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No end to Veerashaiva-Lingayat row; expert panel formed

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Oct 13 2017, 2:08 IST
The Mahasabha wants Veerashaiva-Lingayat to become a religion, whereas the Lingayat camp argues that Lingayat is a religion in itself with Veerashaiva being a sub-sect. It was exactly a month ago that the two camps had called a truce. DH file photo.

The Mahasabha wants Veerashaiva-Lingayat to become a religion, whereas the Lingayat camp argues that Lingayat is a religion in itself with Veerashaiva being a sub-sect. It was exactly a month ago that the two camps had called a truce. DH file photo.

Confrontation between the Veerashaiva and Lingayat camps on the issue of separate religion status continued even as Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha president Shamanur Shivashankarappa on Wednesday announced a 10-member expert committee to find clarity on the matter.

The Mahasabha wants Veerashaiva-Lingayat to become a religion, whereas the Lingayat camp argues that Lingayat is a religion in itself with Veerashaiva being a sub-sect. It was exactly a month ago that the two camps had called a truce.

However, differences of opinion came to the fore when members of both camps met on Wednesday to discuss the way forward. While Mahasabha vice-president N Thippanna maintained that Veerashaiva and Lingayat were the same, former DG&IGP Shankar Bidari urged both camps to “stop digging out mythology and literature” and focus on the task at hand. “Lingayats are becoming politically negligible. We should put an end to our internal bickering and work together,” Bidari said.

Apparently, retired IAS officer S M Jaamdar, who is the convenor of the separate Lingayat religion committee, and Mahasabha secretary H M Renuka Prasanna, engaged in a verbal duel on the issue.

“A 10-member expert committee will be formed under my chairmanship in the next three days and it will submit its report within a week,” Shivashankarappa told reporters. The committee, which will have five members each from both camps, will decide whether the separate religion has to be called Veerashaiva-Lingayat or just Lingayat.

In another meeting convened by the Kudalasangama Panchamasali Peetha, it was decided to constitute a national committee headed by BJP leader Murugesh Nirani to impress upon the Centre to celebrate the birth anniversary of 19th-century queen Kittur Rani Chennamma — a Lingayat — at the national level next year. “It was also decided to urge the state and Centre to bring back Chennamma’s sword from England. If the government doesn’t, we will pool in money and bring it back ourselves,” Panchamasali Peetha pontiff Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami said.Watch: Lingayat, Veerashaiva, Hindu: So Who's Who? A Brief History of the Basava Movement

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