Karnataka

Panel suggests ‘religious minority’ tag for Lingayats

The seven-member expert committee constituted by the State government to examine the demand for a separate religion tag for Lingayats on Friday submitted a report recommending “religious minority” status to the community.

However, much will depend on an ongoing case related to the issue in the High Court of Karnataka.

The court earlier put a rider on the process initiated by the State and the Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) on formation of the panel and its report, saying that it will be subject to the final decision of the court on two petitions that have questioned it. The next hearing of the case is on March 9.

Meanwhile, the committee, in its close to 200-page report submitted to KSMC, has said that it could recommend “religious minority” status to the Lingayats. Interestingly, it recommended the nomenclature of “Lingayat” and not “Lingayat-Veerashaiva” as demanded by a section of the community, according to sources. However, it said that Veerashaivas too, as a sect, can be part of the larger umbrella of “Lingayat religion”.

According to sources, the committee, headed by former Karnataka high court judge H.N. Nagamohan Das, went through about 5,000 pages of documents related to religious dogma, literature, rituals and practices before arriving at the decision. It concluded that there is enough evidence to show that Lingayat religion is different from Hindu religion.

Though the committee earlier sought six months to submit the report, it submitted within two months of the formation of the committee.

‘No govt. pressure’

Speaking at Hubballi, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government had not exerted any pressure on the expert committee to submit its report. The government had sought opinion from the minorities commission, which had in turn asked a panel to study the issue. He said the government was yet to receive the report.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 11:03:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/panel-suggests-religious-minority-tag-for-lingayats/article22921435.ece

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