Not attempting to divide any religion, says Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Veerashivas-Lingayats issue

Siddaramaiah said Veerashiva Mahasabha says they want a separate religion, but it should be Veerashiva-Lingayata dharma, while Lingayats maintain they want only Lingayat dharma.

Published: 25th December 2017 08:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2017 08:58 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (File | PTI)


BENGALURU: Amidst raging differences on the issue of separate religion status to Veerashivas/Lingayats,  Karnataka Chief Minister today said he was not making any attempts to divide any religion.

"I'm not attempting to divide religion. Five (forums) of them have given petitions, I have sent the five petitions to the (state) minorities commission," he told reporters at Hubbali in north Karnataka.

Veerashaiva/Lingayat is a numerically strong and politically-influential community concentrated largely in the northern part of Karnataka and pays allegiance to the 12th century "social reform movement" initiated by philosopher Basaveshwara.

Siddaramaiah said Veerashiva Mahasabha says they want a separate religion, but it should be Veerashiva-Lingayata dharma, while Lingayats maintain they want only Lingayat dharma.

 "What should I do, tell me? As a government, as they have given the petition, with responsibility, I have referred all the petitions to the minority commission," he added.

Siddaramaiah's comments come a day after seers and representatives of Veerashiva tradition at a rally yesterday  reiterated their stand that Veerashaiva and Lingayats were one and the same and attempts to divide the community should be thwarted.

They also demanded dissolution of a seven-member committee set up to study the demand for separate religion status, with some even terming it as a move for political gains keeping 2018 assembly polls in mind.

The Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) has formed the committee, headed by retired high court judge H N Nagamohan Das, to look into the issue and submit a report within four weeks.

The committee will be examining three petitions demanding separate minority religion for Lingayats, one petition arguing that they are Hindus and the other one by the Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha that demands minority religion tag for Veerashaiva-Lingayat together.

The demand for a separate religion tag to Veerashaiva/Lingayat faiths has surfaced amidst resentment from within over projecting the two sects as the same.

The Veerashaiva Mahasabha' asserts that Veerashaiva and Lingayats are the same, the other group wants the separate religion tag only for Lingayats.

The latter believes that Veerashaiva is one among the seven sects of Shaivas, which is part of Hinduism.

 The BJP and several sections of the Hindu community have maintained a cautious stance keeping away from the move to give Veerashaiva/Lingayat separate religion status.

They have accused the Siddaramaiah government of dividing the society to draw political mileage ahead of assembly elections due early next year.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp