The Commission for Minorities, in its remarks in 2014, had said that the Veershaiv Lingayat community forms a
(sect) of Hinduism, and not a separate religion, the State government told the Assembly on Thursday.
State Minorities Development Minister Vinod Tawde submitted a written reply in the Assembly to questions raised by MLAs across party lines over the issue of granting a separate religion status to Lingayats and minority status at the national level.
Mr. Tawde said several organisations representing the Lingayat community have made representations to the government demanding constitutional acceptance to the Lingayat religion.
“The Minorities Commission remarks dated May 13, 2014, have been sent to the State government by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, where it has been mentioned that Veershaiv Lingayat is not a separate religion but a
of Hinduism. Similarly, the Home Ministry in a letter dated November 14, 2013, had clarified that Lingayat was not mentioned as an independent religion in Census 2011 since Veershaiv Lingayat is a
of Hinduism,” said the reply.
As a result, the government did not plan to grant Lingayats the status of a separate religion and minority status, it said.
The reply also said that certain sub-castes in the Lingayat community are included in Other Backward Class and special backward class categories. “These sub-castes benefit from various schemes,” the reply said.
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