SEPARATE RELIGIOUS STATUS FOR LINGAYATS PASSED. JD(S) AND BJP OPPOSE THE DECISION , CENTER’S NOD AWAITED
VEERASHIVA AND LINGAYAT SUPPORTERS BREAK UP
Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has decided to recommend the Centre to accord “religious minority” status to the Lingayat community.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chaired the meeting which lasted over four hours before taking the final decision to accept the recommendations of the seven-member expert committee headed by retired Karnataka high court judge H.N. Nagamohan Das.
Heated arguments ensued among the cabinet colleagues as the ministers were divided on the issue, before finally coming to a decision.
On March 2nd 2018, the committee submitted its report recommending “Religious Minority” status for Lingayat community. The cabinet meeting resulted in a divided opinion; therefore the decision was postponed to March 14th.
The report states that Lingayats cannot be considered as a sub-sect of Hinduism as it was founded by Basavanna, a 12th-century social reformer. Based on historical documents, Lingayat can be accorded minority status on the lines of Vokkaligas, Buddhism and Jainism.