The Karnataka government has notified its decision to recommend the grant of minority religion status to the Lingayat community in the state and a decision to forward the recommendation to the government of India for notifying under the Central Minority Commission Act 1992. The notification to recommend the grant of minority religion status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat believers of the teachings of the 12th century saint Basavanna under the Karnataka Minorities Act 1994 is dated March 22, 2018.
The notification was issued after the Congress cabinet of ministers decided on March 19 “to accept the recommendations of the state minority commission to consider grant of recognition as religious minority to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayat believers of Basava Tattva under section 2(d) of the Karnataka Minorities Act.” The cabinet “also decided to forward the same to the central government for notifying under section 2(d) of the Central Minority Commission Act”.
The decision to grant the status of a religious minority to Lingayats on the basis of the recommendation of the Karnataka government now vests with the NDA government at the centre.
The Karnataka government in its notification of the state cabinet decision has also noted that the grant of religion status to the Lingayat community should not affect existing reservations and benefits available to other minorities.