Religious fault lines

Print edition : May 11, 2018

A celebration after the Karnataka Cabinet granted minority status to the Lingayat community, in Bengaluru on March 19. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Members of the Akhil Bhartiya Veerashaiva Lingayat Mahasangh protest against the government’s decision to grant minority status to Lingayats. Photo: Vijay Bate

The 108-foot-tall statue of Basava on the outskirts of Basavakalyan. Pictorial depictions of Basava and his statues dominate the landscape of north Karnataka. Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

A view of the Basavakalyan fort. It was the base of several dynasties that ruled the region and holds the remnants of the 12th century Kalachuri king Bijjala II’s court in which Basava was prime minister. Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

Tontad Siddhaling Mahaswamiji, the pontiff of the Yedeyuru Sri Jagadguru Tontadarya Samsthanmath in Gadag, honouring a member of the Jatav community from Delhi who called on him. Photo: Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

The logical beneficiary of the Siddaramaiah government’s move to recognise Lingayats as a separate religious group should be the Congress. The BJP knows that its ideological aim of uniting all castes under the monolith of Hinduism will be undermined if this happens.
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