The Lingayat versus Veerashaiva feud has taken several complicated turns over the past few weeks. Now, the Lingayat Mahasabha has filed a defamation complaint against the Rambhapuri pontiff.
Rambhapuri pontiff, the head of the Veerashaiva math based out of Chikamagaluru, has taken a stand that Veershaivas and Lingayats are the same.
Lingayat Mahasabha State President, Sharana Chandramouli, on August 2, filed a complaint against the Rambhapuri pontiff Jagadguru Prasannarenuka Veera Someshwara Rajadeshikendra Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, for allegedly making defamatory statements against Mate Mahadevi.
Mate Mahadevi is the head of the Lingayat mutt Basava Dharma Peetha.
According to Chandramouli, the Rambhapuri pontiff, had issued a statement stating that Mate Mahadevi had, in 1962, written a love letter to Lingananda Swami.
Lingananda Swami was the religious head who initiated Mate Mahadevi into the mutt.
Following the Rambhapuri seerâ€™s statement, on July 30, followers of Mate Mahadevi shouted slogans against the Rambhapuri seer asking him to tender an unconditional apology to the woman seer.
They also condemned the Rambhapuri pontiff for indulging in luxuries and burnt an effigy of him sitting on a palanquin.
Reacting strongly to this development, thousands of followers of the Rambhapuri seer from Gadag, Dharwad and Bidar staged a protest in Hubballi on August 1. They too burnt an effigy of Mate Mahadevi.
Ever since Mate Mahadevi held the mammoth rally in Bidar and stated that Lingayats and Veerashaivas are different, the woman seer and the Rambhapuri pontiff have been at loggerheads.
This has resulted in protests by their respective followers across the state.
The protesters in Hubballi had warned that they would intensify their agitation if the state government does not recommend for separate religion status under single banner of Veerashaiva-Lingayat within two weeks.
â€śWe waited for 20 days for the Rambhapuri pontiff to apologise to Mate Mahadevi. He had made extremely derogatory statements against her. When no apology came, we decided to file a complaint. No one can make such statements about out Mataji,â€ť Chandramouli said.
According to the Rajaji Nagar Police, the officers will determine the jurisdictional police station where an FIR can be filed.
â€śOnce the jurisdictional police station is identified based on the reports received, we will transfer the complaint there, after which an FIR will be filed,â€ť Rajaji Nagar police said.