Intensifying their campaign seeking separate religion status for Lingayats, those heading the campaign have now decided to set up the Vishwa Lingayat Parishat. This will be a parallel body to the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha.
The new forum, to be launched on January 23, will be for all Lingayats across the globe to come together, said retired IAS official S.M. Jamdar, who is spearheading the campaign. “With no indications that the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha will go together with us and agree to seek a separate religion tag for Lingayats, it has become inevitable for us to form a separate forum,” he said.
The Veerashaiva and Lingayat camps, comprising religious leaders and members of the Congress, have been at loggerheads over the issue.
While the Veerashaiva group is of the opinion that Veerashaivas and Lingayats are one and the same and that the separate religion proposed should be named Veerashaiva-Lingayat, the Lingayat camp has been arguing that Veerashaiva and Lingayat are radically different, and the religion they are seeking recognition for must be called Lingayat. “We tried to work together with the Veerashaiva Mahasabha; so far and we have had three meetings too. But, they seem to be sticking to their stance,” Mr. Jamdar said. Asked if the religious heads of the community had been consulted, he said: “All influential Lingayat mutts and community leaders have been with us all these days. Now also we have their concurrence.”
On the expert committee set up by Minorities Commission seeking more time to submit its report on the issue, Mr. Jamdar said: “Let them take as much time as they want. We are hopeful that the committee will decide in our favour.” C. Jayanna, who along with Mr. Jamdar, has been in the forefront of the campaign, said unless the Veerashaiavas agreed to the Lingayats’ principles — that Basavanna is the founder of Lingayats, Vachana Sahitya their Dharma Grantha, and that Lingayats are not Hindus — the two cannot come together. “If they agree to these things even now, they are welcome to join us,” he said.
With no indications that the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha will go together with us, it has become inevitable for us to form a separate forum
Retired IAS official
Source: Google news