New Delhi: The Lingayat Dharma Sabha on Wednesday sought the support of the National Minority Commission for legal recognition of Lingayats as a distinct religion.
In its letter to the minority commission, the Sabha asserted that the commission’s recommendation will help the community in getting the Prime Minister on board.
The NDA-led central government on Monday outrightly rejected the Karnataka government’s proposal to accord a separate religion status to the Lingayat community. In a statement, it stated that it is impossible to approve the state’s proposal on the issue.
However, the community in the letter demanded recognition of Lingayat as an independent religion, declare the Lingayats as a religious minority and issue a special order to record Lingayats in a special column in the forthcoming census (2021).
The letter further emphasised that if the commission lends its support to the community, the Lingayatism could be recognised as an independent religion after a struggle of 850 years.
Seers and members of the Lingayat community also held a protest at Jantar Mantar.
On Saturday, Members of Veerashaiva Lingayat held a protest in front of District Commissioner’s office in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi. They demanded a reservation model for themselves similar to that of Maratha reservation in Maharashtra.
In March, the Karnataka Government declared minority status to the Lingayats community.
The Lingayats also known as the Veerashaiva community owes loyalty to the social reform movement of the 12th century initiated by Basaveshwara.