Minister urges Centre to declare Veerashaiva-Lingayat a religion

Minister urges Centre to declare Veerashaiva-Lingayat a religion

Minister urges Centre to declare Veerashaiva-Lingayat a religion
Water Resources Minister M B Patil on Tuesday said the Centre should take note of the demand of Veerashaiva-Lingayats and declare their dharma as a separate religion.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Patil said there has already been a delay in meeting the long-standing demand of the Veerashaiva-Lingayats for a separate religion.

He said leaders campaigning for the separate religion are even ready to launch a legal battle if the Centre does not pay heed to their demand. “We will convince the state Cabinet to send a proposal to the Centre,” he said.

 On division in the community on having an independent religion, the minister said, “There are some seers in the community who do not follow the tenets of Basavanna. Let them continue to follow Hindutava, we do not mind.”

Patil claimed that BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa was opposing the separate religion demand as he is in the clutches of the RSS. “Yeddyurappa should have supported the call. He fears going against the RSS doctrine for his own political and electoral future.....But, he is making a mistake,” Patil, who is one of the prominent Lingayat leaders in the Congress, said.

Patil said both Lingayats and Veerashaivas are one and the same. Lingayat dharma was founded by Basavanna. There are a lot of differences between the Hindus and Lingayats. “But some people among Lingayats don’t subscribe to what Basavanna has taught. Those belonging to Panchapeeta don’t follow Basavanna’s teachings.

So, a team of ministers led by Basavaraj Rarareddy will tour the state and seek the support of such people for separate religion status to the Lingayat dharma,” he added.

Patil took exception to Pejawar Mutt seer Vishvesha Teertha Swami requesting the Lingayats to drop their demand for a separate religion. “There is no need for the Pejawar Mutt seer to interfere. He follows the RSS philosophy and ideology,” he said.

Speaking in Udupi on Tuesday, Vishvesha Teertha Swami had stated that the demand for a separate religion by the Lingayats is a matter of concern. “When Christians and Muslims are getting organised, there should not be a division among the Hindus,” he had said.

Patil said, “Let him not interfere.....We have our own seers to advise us.”

Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy on Monday said five Lingayat ministers will soon tour the state to campaign in favour of separate religion status for Veerashaiva-Lingayats.

KPCC working president (North Karnataka) S R Patil said Veerashaiva-Lingayat has all requisites to be declared an independent religion.

Speaking to reporters in Raichur, he said the Congress is not dividing religions. “The BJP has created walls among castes. But the Congress is trying to remove those walls,” he said.

Patil said Congress will not have a truck with other parties. Reports that the JD(S) and the Congress have a secret understanding is just a rumour, he stated.
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