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Hindus welcome Russian prosecutors' decision of not pursuing Bhagavad Gita ban
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).

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.

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.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement, said that it was a “step in the right direction”. 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.

Zed said that Bhagavad Gita was one of the holiest scriptures of Hinduism and banning it would have deeply hurt the devotees. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be maltreated, Zed argued. He noted that attempt at banning Bhagavad Gita was apparently an attack on religious freedom and belittling of the entire community.

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.

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