Gulbarga: Two rallies – one by the Lingayats and the other by Veerashaiva-Lingayats – will be held at Gulbarga in the fourth week of this month to discuss the government’s move to accord religion status on the community.
The rally by Lingayats will demand a separate religion status. The second rally seeks to drive home the point that Veerashaivas and Lingayats are one. A meeting, chaired by Mahant seer of Sarangadhara mutt, Shrishail, said about 2 lakh community members from Gulbarga, Bidar, Yadagiri, Vijayapura and Raichur districts, besides thousands from Maharashtra and Telangana, will attend the rally on August 26. Babuwali of Bidar said 50,000 people will attend the rally from Bidar. He urged the Lingayat community to sink their differences and make a strong demand for a separate religion tag.
The Sarangadhar pontiff urged Akhila Bharat Veerashaiava Mahasabha to substitute the word ‘Veerashaiva’ with ‘Lingayat’, and send a proposal to the government in eight days. Else, an Akhila Bharat Lingayat Mahasabha will be formed with the support of Virakta mutt seers, he said.
Veerashaiva-Lingayat Hita Rakshana Samiti members will converge on the city on August 24. Its chairman Chandrashekhar Hiremath denied any difference between Veerashaivas and Lingayats, and said 200 seers from north Karnataka will spread this message of one community.