#InUthDecodes: Who Are Lingayats And What Is Lingayatism?

Slain journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead in August 2015 by suspected Hindu extremists were both proponents of Lingayat philosophy.

India might soon have a new religion.

On 19th March, 2018 Karnataka government ruled by the Congress party recognized Lingayatism as a separate religion.

So who are Lingayats?

The word Lingayat has its origin in Linga – a phallic object symbolizing the Hindu god Shiva. The believers of Lingayatism wear Linga around their neck and follow the teachings of 12th century social reformer and philosopher Basava. Basava was born a Brahmin but rejected the teachings of Hindu scriptures. Lingayatism originated as a fierce rebellion to the oppressive caste system and religious texts like Vedas and Upanishads. Staunchly anti-Brahminical, Basava’s view of social order was based on rationality, justice, equality, inclusivity and brotherhood.

Watch the video to find out more about the movement and its founder Basavanna.