GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
2-min read

Lingayat Seer Writes to Amit Shah, Says Minority Status Not a Move to Divide Hindus

The letter by the seer of the Murugha Mutt Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru said separate religious status is not a step to divide the community but a measure to unite the already sub-divided sub-castes followers in Lingayats.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:March 28, 2018, 7:32 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Lingayat Seer Writes to Amit Shah, Says Minority Status Not a Move to Divide Hindus
File image of BJP president Amit Shah. (Image: PTI)
Bengaluru: A day after BJP president Amit Shah met Lingayat seers of various mutts in Chitradurga, the seer of the Murugha Mutt on Wednesday wrote to him, saying that minority status for the community was not a move to divide but rather unite Hindus.

This also comes a day after the BJP president's statements against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, calling him an anti-Hindu leader who has "divided the Hindus" by recommending a minority religious status for Lingayats.

"It is not a step to divide the community but a measure to unite the already sub-divided sub-castes followers in Lingayats," reads the letter by the seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru.

The letter has led to a war of words between the leaders of the two parties. BJP MP Pratap Sinha said, "You will come to know only after election. But we firmly believe in nationalism. There is greater need to unify society. On the contrary, the party responsible for division of nation is dividing society for its political goal.”

"Lingayat community has more mutts than any other but large section of the community believe they are part of Hindu society. There are people who give heed to divisive forces but we are trying to unite the forces. There is need to unite people under nationalism. Nationalism is same as Hinduism, you cannot separate the two," he added.

However, Sinha refused to comment on whether mutts must steer clear of politics. Minister Eshwar Khandre, a Veerashaiva leader in the Siddaramaiah government, meanwhile, said that religious mutts must not make political statements and that the two are different.

Khandre, like other Veerashaiva leaders championing for the cause of a similar status for the community, has been on the receiving end ever since the cabinet decided to forward its recommendation to the center for a minority religion status for the Lingayat sans the Veershaivas except for those Veerashaivas willing to accept the Lingayat ways.

State minister MB Patil, a Lingayat leader, welcomed the seer's statements and also questioned Amit Shah on whether he would be willing to give up the benefits the Jain community enjoys with the minority status.

"The Murugha mutt seer has spoken the right thing. We were an independent religion till 1881 and then it was snatched away from us. Amit shah belongs to which community? Jain. Jains got independent religion status. Were Hindus divided then? Amit shah wants it for his own religion but when it comes to us it is dividing Hindus. That's hypocrisy," said Patil.

"Jains got their due. Similarly when we ask Amit shah opposes. My question is are you going to surrender the status of Jains now?" he asked leaving the floor for further rounds of statements between parties as the state gears up for the 2018 assembly elections in May.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
Read full article