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Karnataka Govt asks Centre to declare Lingayats as a religious minority

The Karnataka Cabinet on Monday decided to recommend to the Centre to declare Lingayats and Veerashiva-lingayats who follow the philosophy of social reformer Basaveshwara as a religious minority.

Briefing newsmen after the Cabinet meeting here, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T B Jayachandra said that the meeting while accepting the recommendations to this effect made by the Karnataka State Minorities Commission had decided that the notification to this effect would be made after meeting the procedural requirements and after taking note of the possible impact of such grant of recognition to other minorities or the non-minorities or the public at large.

The Cabinet had recommended to “consider grant of recognition as relgious minority to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayats (believers of Basava tattva (philosophy) under section 2(D) of the Karnataka State Minorities Act. It was also decided to forward the same to the Central Government for notifying under Section 2 (C) of the Central Minority Commission Act.”

The Commission while forwarding the report of the expert committee headed by Justice Nagmohan Das had also recommended that such decision should not affect the existing benefits and other benefits available to the other religious or linguistic minorities. The acceptance of the recommendations was in terms of the opinion of the minority commission that the proper recognition is to be made to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats under the Commission and also subject to the condition that such recognition would not affect the rights and interests of other minorities in the State.

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