In an attempt to woo the Lingayat community ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the ideals of Lingayat philosopher Basaveshwara motivate people across the world. The prime minister, who is London, paid floral tributes at the bust of the 12th century social reformer at Albert Embankment Gardens on the banks of the river Thames.
“It is an honour to pay homage to Bhagwan Basaveshwara during my UK visit. The ideals of Bhagwan Basaveshwara motivate people across the entire world,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted both in Kannada and English along with photographs of the event.
It is an honour to pay homage to Bhagwan Basaveshwara during my UK visit. The ideals of Bhagwan Basaveshwara motivate people across the entire world. pic.twitter.com/Ul6KGoX6tj
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 18, 2018
This comes days after the Karnataka Cabinet recommended to the Centre granting of religious minority status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat community. Lingayats/Veerashaivas, estimated to form 17 per cent of the state’s population, are considered the BJP’s traditional voter base in Congress-ruled Karnataka which is going to assembly polls next month.
Basaveshwara (1134-1168) was an Indian philosopher, social reformer and statesman who attempted to create a casteless society and fought against caste and religious discrimination.
India has recognised Basaveshwara as one of the pioneers of democracy and his statue was installed in the Indian Parliament during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
India had also released a coin and a postal stamp as a mark of respect for Basaveshwara and his contribution to Indian society.
(With PTI inputs)