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Demand to separate Lingayat from Hindu religion grows louder

  • A massive rally was held in Bidar demanding independent religion status to Lingayat
  • An appeal addressed to CM to recommend Constitutional status to Lingayat was submitted to ZP
  • Though Lingayat are in majority population, lack of unification is the cause for being neglected, it was felt
Massive rally in Bidar urging independent religion status to Lingayata
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Demanding a separate religious status for Lingayats, a massive rally was held in Bidar on Wednesday. The rally was led by Mathe Mahadevi, seer of Basava Dharma Peetha, Kudala Sangama and Basavalinga Pattaddevaru, Bhalki Hiremath Samsthana and other seers. 

Addressing the gathering, Mathe Mahadevi said "The term Lingayat is not attributed to any community, caste or clan. But this is an independent religion. But due to sheer ignorance of some, Lingayat has become a part of Hindu religion. At least, this should be stopped now. Lingayat should be declared as an independent religion and not part of Hindu religion."

 She also threw a challenge for the historians, seers and religious thinkers to prove her wrong. The movement will continue till the demands are considered, she told the massive crowd at the Nehru Ground and said the agitation will continue till Lingayat is considered an independent religion. She also announced another massive rally in Lathoor, Maharashtra on September 11.  After holding rallies in all districts in the State, a final rally will be held in Bengaluru, meetings will be held with representatives of people and the Chief Minister, she said, reports Kannada Prabha. 

Panchamasali Jagadguru Basavajaya Jayamruthyunjaya Swamy of Kudala Sangama said, like Shivaji in Maharashtra and Gurunanak in Punjab, Basavanna must be announced as the cultural leader in Karnataka. He said he is confident that Lingayats will get independent religion status while Siddaramaiah is in office. Maharashtra's Rashtra Santha Dr Shivalinga Shivacharya said though Lingayats are in majority population, lack of unification is the cause for being neglected. Lingayats are in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and other areas and independent religion status must be accorded to Lingayats. Unified agitation would definitely get results, he said. An appeal addressed to the Chief Minister requesting him to recommend to the Central government to accord Constitutional status to Lingayats was submitted to the district administration. The appeal says all across the State tahsildars are giving certificates to Lingayats as Veerashaiva Lingayata, and it should be stopped immediately.

However, the seer Mathe Mahadevi's move to unify Lingayats to seek an independent religion status, has come under severe criticism. "Her move is a foolish move," ridiculed noted historian Dr M Chidananda Murthy. "Contradictory to her claims, Veerashaiva and Lingayat have been used in the Basavanna's vachanas. Lingayat is a part of Hindu religion and her demand to seek a separate religious status for it is inappropriate," he said, reports Vijaya Vani. 

There are roughly 60 lakh Lingayats in the state and during the previous BJP government, Yeddyurappa had included at least 19 sub-sects of the Lingayat community to the list of Backward Classes. They were to be added to the 3-B category and this nearly makes the entire Lingayat community under the Backward Classes list. In fact, the dominant and influential sub-sects that have been included in BC list include Veerashaiva Banajiga, Veerashaiva Aradhya, Veerashaiva Sadara and others. Even then there was a demand to exclude Lingayat from the Hindu community. 

 

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