Reports of the Union Government sending back the recommendation seeking a separate religion tag which was earlier sent by Siddaramaiah led Congress govt, has been welcomed by the Jagadgurus of the Panchapeethas
Reports of the Union Government sending back the recommendation seeking a separate religion tag which was earlier sent by Siddaramaiah led Congress govt, has been welcomed by the Jagadgurus of the Panchapeethas. Hailing the move, they said that both Veerashiavas and Lingayats ought to work together for the betterment of the communities and this is the right time. The decision by the Union Government is supplements this objective, they said praising the move.
Jagadguru Dr Chandrashekhar Shivacharya of Kashi Peetha praised the move to send back the recommendation for a separate religion for Lingayats and said that it is a positive development. Veerashaivas and Lingayats are present in various parts of the country and they are a major pat of the Hindu culture. Henceforth, the demand for separate religion should be abandoned and instead together we all should strive for reservation in education and employment for the children of both the communities. Much before the Central govt returned the proposal, the people of the state rejected the recommendation by voting out the government which effected it, he said. An indication of this is the fact that many political leaders who were in the forefront for the separate religion campaign lost in the polls. In the coming days, community leaders, swamijis, politicians have to ponder on this seriously and work together for the betterment of the communities, he said.
Shri Rambhapuri Veerasomeshwara Swamiji of Balehonnur matha, one of the oldest Mathas of the Veerashaivas, welcoming the move has said that it was a step in the right direction. No one has the right to destroy Dharma. Anyone who works in that direction will themselves get destroyed he said. Truth, Dharma, Traditions should sustain and prevail he said. Attempting to break the communities using the name of Basavanna is not good and instead we should work to unite everyone. Veerashivas and Lingayat communities follow the ideals of both Jagadguru Renukacharya and Basavanna. He said that CM Kumarswamy’s decision not to take up the proposal again is most welcome.
Jagadguru Siddalinga Shivacharya of Ujjain Peetha has also welcomed the central govt’s step to return the proposal for separate Lingayat religion. He said that the erstwhile Karnataka govt had taken the decision to recommend a separate religion for Lingayats in haste by coming under the influence for few forces during the time of elections. The government had gone ahead despite protests by several religious heads and swamijis. This move the return the proposal will strengthen the Hindu culture which is universal, he said. He also urged community members to be wary of the forces that are trying to divide people through such ill-intentioned moves.
However, the proposal to rename Akhila Bharata Veerashiva Mahasabha as Akhila Bharata Veerashiva Lingayata Mahasabha is pending. This was discussed during special public session of the Mahasabha’s meting held on Jan 7th, 2018. This proposal to rename the Mahasabha is seen by the leaders of both the communities as one that will build bridges between the communities.
In March 2018, the Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government had approved a seven-member committee's recommendation to accord separate minority religion tag to Lingayats and forwarded the proposal to the Union Home Ministry. Most saw it as a move before the elections keeping the Lingayat vote in mind. However, as the Karnataka election showcased, people of the state, especially the Lingayats overwhelmingly rejected the move of the state government by voting out many of the Congress leaders who were part of the separate religion campaign.
Several cabinet-level ministers including Minister for Mines and Geology Vinay Kulkarni from Dharwad, Minsiter of Medical Education Sharanprakash Patil from Sedam, Horticultural Minister SS Mallikarajun, Minister for Higher Education Basavaraj Reddi from Yelaburga, BR Patil from Aland and other MLAs who campaigned for separate religion had to face defeats in the elections.