BENGALURU: The group that is demanding a separate religion status for Veerashaiva Lingayats claimed on Saturday that Shivakumar Swamiji of Tumakuru and Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Sutturu have extended their support to their demand. With this, the group is exerting pressure on the state government to constitute an expert committee to look in to its demand.
At a press conference on Saturday, former IAS officer S M Jamdar said both the heads of the influential religious institutions have conveyed their support for the separate religion demand. They, however, have advised the groups that are demanding separate religion status for Veerashaivas and Lingayats to work together.
Jamdar said that said if they (Veerashaiva followers) can adopt Basava Dharma, they are welcome at any time. “If they adopt it, 90 per cent of the issue will be solved. We do not have any problem with the name, provided they adopt Basava Dharma,’’ he said.
He added that they have received support from people residing in Dubai and the US. “We are not against Hindus, we are just telling we are different. We need the Constitution’s recognition like how Buddists and Sikhs are recognised,’’ he said.
Claiming that Panchapeetas that have showed resistance to the demand for separate religion tag all these days have also calmed down, Jamdar said, “They were not ready to accept even Basavanna all these days, but his portrait is now seen in their mutts. They never visited any of the Lingayat Swamijis but now they visited Siddaganga Seer.”
Jayamrutyunjaya Swamiji of Panchamasali Peetha of Kudala Sangama said they will organise awareness rallies. “After Belagavi, a rally will be held at Lathur in Maharashtra on Sunday where more than 4 lakh people are expected to attend. It will be followed by a rally in Kalaburagi on September 10. Rallies will also be held in Vijayapura and other places followed by a massive rally in Bengaluru in December,” he said.