Lingayat seer Siddalinga Swamiji of Tontadarya mutt in Gadag dies at the age of 69

Siddalinga Swamiji was known for providing free education and for his progressive ideas on various issues.
Lingayat seer Siddalinga Swamiji of Tontadarya mutt in Gadag dies at the age of 69
Lingayat seer Siddalinga Swamiji of Tontadarya mutt in Gadag dies at the age of 69
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Siddalinga Swamiji, the revered seer of Tontadarya mutt in Gadag district in northwest Karnataka and propagator of Basava philosophy passed away on Saturday following a cardiac arrest. He was 69. According to mutt authorities, his funeral will be held on Sunday. Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy, his father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former CM Siddaramaiah among others expressed their condolences following news of his death.

The seer who is popular across Karnataka was known for progressive ideas such as eradication of the Devadasi system, untouchability, providing free education and also for his pro-environmental stance. Incidentally, the seer was one of the first and vocal Lingayat seers to speak in favour of the separate religious tag for the community. It was reportedly at his insistence, that ex-CM Siddaramaiah formed an expert panel to study the need for a separate religion tag for Lingayats.

Kumaraswamy in a statement said, “He was a patron of education and literature, and was himself an author. He was also active in anti-caste, environmental concerns and many other civil struggles. A number of devotees followed him due to his progressive and straight approach on various issues. He was active in various people’s movement against blind beliefs, environmental issues. He had devotees across all communities of the society and hence was known as people’s Swamiji.”

He added, “May God bestow his soul salvation and give his devotees strength to endure this huge loss.”

The CM also said the seer had appreciated his initiatives like Janata Darshan, Grama Vastavya.

Similarly, former CM Siddaramaiah, tweeted saying he has lost a senior guide.

Opposition leader and former CM BS Yeddyurappa also tweeted saying his death was a great loss for the country.

In the run up to the polls in Karnataka in April, Siddalinga Swamiji had courted controversy after making a transphobic comment against some other seers of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community for opposing the Karnataka government’s decision to grant minority status.

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