M A I N   N E W S

Russia’s largest Hindu temple faces closure
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, March 29
While the Russian President is in India for the ongoing BRICS summit, the Hindu community in Russia is once again on the edge.

This time the issue involves a possible closure of Russia's biggest Vedic culture centre and the largest Hindu temple in that part of the world. The temple is facing prospects of eviction in St Petersburg, the hometown of Vladimir Putin, the President-Elect of Russia.

Owners of the eight-storey building leased for 49 years to the Centre for Spiritual Development which manages the said culture centre and the temple, is seeking to terminate the lease deal and recently got a court order for its eviction.

The Vedic Society appealed against the said order and the appeal is coming up for hearing tomorrow in the Upper Court of Arbitration in St Petersburg.

“The move could lead to the closure of Russia’s largest Hindu temple and we are hoping for the Indian Government to support our case. This is the second time we are facing a challenge in Russia. We have still not fully recovered from the threat we faced over the row involving the demand of a ban on the Bhagwad Gita,” Kamal Omer, India Representative of the Vedic Society for Spiritual Development today told The Tribune.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Centre Suren Karapetyan has issued an appeal for India’s help. “Vedic culture centre is involved in promoting the ancient Indian traditions, including Sanskrit and yoga studies,” he said.

The chairman feared the latest development involves the same factions that had earlier led an unsuccessful campaign for the ban on Bhagwad Gita.

“This could be the part of the anti-Hindu campaign by a section of Russian Orthodox Christian Church zealots after their demand to seek the ban on Bhagwad Gita, otherwise I don't understand the move for pre-mature termination of the lease,” Karapetyan added in a signed letter issued today.

The Vedic Centre said the Hindus of Russia had repeatedly requested the intervention of Prime Minister Putin in January but the request had gone in vain.





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