India uproar at call in Russia to ban Hindu holy book

By REUTERS
December 19, 2011 16:27

NEW DELHI - Angry Indian lawmakers forced parliament to close on Monday and protesters gathered outside a Russian consulate over a Siberian trial calling for one of Hinduism's most holy books to be put on a list of banned literature that includes Hitler's Mein Kampf.

The case filed by state prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk says a translation of the Bhagavad Gita is extremist because it insults non-believers, local media in Russia say.

"We will not tolerate an insult to Lord Krishna," members of parliament shouted, until the house speaker adjourned parliament for several hours.

The Bhagavad Gita takes the form of a conversation between Hindu god Krishna and a prince called Arjuna prior to a battle. Its philosophical insights were praised by Albert Einstein and forms a bedrock of the Hindu belief system.

India and Russia enjoy close diplomatic and defense ties and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned from an annual visit to Moscow over the weekend. Lawmakers demanded to know if he had raised the issue of the trial with Russian officials.


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