Centre refuses to recognise Lingayat as separate religion


December 11, 2018

The Centre has rejected the Karnataka government’s proposal seeking legal recognition for Lingayats as a distinct religion.

“Taking into account the views of the [Union home ministry and the National Commission for Minorities], it may not be possible for the ministry to accede to the request of the government of Karnataka,” deputy secretary Satya Prakash said in a letter dated November 13 submitted to the Karnataka HC on Monday.

The letter said the Centre had considered the recommendation. It cited the 1871 census and added Lingayats, which account for Karnataka’s 14% population, were recognised as Hindus. The letter noted the scheduled caste (SC) communities were are also part of the Lingayat sect. It added these communities will lose their SC status, which entitles them to the reservation in jobs and education if Lingayats get the status of a separate religion.

The high court disposed of a petition against the state government’s proposal in view of the letter. The state government had said a notification recognising Lingayats as a separate religion would come into effect only after the Centre’s assent.


MB Patil and Vinay Kulkarni of the Congress led the demands for the separate religion status ahead of the polls in Karnataka in May. Karnataka’s previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had in March notified Lingayats and Veerashaivas as a minority religion and forwarded a recommendation to the Union home ministry for approval. The Congress’s tally of seats dropped to 80 in the 224-member house from 122 in 2013 months after the proposal was mooted. It was forced to offer the chief ministerial post to Janata Dal United’s H D Kumaraswamy to form a coalition even as it managed to win just 37 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had opposed the separate religion status, managed to emerge as the single largest party with 104 seats.

The Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha, which has been demanding the separate religion status, criticised the Centre for rejecting it. SM Jamadar, a former bureaucrat and the Mahasabha secretary, said the Centre had said it had assessed even previous recommendations when no such proposals had been sent. “The previous petitions were given by private parties and never in the past had the state government sent such a recommendation,” Jamadar said. He said the state ’s recommendation was based on a an expert committee report. Jamadar added the state minorities commission had backed the demand. He said there are SC communities among Sikhs and Buddhists even as they are identified as separate religions.

 

“Anti national elements are trying to divide hindus ! But Hindus should be united otherwise missionaries and maulanas are waiting eagerly to convert and make india a country with out hindus !”- Editor, Vedic Upasana Peeth

 

Source : Hindustan Times 



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