holy scripture is taken to court, for these texts are sacred to ALL. Worse, when a ruling is sent to ignorant people to pass judgment on. Such academic scrutiny should be done at scientists fora and seminars.