Lingayat rally sets Dec 30 deadline for state to recommend for religion tag

Lingayat rally sets Dec 30 deadline for state to recommend for religion tag

Lingayat spiritual leader Mathe Mahadevi on Sunday set a December 30 deadline for the state government to recommend to the Centre that a religious status is accorded to the Lingayat faith.

This was one of the resolutions adopted at a rally organised by the Lingayat Mahasabha at the National College ground in Basavanagudi. "The state government should make the recommendation before the model code of conduct kicks in. If we don't get justice from the state and central governments, we will wage a legal battle," she said.

Mahadevi criticised Siddaramaiah for sitting on the proposal. "We have repeatedly petitioned the government to recommend a religious status for Lingayats. I don't know what to say, looking at the government's approach," she said.

She maintained that Lingayat and Veerashaiva were not the same, and even blamed the Veerashaiva community for the Lingayat faith losing its independence. The Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha argues that the two are the same and that a separate religion must be called Veerashaiva-Lingayat.

It was also resolved to urge the government to declare 12th-century social reformer and Lingayat faith founder Basavanna as Karnataka's cultural icon. The Gulbarga University must be named after Basavanna, it was resolved.

"The struggle for a separate Lingayat religion is not a new one. The Lingayat faith was a religion before independence. Our struggle will continue till the goal is achieved," Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni said.

Water Resources Minister M B Patil, retired IAS officer S M Jaamdar, JD(S) leader Mallikarjun Khuba, Shivalinga Shivacharya Swami from Ahmadpur, Shivarudra Swami from Belimutt among others participated in the rally.

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