A Russian court has rejected a call from prosecutors to ban one of Hinduism’s holiest books, avoiding a diplomatic tussle days before President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India.
Indian lawmakers had criticized the case strongly. Russia and India have vibrant trade ties dating back to the Soviet era and New Delhi is Moscow’s top arms customer, buying several billion dollars in weapons every year.
Prosecutors argue that the book – a translation of the Bhagavad Gita – included a commentary that was ‘hostile to other faiths’. Initial reports of the court case against the book caused Indian parliamentarians to adjourn in protest last year.
Medvedev will go to India next week for a summit of the BRICS group of emerging market powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.