Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka govt agrees to consider Lingayats as separate religion

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Bengaluru, March 19: In a big move, Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government on Monday agreed to grant a separate religion status to Lingayat community.

“Based on the recommendations of Karnataka State Minorities Commission, the state cabinet has unanimously decided to grant the status of a religious minority to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats (believers of 12th-century social reformer Basava’s ideologies),”  state Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra told media after the cabinet meeting.

The state cabinet has also decided to forward the commission’s recommendations to the Centre for approval and notification under the National Commission for Minorities Act, he said.

“The minority status has been granted on the Commission’s view that a proper recognition is to be given to the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats, on condition that the recognition would not affect the rights of other minorities in the state,” Jayachandra asserted.

The Lingayat section, which believes in worshipping Shiva as the universal god, say they were founded by the 12th -century social reformer, Basavanna.

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