Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi released a condolence message following the passing away of Shri Shivakumar Swamiji of the Siddaganda Mutt in Tumkuru. The second paragraph of the message begins thus:
Here is the whole condolence message released by Sonia Gandhi:
Readers may note that the humanitarian works of Shivakumar Swamiji were never restricted to the Lingayats or to any one community. Even his followers, admirers, and devotees are not restricted to Lingayats and come from many communities.
For example, the Sri Siddaganga Education Society, is a trust that runs several educational institutions including primary schools, high schools, school for the blind, higher secondary schools, colleges of arts, science and commerce, college of pharmacy, teacher training college and engineering college.
All of these are open to applicants of any community and not just Lingayats. Naturally, the 30,000 students in these institutions also come from a cross section of society.
This just one example of the many humanitarian projects which Shivakumar Swamiji led and none of them were restricted to only Lingayats.
At the time of writing, there was no communication from the Congress or the office of Sonia Gandhi which suggested that they have expressed regret over the message.
Readers may also be reminded that in the run up to the Karnataka assembly elections in 2018, the then state Congress government had recommended that the Lingayats be given the constitutional status of a minority community, separate from Hindus.
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