Mathe Mahadevi blessing: Lingayat vote for Congress?

Bengaluru: In what could well prove a major game-changer in pollbound Karnataka, the Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha, which has been espousing the need for separate religion status for Lingayats, resolved to support the Congress and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and issued a clarion call to its members to vote en masse for the ruling party in Assembly polls on May 12.  

With more than 250 seers in attendance at a meeting in here on Saturday, this Mahasabha, a parallel entity of All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, vowed to support Mr Siddaramaiah for championing their cause of a separate religion tag for their community. In addition, they threatened to move the Supreme Court in case the BJP-led NDA government decides to reject the recommendation of the state government on this issue.

Mathe Mahadevi in conversation with a seer at a meeting of Lingayat pontiffs in Bengaluru on Saturday. (Photo: DC)Mathe Mahadevi in conversation with a seer at a meeting of Lingayat pontiffs in Bengaluru on Saturday. (Photo: DC)

Immediately after the meeting, Mathe Mahadevi, head of Basava Bharma Peetha, Koodalasangama, was all praise for the Chief Minister during her interaction with the media saying though he was not born a Lingayat, he had proved beyond doubt that he was an ardent follower of Basavanna and demonstrated "Basava Sankalpa" through many deeds including recommendation to the Union government for separate religion tag for Lingayats.

Though it was seers like her who launched an agitation in support of their demand, the state government acted swiftly by constituting the Justice H.N. Nagamohan Das committee to look into the memorandum submitted by seers and others on the need to accord a separate religion status for Lingayats. This committee of experts submitted its report to the state government within two months, and the cabinet discussed the report over two meetings before making a recommendation to the Union government, she added.

Lambasting BJP president Amit Shah for stating that he would not allow division of Veerashaiva-Lingayats, she sought to know whether Mr Shah held the post of the President, Prime Minister or chairman of  the National Minorities Commission to make such statements. She charged that Mr Shah was functioning like a dictator without holding any constitutional post.

She hailed the Chief Minister for not buckling under pressure from the seers of Veerashaiva Panchapeeta and putting the report of Justice Nagamohan Das committee in cold storage. He not only ignored their threats about  state-wide protests but also travelled to Koppal to unveil a statue of the 12th century reformer to demonstrate that he was a follower of Basavanna and supported the establishment of “Basava Dharma”.  

The seer criticized the RSS for launching a vilification campaign against those leaders who were demanding separate religion status for Lingayats and even went to the extent of alleging that they were trying to divide the country and religion. She also clarified that members of the Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha were not anti-Hindu since they follow Indian culture but had only sought separate religion status.

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Note from Kannada.Club :

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