Lingayat educational institutions, students to benefit most from 'minority' status

If the ‘minority’ status is given to Lingayats and Veerashaiva-Lingayats, they are likely to be benefitted by 25 various schemes that come under the minority welfare department.

Published: 20th March 2018 05:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2018 01:16 PM   |  A+A-

Activists of Veerashaiva and Lingayat community clashing with each other near Sardar Patel Circle in Kalaburagi on Monday evening

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If the ‘minority’ status is given to Lingayats and Veerashaiva-Lingayats, they are likely to be benefitted by 25 various schemes that come under the minority welfare department. At present they belong to the backward class. Lingayats running the educational institutions will be exempted from many compulsions and the community people will get 50 per cent reservation in these schools and colleges. Many big educational institutions, including Karnataka Lingayath Education, JSS educational institutions and Siddaganga institutions are run by the Lingayats in the state.

“At least one third of the schools and colleges in Karnataka are run by Lingayats. Once we get Lingayat status officially, these educational institutions (schools) will be exempted from Right to Education Act, whereas in professional courses, 50 per cent of the seats in engineering, medical and dental colleges will be reserved for students from Lingayat community,’’ said retired IAS officer S M Jamdar. He was in the core team that was demanding minority status for Lingayats.

In Karnataka, as per 2011 census, the minority population was 96,00,475 which is 15.92 per cent of the state’s total population. At present six communities enjoy minority status, including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jains, Parsis and Buddists. Jains were the latest to be given minority status in 2014. There is a provision for separate fund allocation for the minorities. In 2017-18, the state government had allotted Rs 2,750 crore for various schemes, including Swavalamban (financial aid to improve their business), Arivu (financial aid for education),  site purchase scheme (up to one lakh will be reimbursed) and many more.

According to Mohammed Mohisin, secretary, minority department, there are around 25 schemes run by the state government for minority community. They cover different sectors ranging from education to skill development and from self-employment to housing. “There are more schemes for minority communities than backward class people,’’ he said.

Tumakuru Siddaganga Mutt takes neutral stand after govt move
Siddaganga Mutt,  an influential mutt among Veerashaiva-Lingayats, chose to take a neutral stand on the state cabinet’s decision to recommend religious minority status to Lingayats. The mutt is headed by Shivakumara Swami, who turns 111 in April and has devotees cutting across caste and creed, significantly both  Veerashaivas and Lingayats. A couple of months ago, Water Resource Minister M B Patil had called on the seer and claimed that the latter had given his assent to go ahead with religious tag for Lingayats. But the seer had issued a press release clarifying that he had not made any comment as both Veerashaivas and Lingayats are one and the same. Mutt junior seer Siddalinga Swami did not comment. 

Veerashivas and Lingayats clash over decision

Kalaburagi: Tension prevailed near Sardar Patel Circle for about an hour following a clash between  activists of Veerashivas and Lingayats on Monday evening. Veerashaiva activists were staging protest against the decision of State Cabinet to recommend to the Centre to accord separate religion tag to Lingayat. At the time of protest, the activists were showing footwear to the photo of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and were trying to burn his photo. At the same time, the activists of Lingayats who were celebrating the decision came in a procession from Jagat Circle to Sardar Patel Circle. Enraged over Veerashaiva activists showing footwear to the photo of CM, the Lingayat activists manhandled the Veerashaiva leaders. Police intervened and dispersed the agitating groups. 



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