Lingayat religion tag notified

Unfazed by the stiff opposition by the Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha and Veerashiva pontiffs, the state government on Friday issued a notification according minority religion status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva-Linagyat who follow the Basava tatva.

In a nine-point resolution passed by the executive committee of the Mahasabha headed by senior Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, it was demanded that the government drop the words “Basava tatva” (principles) from its decision. Instead, the status should be accorded to both Lingayat Veerashaiva communities, considering them as one and the same.

On the other end, the department of Minorities Welfare, Haj and Wakf notified “religious minority” status to “Lingayats (believers of Basava philosophy)” under section 2(d) of the Karnataka State Minorities Act, 1994. It will, however, come into effect after the Centre issues a similar notification under 2(c) of the National Commission For Minorities Act, 2005, as per the notification.

“It is unconstitutional to impose any tatva. Hence, the government should withdraw its decision (taken in March 19 State Cabinet meeting),” Shivashankarappa said.

“The government should take steps to accord the status to Veerashaiva-Lingayat as recommend by the Mahasabha in the past,” he added.

The Mahasabha said the community will not get any reservation as per the governments decision to accord the status. The community should get all benefits that minority communities like Muslims and Christians are availing, including education and employment. The Lingayat body also rubbished reports that a petition submitted by it in 2013 has been rejected by the Centre.

“We dont differentiate between Veerashaiva and Lingayat. We dont want to know who founded the faith. Our aim is to maintain unity and not divide the community…People belonging to the community should not get confused,” the resolution stated.

The Mahasabhas decision has come in handy for the BJP, led by Lingayat strongman B S Yeddyurappa to take on the ruling Congress on the controversial issue ahead of the Assembly elections. According the separate minority religion status is seen as an attempt by the Siddaramaiah government to woo a section of the politically influential community – considered a BJP vote bank.

Unfazed by the stiff opposition by the Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha and Veerashiva pontiffs, the state government on Friday issued a notification according minority religion status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva-Linagyat who follow the Basava tatva.

In a nine-point resolution passed by the executive committee of the Mahasabha headed by senior Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, it was demanded that the government drop the words “Basava tatva” (principles) from its decision. Instead, the status should be accorded to both Lingayat Veerashaiva communities, considering them as one and the same.

On the other end, the department of Minorities Welfare, Haj and Wakf notified “religious minority” status to “Lingayats (believers of Basava philosophy)” under section 2(d) of the Karnataka State Minorities Act, 1994. It will, however, come into effect after the Centre issues a similar notification under 2(c) of the National Commission For Minorities Act, 2005, as per the notification.

“It is unconstitutional to impose any tatva. Hence, the government should withdraw its decision (taken in March 19 State Cabinet meeting),” Shivashankarappa said.

“The government should take steps to accord the status to Veerashaiva-Lingayat as recommend by the Mahasabha in the past,” he added.

The Mahasabha said the community will not get any reservation as per the government’s decision to accord the status. The community should get all benefits that minority communities like Muslims and Christians are availing, including education and employment. The Lingayat body also rubbished reports that a petition submitted by it in 2013 has been rejected by the Centre.

“We don’t differentiate between Veerashaiva and Lingayat. We don’t want to know who founded the faith. Our aim is to maintain unity and not divide the community…People belonging to the community should not get confused,” the resolution stated.

The Mahasabha’s decision has come in handy for the BJP, led by Lingayat strongman B S Yeddyurappa to take on the ruling Congress on the controversial issue ahead of the Assembly elections. According the separate minority religion status is seen as an attempt by the Siddaramaiah government to woo a section of the politically influential community – considered a BJP vote bank.

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