Separate religion status in Karnataka: New forum to counter Veerashaiva Mahasabha

A group fighting for separate religion status for Lingayats has announced a new forum called Vishwa Lingayat Parishath (VLP) to take on the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha.

Published: 14th January 2018 03:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2018 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: A group fighting for separate religion status for Lingayats has announced a new forum called Vishwa Lingayat Parishath (VLP) to take on the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha. The VLP will have the portrait of 12th century social reformer Basavanna and Vachana literature as its logo and epic, respectively.

Former IAS officer S M Jamadar, who is batting for the separate religion status for Lingayats, announced this at a press conference in the city on Saturday. The new forum will come into existence from January 23, he said.   

Jamadar said it is inevitable for them to launch a new organisation to lead the community members who are fighting for a separate religious status as the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha is still contending that both Veerashaivas and Lingayats are the same.

Giving details of the new forum, Jamadar said the draft of the bylaws of the new forum has been prepared and it will be finalised after consulting religious heads, pontiffs of various mutts and others at a meeting to be held at Jnana Jyothi Auditorium on January 23.

“The Veerashaiva Mahasabha did not change its stand though meetings were held with its office-bearers several times in the last eight months. We were not happy with the decision of floating a new forum but VLP is inevitable at this juncture. The enrolment of members to the new body will begin by the end of this month at the taluk and district level,” Jamadar said.  

The Basava Sene will spearhead the youth wing of the VLP. Sub-units of advocates, doctors, intellectuals, women, judges and professionals belonging to VLP will be established. Community members in Telangana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already been consulted on the matter, he added.   

Asked about the six-month time sought by the expert panel constituted by the Karnataka State Minorities Commission, Jamadar said it may take six months or six years to submit its report, “but the VLP is not bothered with it”.

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