A committee set up by the Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) to study the demand by the Lingayat community for a separate minority religion status has reportedly finalised its recommendations. It will be endorsing the demand for a separate religion status to the Lingayats.
In what its critics allege as a desperate gambit to divide the electorally influential Veershaiva-Lingayat community, the Congress government in Karnataka made a reference to the Karnataka State Minorities Commission to set up a committee to study the demand for separate religion status made by a section of Lingayat community. The committee was headed by retired High Court judge Justice N S Nagamohan Das The members of the commission included Kannada Development Authority chairperson SG Siddaramaiah, Professor Ramakrishna Marathe, and head of Kannada Language Chair at Jawaharlal Nehru University Purushotham Bilimane
The committee is said to have submitted its report to the Minorities Commission late on Friday (2 March).
Quoting sources within the government, The Times of India reports that will most likely agree to the recommendation of the commission as a part of ruling Congress party's electoral strategy to divide.
In a slight departure from its time-tested divisive social engineering model of keeping the caste cauldron in the state simmering by pitting the dominant castes against a conglomeration of other castes that goes by AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits), ruling Congress party has mounted an effort to foment the fault lines between Veerashaivas and Lingayats. A motley group of Congress leaders and seers embarked upon a campaign for 'separate religion' for Lingayats.
The Veerashaiva-Lingayat community has been traditionally rallying behind the BJP since the unceremonious sacking of well respected Veerendra Patil from the post of Chief Minister by Rajiv Gandhi and emergence of B S Yedyurappa as the tallest BJP leader in the state.
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