Why Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah are making a beeline for Siddaganga Mutt
Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah are visiting the Siddaganga mutt in Tumkur on March 31 and April 1, respectively.
On Thursday, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi cisited the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, Karnataka. Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to visit the Mutt tomorrow.
Their visits coincide with the 115th birth anniversary and Guru Vandana programme of the late revered Shivakumara Swamiji.
Both visits are likely with an eye on the prominent Lingayat community in the state ahead of the upcoming 2023 assembly polls.
After his visit, Rahul Gandhi said: “ We have to live here together with love and without hatred. There shouldn't be bias based on caste and religion. You teach this here and we need that today when hatred is spreading in our country.”
The mutt, built in the 15th century, is a spiritual centre for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, and was established by Sri Haradanahally Gosala Siddeshwara Swamigalu in Tumkur.
The Sree Siddaganga Mutt has had a history of being regarded as progressive in the last two centuries due to its respected and humane culture which seeks to empower youths with knowledge and wisdom regardless of caste and creed.
The mutt is also known for its gurukula, where teachings of two of its greatest religious leaders are taught. The first one being Sree Sree Uddana Shivayogigalu and the second being the revered Sree Shivakumara Swamiji, who died in January 2019. The mutt is now being run under the responsibility of Sri Siddalinga Swamiji.
The mutt is said to be established to spread Lingayatism (a sect of Shaivism). The Mutt has also established schools, a junior college and an engineering college, a medical college and a school for children with special needs.
The mutt also runs about 126 educational institutes all over the state and is said to be providing free education to more than 9000 poor students without discrimination of caste and creed.
Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, who passed away in 2019 after a long battle with a lung infection in Tumkur, was a revered seer of the Lingayat faith and was also called the ‘walking god’. The seer passed away at 111 years old after the pontiff had been on ventilator support for a few weeks before his demise.
The Karnataka government had declared a three-day state mourning and one day holiday for all schools, colleges and government offices in the state. His 100th birthday celebrations were attended by the then President A P J Abdul Kalam in April 2007.
Best known for his philanthropic work, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji was conferred with the third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, in 2015 and the Karnataka Ratna in 2007 for his contribution to the society.
He was also awarded with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Karnataka University in 1965, as a mark of recognition of his humanitarian work.