Basava Dharma is an independent religion: Siddaramaiah

Basava Dharma is an independent religion: Siddaramaiah

The Congress leader's statement came after the Lingayat faith was accorded the status of independent religion (DH File Photo)

Breaking his silence over according the status of independent religion to the Lingayat faith, former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said that it was his belief that Basava Dharma was an independent religion.

"Undoubtedly, Basava Dharma is an independent religion. This is my individual belief. I did not specify my opinion on the issue when I was chief minister as I needed to take everybody's opinion,"  he said. Basaveshwara and his contemporaries sowed the seed of democracy. Basaveshwara and sharanas provided the concept of democracy for the first time in the world, he added.

"I took oath after garlanding Basaveshwara's statue. I did not do it only to project that I follow principles of Basaveshwara. A few people criticised my act. Such criticism disturbs harmony and peace in society," he said.

Siddaramaiah said that all those working against the spirit of the Constitution were anti-socials."We are yet to come out of mental slavery.  We exhibit slavery by our conduct regularly. We give utmost respect t to upper caste people while speaking. We don't respect lower sections. This is what is slavery. The problem is social reformers die quickly," Siddaramaiah stated.

Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha's functionary and former IAS officer, Jamdar said that it was Siddaramaiah who laid the foundation for the independent religion status to the Lingayat faith.
"Those who on Lingayat votes have forgotten Basaveshwara. Some leaders fall at the feet of those who have forgotten Basaveshwara's principles and seek their blessings before taking oath," Jamdar said, targeting Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa without taking his name.