20 DEC, 2011, 02.52PM IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha Tuesday condemned the move in a Russian court to ban the Bhagavad Gita as an extremist text, and the government assured the members that it was taking up the issue with Russia and appropriate action will be taken soon.
Raising the issue of likely ban on the Bhagavad Gita, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Tarun Vijay said during the zero hour that seeking ban on the Hindu sacred text was like seeking a ban on the sun.
"Can sun be banned, Himalayas be banned...," he asked.
He said the entire country should protest the move and the government should take up the issue with Russia.
Vijay said eminent men, including Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Albert Einstein, had drawn inspiration from the Gita.
"If anybody talks of banning the Gita, it is not acceptable. The matter came up during the prime minister's visit to Russia. Did the prime minister raise the issue? What reply was given?" Vijay said.
Several members cutting across party lines conveyed their support on the issue raised by Vijay.
Congress member P.J. Kurein said the move to ban Bhagavad Gita was a "very serious matter".
Rajya Sabha Deputy chairman K. Rahman Khan said "the entire house agrees with this and joins in condemning this".
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the government agreed with the feelings of the members.
"We are apprising the Russian government...appropriate steps will be taken," he said.
The case in a Siberian court, which has been going on since June, seeks a ban on the "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon).