Moscow, Russia & New Delhi, Delhi, India
To counter the consistent buildup of negative publicity and criminally motivated attacks against Hindus in Russia, an Online Petition has been initiated on Change.org, world’s most popular online activism platform. The petition seeks to draw the attention of several authorities and media in Russian Federation and India including the heads of both states, President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries, Mr. Sergey Lavrov and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj among others. The online petition is LIVE and available at the following URL: https://goo.gl/sj8nHl
Mr. Prasun Prakash, the initiator of this petition, holds the post of Director of Public Communications and Cultural Development of the Centre for Promotion of Conservation and Development of Indian Culture “Shri Prakash Dham” in Moscow, Russia. Speaking on his petition, Mr. Prakash said, “The purpose of this online petition is to expose the nefarious designs of the few radical elements, who are targeting Hindus in Russia in general, and my family in particular, by spreading lies against the Hinduism religion so as to achieve the ultimate subjugation of the whole Hindu community in this great country.”
According to a 2010 religious census, there are 140,000 Hindus in Russia, which account for a mere 0.1% population of Russia. There have been several instances in the past wherein Hindus have been targeted by radical elements with hopes to marginalize what already is a minority population in the Russian Federation. In the past, the infamous Bhagavad Gita trial in Russia sparked public protests and legal actions in India against the proposed ban and drew harsh criticism from the intellectual community in Russia. Several leading Russian scholars publicly denounced the perpetuation of the trial. The scholars, during that time, appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev and Premier Vladimir Putin for intervention on grounds that the trial will have negative consequences for India-Russia relations and for Russia’s international reputation.
“We sincerely believe that Mr. Dvorkin, in his quest for cheap publicity, has identified my father and our family to be used as a tool against Hindus in Russia. What troubles us most is that some media outlets are adding credence to their false smear campaign and this has the potential of blowing out of proportion and may even jeopardize the friendly relations between the two great countries, Russia and India. We urgently implore Premier Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi to help us,” Mr. Prakash added further.
Mr. Prasun Prakash has been defending his organisation, Shri Prakash Dham, against the onslaught of misinformation and lies being spread by Mr. Alexander Dvorkin, a self claimed researcher of modern sectarianism, church historian and Orthodox theologian. Mr. Dvorkin has been consistently hounding Shri Prakash Dham and its founder, Sri Prakash ji, for past several months. He has also been systematically defiling Hinduism and challenging its acceptance as a world religion, thereby hurting the feelings of hundreds and millions of the believers of Hinduism, both in Russia and around the world. He publishes his controversial remarks on the forum website iriney.ru and also on several other social networks. The sheer viciousness of his highly misinformed views and preconceived notions about Hinduism is such that Mr. Prakash has had to question his intentions, authority, morality and the legality of his actions on similar platforms and even initiate a suit for libel against the online platform iriney.ru. Pursuant to this, a group of people were sent to terrorize and threaten Mr. Prakash and his family at their own home and false news reports broadcasted against Mr. Prakash’s organisation and his father.
“We have no doubt that the reason of the aggression towards us is to pressurize me and my family in connection with the libel lawsuit, but we’re not giving in. We have full faith in Russian Judicial System and we believe that our rights will be safeguarded. However, there is a need for everyone to know about this urgent issue so that people like Mr. Dvorkin and his accomplices think twice before indulging in such activities against Hindus in Russia,” Mr. Prakash concluded.
Mr. Prakash aims to carry forward his campaign with the conviction that when a country like India, having a majority population of Hindus, can safeguard Christianity and its followers, Russia can definitely offer the same to its minority Hindu population. He has requested all his friends, acquaintances and the general public, including anyone who could somehow influence the situation, to pay attention to the nefarious activities of Mr. Alexander Dvorkin and his accomplices, as they are clearly against the premises of our modern civilized society and could also lead to the emergence of misunderstanding between Russia and India in future.