Special Correspondent

Leaders of the Veerashaivas recall the swamiji’s services to society

Illiteracy and poverty are the greatest enemies of the country: seer

MYSORE: Glowing tributes were paid to Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math in Tumkur to mark his centenary year with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa seeking Bharat Ratna to the seer here on Tuesday.

The function, organised by Akhila Bharatha Veershaiva Mahasaba, was attended by a large number of people, including leaders of political parties and Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math.

Leaders of the Veerashaivas recalled the services being rendered by the Siddaganga Math in various fields and described it as nothing short of a miracle that 9,000 students and 3,000 pilgrims were being fed every day.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “Future generations may scarcely believe that a seer like Sri Shivakumara Swamiji lived amidst us.” He recalled the seer’s contributions to society. “We have conferred various awards on the seer for his commitment to society, and the Government has urged the Centre to bestow Bharat Ratna on Sri Shivakumar Swamiji,” he said.

Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje, who is in charge of Mysore district, said the swamiji epitomised Basavanna. It was time for religious leaders to discipline errant politicians and instil in them a sense of commitment to the people, she said.

Replying to the felicitation, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji cautioned the people that democracy was not a gift and it did not come easily.

It was a result of a hard-fought struggle by the previous generation, the swamiji said.

He described illiteracy and poverty as two of the greatest menaces plaguing the country today and called for equitable distribution of wealth in society and an inspired political leadership. Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math said that Sri Shivakumara Swamiji had received a letter cautioning him against participating in the function to inaugurate the Dasara celebrations.

“Please do not participate in Dasara because you too may be hurt by the acts we intend to carry out and we do not wish to cause you any hurt,” was the content of the letter, according to the Suttur swamiji.

“This was disclosed to me by the swamiji himself while coming in the car to the venue,” he added.