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BJP leaders on Wednesday gifted copies of the Bhagavad Gita to Russia's Deputy Ambassador Denis Alipov here to protest the likely ban on the Hindu holy book in his country.
A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, including party leader Bal Apte, Rajya Sabha member Smriti Irani, Vijay Jolly, and others went to the Russian embassy here and met Alipov to register their protest against a likely ban on the Gita by a court in Siberia.
The party also handed him a letter addressed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
"We wish to state that Gita preaches self discipline. It is a book with sublime thoughts and practical directions on yoga, action and devotion. It does not promote extremism. It promotes spiritualism and teaches to the mankind the need to fulfil responsibility towards worldly duties," the letter said.
"We also request the Russian government to take strong note of our beliefs as banning Bhagavad Gita will impact negatively on the people-to-people relationship between India and Russia," it added.
A court in Tomsk, Siberia, is hearing a plea seeking a ban on the Gita on the grounds that it was an "extremist literature".
The issue gained centrestage after an IANS report on the matter.
The BJP has also demanded that the Gita be declared the country's "national book".