Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Dec 21, 2011, 11:59 AM IST
New Delhi: The outrage continues to grow against possible banning of Hindu’s holy scripture Bhagavad Gita in Russia. The proposed ban of Gita in Russia has ignited protest on the social media even as trial verdict nears.
Amidst the demand of the Opposition for declaring the holy scripture as the National Book, scores of netizens took to Twitter to express their shock and anger.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commented on Twitter: “Banning Bhagavad Gita in Russia is an unpardonable loss for the people of Russia.”
"The move to ban 'Bhagavad Gita' shows intolerance; it is intolerance that is the reason for terrorism and not 'Bhagavad Gita,” he tweeted.
“Bhagavad Gita begins with word Dharma n ends with Mama. Entire Gita is nothing but Mama Dharma (My Dharma); that which uplifts life,” his tweets read.
Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar expressed his shock over the Gita facing ban in Russia. “Banning Gita ? Have they lost their minds. This great book of wisdom belongs not only to Hindus but to the whole humanity,” he tweeted.
His tweet was followed by comments like: “Please read Gita so you don't misquote it.”
MP Naveen Jindal also took to the social media in expressing his views on the recent controversy. “I welcome the statement by the Russian ambassador to India condemning the Bhagavad Gita controversy.”
JD leader Subramanian Swamy wrote on Twitter: “Happy to inform that Russian Ambassador will tell my daughter on TV that he is a student of Gita and Russia will rectify matters soon. Ok?”
Bollywood celebrity, Farah Ali Khan also retweeted: “The Russians have banned the Gita. In retaliation let's ban something equally sacrosanct to them: vodka.”
More than 20,000 people signed an online petition against the trial and the word Gita continued to be at the top of Indian trends on Twitter on Wednesday.
Book sales go up
The controversy surrounding the Gita ban has been proving blessing in disguise for the publishers of the book. The holy book has notched up steady sales through the year.
Booksellers have witnessed a small rise in the sales since the controversy erupted late last week
Hindu American community outraged
The Hindu American community has expressed shock and outrage over a recent attempt to ban the Bhagavad Gita in Russia.
“The actions of Russian prosecutors are indefensible and represent a draconian attempt to restrict the religious freedom of Hindus in Russia,” said Mr Suhag Shukla, Managing Director of the Washington-based Hindu American Foundation (HAF).
“By promoting a narrow and intolerant agenda that demonises a sacred scripture revered by more than one billion Hindus worldwide, Russian officials are acting contrary to the principles of a free democratic society,” he said.
Members of the Hindu American Foundation have formally presented their concerns to Russian embassy officials in Washington, DC and requested a meeting to further address the situation.
“We urge the Russian judiciary and government to uphold the basic rights of their Hindu citizens,” said Mr Jay Kansara, HAF’s Washington, DC-based associate director.
“Any court ruling or law that would prohibit the Bhagavad Gita or any other Hindu religious literature would be considered a direct attack on the civil liberties of Russia’s Hindu community and an affront to Hindus throughout the world,” he said.
Krishna assures to talk to Russian govt
Parliament witnessed uproar on Tuesday following the outrage over banning of Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita in Russia after a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church described the holy book as ‘extremist’.
In the wake of the uproar over a move to ban Bhagavad Gita in Russia, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna made a statement in Parliament saying India is in talks with the Russia over the ban issue.
Gita as National Book?
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday demanded that the Bhagvad Gita should be declared a national book in the backdrop of a move to ban the holy scripture in Siberia.
Sushma's statement came after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told Parliament that India had registered its protest to the Russian government on a petition seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita in a Siberian court.
(With PTI inputs)