5 times Mathe Mahadevi, first female Jagadguru of Lingayat community, courted controversy
- Mathe Mahadevi is the first female Jagadguru of Lingayat sect
- She is spearheading the movement to declare Lingayat sect as separate religion
- With her straightforward and strong views on various social issues, seer Mathe Mahadevi is always in news for wrong reasons
As the pros and cons are being weighed down whether Lingayats be excluded from the Hindu religion, Mathe Mahadevi, the seer who is spearheading the new movement is in the news again. The seer who holds a post-graduate degree in MA is a scholar in her own right. She has published countless books dedicated to teachings of Basavanna. In fact, Mathe Mahadevi, the first female Jagadguru of the Lingayat sect and head of Basava Dharma Peetha is no stranger to controversies. Be it her statement on women wearing skimpy clothes reason for rape or legalising prostitution, Mathe Mahadevi has always stood out from other Lingayat seers for her straightforward and strong views on the social issues.
Here's a quick take into her fiery controversial statements that have grabbed headlines.
1. Lingayat sect is a religion in its own accord
It was not the first time that seer Mathe Mahadevi spoke on separating Lingayat from Hindu religion. It was in 2011, that seer Mathe Mahadevi launched the campaign to seek independent religion status for the Lingayat sect in Dharwad in 2011. Since then, she has been stating that Lingayat was a religion in its own accord. Although, she was highly criticised by the scholars, historians and other prominent community leaders for dividing the community, thousands turned up the meet in Bidar, on Wednesday. She had stated that "There is a huge misconception that Veerashaivas and Lingayats are the same but are not. Lingayats are not Hindus or sub-sects of Hindus but are an independent religion." Lingayats are a dominant community in the state who are an ardent followers of Shiva. Her argument was that Lingayats worship only the Linga which is a formless god hence Lingayats are not Hindus, who worship crores of gods.
2. Attempt to change pen name of social reformer Akka Mahadevi
In 2008, seer Mathe Mahadevi had invited the wrath of community leaders after she attempted to change the pen name of revered social reformer Akka Mahadevi. Various Veerashaiva organisations had issued her legal notices for attempting to change Akka Mahadevi's pen name 'Channa Mallikarjuna' to 'Mahadevi Akka Priya Lingadeva' in a book which had the compilation of Akka Mahadevi's 'Vachanas' by her, reports The Hindu. Akka Mahadevi, like other Sharana, wrote 'Vachanas' under the pen name 'Channamallikarjuna' instilling security in the minds of women.
3. Women's revealing clothes, reason for rise in rape
The seer Mahadevi had stated that by wearing skimpy clothes, women were inviting unwanted attention and thus become the soft targets of perverts. "As long as women especially college girls and working women continue to wear revealing clothes, rapes will happen. Women, especially girls, should give up western clothes and wear costumes that reflect their culture," seer Mahadevi had stated much to the chagrin of women, reports The Times of India.
4. "Legalise prostitution"
The seer had stoked a controversy when she urged the state government to legalise prostitution. She had reportedly stated that several sections of the society also feel that prostitution be legalised to reduce sexual harassment of women, according to a report from Indiatoday.
5. "Bhagvad Gita cannot be national text"
After the Central government proposed to declare Bhagvad Gita as the national text in 2015, seer Mathe Mahadevi took strong objection to it. She had told mediapersons that it was the Indian Constitution was the supreme document of the country. "Ideas such as Chaturvarna system and Brahminism as propagated in the Gita differentiate between human beings," reports The Hindu.