Veerashaiva seer takes on CM Siddaramaiah, warns of dharma yudda

Taking a dig at the state government for dividing the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the garb of securing separate religion tag for them

Bengaluru: Taking a dig at the state government for dividing the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the garb of securing separate religion tag for them, Sri Dingaleshwara Swamiji of Balehosur Mutt announced a 'Dharma Yudda' (holy battle) against the government.

Talking to Deccan Chronicle, the seer said no one had asked the government for separate religion status at the cost of dividing the community which has been living harmoniously for decades. With the government deciding to separate the Lingayats from Hinduism, they are left in the lurch and can neither identify themselves with Hindus nor claim to be a separate religion till a decision is taken by the union government. Any decision pertaining to religion needs to be debated in public with all stake holders. Some vested interests had been promising free education to children belonged to 99 sub-sects among Veerashaiva-Lingayats.

But, the ultimate beneficiary would be institutions which enjoy all benefits being given to minority institutions. "Did the government divide the community only to benefit institutions run by powerful mutts," he wondered.

The pontiff admitted that there were differences among Veerashaivas and Lingayats over certain rituals but they never went to the extent of dividing themselves. While for Lingayats, 12th century social reformer Basavanna is their icon, Veerashaivas who follow Panchapeeta claim their acharyas matter most for them. Taking advantage of differences within the community, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and three of his Cabinet ministers have created a division in the community for their selfish motives. "I am not ready to sit quiet when there is a threat to my dharma. I am wearing the saffron robes to protect my community or my followers. If I won't react now, society will not forgive me. When the government has demolished my house, where can I take shelter?"

Sri Dingaleshwara Swamiji wanted to know whether the government appointed committee headed by Justice Nagmohan Das and seven others, knew enough about Veerashaiva-Lingayat dharma. The religion had thousands years of history, he said and wondered how the panel could grasp everything within just two months. Had the panel members become proficient enough to recommend separate religion status to Lingayats-veerashaiva (believers of Basava Tatva) without consulting the seers concerned. Why should Veerashaivas accept a 'one-sided' report that had been prepared to help the government divide the community?

A few hours after the government announced its decision, several pro-Veerashaiva activists were beaten up black and blue in Kalburgi by the goons of a minister. This incident was an indication about what would happen to Veerashvias in the coming days, he said.

A few seers who had welcomed the government's decision, had been conducting classes in Agama Shastra, astrology and Veda in Gadag, Haveri and Byadgi that were strongly opposed by Basavanna. If those mutts were really wedded to the preachings of Basavanna, why were they not conducting classes in Vachanas. "I know the seers who go behind politicians and run the mutt activities with money given by netas. In public, they talk of 'Kayakave kailasa' (work is worship), but in private they do many things that go against Basava philosophy. I want to know how many of them have visited the houses of Dalits and helped the oppressed classes. The time has come to wage a dharma yudda against this government for dividing the community".

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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