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Maate Mahadevi Threatens Mega Rally in Delhi Over Separate Religion Status Demand for Lingayats

The rift between Lingayats and Veerashaivas is still continuing in the state. On Sunday, Chandrashekhar Shivacharya Swamiji of Veerashaiva community started a fresh controversy by saying that Lingayat movement is over.

Ganesh Nachikethu | News18.com

Updated:July 16, 2018, 1:58 PM IST
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Maate Mahadevi Threatens Mega Rally in Delhi Over Separate Religion Status Demand for Lingayats
Lingayats/Veerashaivas, estimated to form 17 per cent of the state population, are considered the BJP's traditional voter base. (File photo: Twitter/@Lingayatas)

Bengaluru: An independent religion status for Lingayats was a big debate during Karnataka state Assembly elections. But after Siddaramaiah-led Congress failed to come back to power, the voice of the movement was silenced.

However, Maate Mahadevi, the first female Lingayat seer, says she will knock Prime Minister Narendra Modi's door over the issue.

Speaking to News18, Maate Mahadevi said, "Who said Lingayat Independent religion movement is dead. It is very much alive and we are waiting for Centre's decision. We are also trying for an appointment with PM Narendra Modi."

The rift between Lingayats and Veerashaivas is still continuing in the state. On Sunday, Chandrashekhar Shivacharya Swamiji of Veerashaiva community started a fresh controversy by saying that Lingayat movement is over. He said, "Lingayat movement is over and there is no need to discuss about it. People have taught lesson to leaders who led the movement for separate religion. Granting Separate religion and minority status for Lingayats is not useful."

Maate Mahadevi, Head of the Basava Dharma Peetha and Leader of the separate Lingayat religion movement, told News18 that she does not care about statements made by others on Lingayat movement.

"The committee led by Justice Nagmohan Das had planned to meet PM Modi. The committee will request the Prime Minister to accept the state government's proposal to give independent religion status to Lingayat," she added.

The Karnataka state cabinet accepted and approved the recommendations of the Karnataka State Minorities Commission during Siddaramaiah's tenure. Later the recommendation was sent to the Centre. But the central government has not yet approved the state's recommendation. Now the committee and Lingayat seers are all set to meet Modi to put forward their demand.

"Another mega rally would be organised in Delhi for approval of separate religion tag. We will also protest in front of state MPs residence and ask them to speak on behalf of the movement in parliament," Maate Mahadevi further added.

Reacting to this, K Neela, progressive thinker, said that their agitation is apolitical. "It is cultural and social movement to preserve Basavanna's ideologies," she said.

What is the recommendation:

Ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah cabinet had sent the recommendation to the Centre. The state had requested Centre to give independent religion status and minority status to Ligayats and Veerashaivas who are believers of Basavanna and Basava Tatva, under section 2(d) of the Karnataka State Minorities Act. This has been forwarded to the Centre for Notification under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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