Who was Shivakumara Swami?https://indianexpress.com/article/who-is/shivakumara-swami-lingayat-siddhaganga-mutt-tumakuru-5548096/

Who was Shivakumara Swami?

Born on April 1, 1907, in Veerapura village of Ramanagara, the Lingayat seer was well known for his philanthropic activities.

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BJP National President Amit Shah with the chief pontiff of Siddaganga Mutt, Shivakumara Swami. (File)

Shivakumara Swami of Siddhaganga Mutt in Tumakuru was a revered seer of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith. The 111-year-old pontiff of the mutt passed away on Monday while undergoing treatment for a lung infection in Karnataka and was on ventilator support.

Born on April on April 1, 1907, in Veerapura village of Ramanagara, the Lingayat religious head was well known for his philanthropic activities. In recognition of his social work, he was conferred with the third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, in 2015 and the Karnataka Ratna in 2007. He was also conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Karnataka University in the year 1965.

Read: Shivakumara Swami, Lingayat head, dies at 111
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Former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa with Shivakumara Swamiji at Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur. (File photo)

The pontiff was also the head of Sree Siddaganga Education Society which runs close to 125 educational institutions in Karnataka.

Swami, who was revered in the Lingayat community, counts several politicians in Karnataka among his followers. His sway in the Lingayat community was such that national leaders such as BJP president Amit Shah and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had in the past visited him to seek his blessings.

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UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi with Sri Shivakumara Swami (File photo)

Last week, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy recommended the seer for the Bharat Ratna. BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s state president also said that their party would request the Prime Minister to confer the award on the seer.

On January 17, PM Modi had tweeted, “His Holiness Dr Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu is a remarkable personality and has positively impacted crores of lives through his outstanding service. The entire nation is praying for his speedy recovery and good health.”