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Lingayats Welcome Separate Religion Recommendation by Panel, Ask Karnataka Govt to Implement It

The Lingayat Mahasabha members urged the state government to take forward the Karnataka State Minorities Commission’s (KSMC) recommendations and recognize Lingayat as a separate religion.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:March 5, 2018, 6:30 PM IST
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Lingayats Welcome Separate Religion Recommendation by Panel, Ask Karnataka Govt to Implement It
File photo: Lingayats took out a rally in Bidar seeking an independent religion status (File photo/ Twitter/@Lingayatas)
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Bengaluru: After an expert committee recommended that Lingayat be declared a separate religion, the Jagrathika Lingayat Mahasabha — spearheading the movement for the religious status — welcomed the panel’s views.

The Lingayat Mahasabha members urged the state government to take forward the Karnataka State Minorities Commission’s (KSMC) recommendations and recognize Lingayat as a separate religion.

"We welcome the recommendation. But this is only the first step as the state government has to recognize Lingtayats like they recognize Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. The state government must also recommend to the central government to recognize us," said Chandrashekhar Patil, advisory committee member, Jagrathika Lingayath Mahasabha.

The Lingayat Mahasabha also stated that they were open to having the Veerashaivas under their umbrella but the nomenclature would remain Lingayat.

The Lingayat camp of the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha formally split with its parent organisation in January, following months of dispute over the demands of a separate religion and formed the Jagrathika Lingayat Mahasabha.

The expert committee appointed by the Karnataka government to look into the separate religion status demands of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community submitted its report this week, two months after it had requested for six months’ time in January.

The approval of the committee's recommendation by the state government, if done prior to the state assembly elections, will be seen as a crucial move by the Congress government as Lingayats constitute 17% of Karnataka's population and both camps — Lingayats and Veerashaivas — have members of the ruling Congress party, including ministers.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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