Lingayats flex muscle at Bidar rally, want status of independent religion

The “apolitical” rally, attended by Lingayats from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other states, was organised as part of efforts to take forward a philosophy proposed by Lingayat intellectuals like writer-researcher M M Kalburgi.

Written by Johnson TA | Bengaluru | Published: July 21, 2017 4:14 am
Lingayat community, Karnataka, karnataka Lingayat community,bidar rally, bidar Lingayat community, Lingayatism, Hinduism, Lingayat intellectuals, india news At the Lingayat rally in Bidar in northern Karnataka on Wednesday. Express

More than 50,000 people from the Lingayat community, a dominant caste in northern Karnataka, gathered in Bidar on Wednesday to demand that Lingayatism be classified as a separate religion rather than a caste in Hinduism. The “apolitical” rally, attended by Lingayats from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other states, was organised as part of efforts to take forward a philosophy proposed by Lingayat intellectuals like writer-researcher M M Kalburgi, who was killed on August 30, 2015 by unidentified assassins.

The rally called for Lingayats to dissociate themselves from being identified as Hindus and Veerashaivas. They also submitted a memorandum addressed to the CM to take up their demand for a separate religion with the Centre. During a visit to Dharwad region on Thursday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he would recommend classification of Lingayats as a religion to the Centre if the demand from the community is unanimous.

“Lingayatism is an independent religion founded by Basaveshwara in the 12th century. It has never been part of Hinduism. It has fought Hinduism,” Shivalinga Shivacharya, Lingayat seer from Maharashtra, said at the rally in Bidar. “We want the status of an independent religion. The CM should a recommend this,” said Panchamasali Jagadguru of Koodalasangama Mutt.

“We have demanded constitutional recognition as a religion. We meet all the requirements. This has been a demand for long and it has been delayed due to lack of political will,” said Basavaraj Dhannur, one of the organisers of the rally.

According to retired professor Mahadevappa, a Lingayat scholar, “There is a misconception that Lingayatism is a sub-sect of Shaivism, which is a sect of Hinduism, and that Lingayats are Shudras. But the truth, based on textual evidence and reasoning, is that Lingayatism is not a sect or sub-sect of Hinduism but an independent religion.’’

“The Lingayats are strict monotheists. They enjoin the worship of only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva). The word ‘Linga’ here does not mean Linga established in temples, but universal consciousness qualified by the universal energy (Shakti),’’ he wrote in a paper that extensively references the writings of Kalburgi on Lingayats.

The Lingayats are known commonly as a Hindu Shaivite community. They are followers of Basavanna, who fought the Hindu caste system and sought equality in society. Lingayats make up 17 per cent of the 6 crore population in Karnataka — the single largest community in the state and are known to be firm supporters of the BJP.

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  1. S
    secure
    Jul 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    I support this Idea because Hindus practice religion in different way than Lingayat Community. In addition I will also Suggest all Dalit of the Indian to have your separate religion instead of calling Hindus and not allowing in the temple. Dalit are basically 35 of the Indian population and controlled by only 2 Brahmin. Dalit should start protest against Brahmins.
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    1. Sudarshan Nityananda
      Jul 21, 2017 at 11:09 am
      A separate religion cannot be formed just by a Govt notification. It forms by itself when all adherents develop their own philosophy and methods of worship and specifically shun other forms of prayer . If LIngayats are serious and have all round support, then they must avoid all temples of HIndus, and go only by Basaveshwara's words, keeping Hindu priests and godmen at arms length. Moreover , in the Census they must avoid naming Hinduism as their religion. The idea is interesting and maybe laudable in view of Basaveshwara's universal vision, but there cannot be any official creation of a religion. Would be interesting to see what Mr Yedyurappa has to say on this.The Hindu zealots of the BJP will be watching him closely.
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      1. C
        Chattur Chamar
        Jul 21, 2017 at 11:00 am
        Now this is anyway a need for the hour. Both politically and considering the religious freedom. BJP and RSS who wants blind Bhakts will have to consider Hinduism is not a religion but a system to control to suppress the society. The some demand should be proposed by the lower caster and schedule castes. They are exploited and insulted by the upper caste and the same trend is still going on. All the castes in Hinduism should demand for separate religious status.
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        1. R
          Rahul
          Jul 21, 2017 at 11:35 am
          Oh...then the b of political islam witnessed around is not islam...let that too be another religion! Say what?
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          1. C
            Chattur Chamar
            Jul 21, 2017 at 12:31 pm
            In Islam they are divided for many centuries. And only the claims from RSS and Bhagwa gang will not stop anything. If Bhagwa gang wants to improve the crimes committed in the past in the name of social injustice they should announce a dalit as the president,PM or CM of a state. Let the RSS chaddi set an example... And honestly what they do in other religions like ISLAM, CHRISTIANITY AND many more I don't care. MY DEMAND IS SIMPLE... EQUAL STATUS or Separate religion.
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          2. T
            TUBELIGHT
            Jul 21, 2017 at 11:39 pm
            By making a dalit PM will it solve??? If a Dalit is capable he will become PM, or President. No one cant be made PM just because he is Dalit. ... Desh Kadde mai jayega.... Now India is pride country in world...
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          3. M
            mukesh
            Jul 21, 2017 at 9:57 am
            Last sentence is the most important and main cause of such mobilization of lingayat to b them as non hindu by some traitor. Hinduism is amalgamation of various sect, some might have been contradictory to popularily perceived vedic. But forces who can't digest rising consolidation of various hindu together are fuelling such protest.
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            1. L
              Lambaa Lingaa
              Jul 21, 2017 at 9:40 am
              Worship of only 1 God, Linga, hahahaa, Linga is your . Start worshipping your own you morons and why a separate religion. Demand a separate nation Lingaastaan or istaan. Bloody religious minded, blind s.
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              1. S
                shivasharanappa
                Jul 23, 2017 at 12:18 am
                Please don't spread non-sense. Linga means symbol and symbol of Almighty GOD. If you understand Kannada, read below vachana by Vishwaguru Basavanna. ಜಗದಗಲ ಮುಗಿಲಗಲ ಮಿಗೆಯಗಲ ನಿಮ್ಮಗಲ, ಪಾತಾಳದಿಂದವೆ ಅತ್ತತ್ತ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಶ್ರೀಚರಣ, ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾಂಡದಿಂದವೆ ಅತ್ತತ್ತ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಶ್ರೀಮಕುಟ, ಅಗಮ್ಯ ಅಗೋಚರ ಅಪ್ರತಿಮ ಲಿಂಗವೆ, ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವಯ್ಯಾ, ಎನ್ನ ಕರಸ್ಥಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದು ಚುಳುಕಾದಿರಯ್ಯಾ.
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