Demand for separate Lingayat religion reiterated

Heads of various mutts and prominent leaders of the community in attendance at a mega rally in Belagavi

Updated - August 22, 2017 04:32 pm IST

Published - August 22, 2017 02:16 pm IST - Belagavi

A mega rally by Lingayat organisations seeking separate religion status is being held in Belagavi on Wednesday.

A mega rally by Lingayat organisations seeking separate religion status is being held in Belagavi on Wednesday.


Several prominent members belonging to the Lingayat community and seers of various mutts reiterated the demand for an independent religion status for the community at a mega rally in Belagavi on Tuesday.

MLC Basavaraj Horatti lambasted Mohan Bhagwat, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, for “interfering in matters of the community.” “Why should leaders, like Mr. Bhagwat, poke his nose in our faith?” he asked.

Former additional chief secretary S.M. Jamdar said Lingayat community has been in existence for 900 years. “We have not been part of Hinduism all these years? What status do we get in Hinduism?” he asked and added that heads of a few Veerashaiva mutts have been misguiding the community by preaching and practicing thoughts and rituals that were opposed to Basaveshwara's (the 12th century social reformer) ideology.

Prakash Hukkeri, MP, pointed out that in 1914, the British government prepared a report on civil services in Karnataka where the term “Lingayat” was used. “Nowhere was the term ‘Veerashaiva’ used,” he said.

Jayabasava Mrutyunjay Swami said: “I want to tell Mr. Bhagwat that we believe in Ambedkar’s Constitution and not that by Manuwadis. We live according to modern principles of democracy and not vedic ideologies. We will ask leaders who are trying to divide us to give up the Lingayat faith,” he said.

A book - Lingayat Dharmadalli Enuntu Enilla - written by Ramzan Dargah was released on the occasion.

Vinay Kulkarni, Dharwad district in-charge minister; Ashok Kheny, MLA; Veeranna Mattikatti, former MLC, and others were present.

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