Asia Times Online: Neeta Lal: Close on the heels of India’s liberal intellectual tradition receiving a jolt with the removal of an essay – ”Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translations” – by the late scholar A K Ramanujan from Delhi University’s BA history (honors) syllabus, comes a ban on the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most sacred Hindu religious texts, this time in Russia.
The Bhagavad Gita, an important part of the Indian epic Mahabharata written by Sage Ved Vyasa, faces the prospect of being branded as “extremist literature” by a court in Moscow. The 700-verse Hindu scripture is frequently treated as a freestanding text as it embodies the words and message of God according to Hindu beliefs. The protagonist of the text is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God himself.
Editor’s comment: The Russian academics of Tomsk had better decide on not banning Gita. It runs against the fundamental principles of religious freedom. All religious text is open to interpretation and must not be made a basis for a ban.