BENGALURU: Jagatika Lingayat Samudaya (JLS), a recently formed Lingayat community organisation, has urged fellow Lingayats who are members of All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha to resign from the body.
After getting the state government’s nod for a separate religion status for Lingayats, S M Jamdhar, retired IAS officer and convener of JLS, said Veerashaivas and Lingayats were never the same. Hence, there is no question of dividing these two communities, he said. “The Mahasabha does not represent the Lingayat community and its ideologies. Lingayats, who are part of the Mahasabha, should either resign or demand withdrawal of the body’s resolution (opposing the minority religion status granted to the Lingayat community). First, we are Indians, then Kannadigas and then Lingayats,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Jamdhar said Veerashaiva practices are similar to those of Hindus.
They go to temples, conduct ‘homa’, believe in astrology - all these are not practised by Lingayats. Therefore, they have the right to demand for a separate religion. “This also means that Lingayats and Veerashaivas were always different when it comes to their practices. Now that the state government has given its nod for a separate religion, there is no question of dividing the two,” he said. He, however, said Veerashaivas can become Lingayats, provided they adopt Basava philosophy.
In 2002, the Pancha Peetha seers had signed a letter written to then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, demanding that Veerashaivas be considered as Bedara Jangamma or Scheduled Caste. The same people once fought against the Maharaja of Mysuru when they were given the Shudra status. “Now, they want the minority religion tag. Why have they taken a U turn?” he asked.When asked what will be their next move if the Centre does not give Lingayats a separate religious tag, he said the four crore Lingayats in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh will continue the battle.