EXCLUSIVE: How church played key role in separating lingayat from hindus

In a political gamble close to the assembly polls, the Siddaramaiah government decided on Monday to declare Lingayats as a religious minority and include the Veerashaivas who follow Basavanna as a group within the community.

We dived deep and found out the church’s connection to this whole agitation and Below are the major findings/notes that are made out of this lingayat agitation.

1> The vachanas of Basavanna was carried forward by many poets but it was mainly available in the poems of Poet Sarvajna. The collection of the poems of Sarvajna was reportedly converted into writings by one of the prominent evangelical face of karnataka- Channappa Uttangi. It was a well-planned move by the basel mission to disassociate the lingayat community from the hindu fold. And today when we are seeing what is happening in Karnataka, they seem to have won this long-term plan.

2> The songs of Poet Sarvanja or the vachanas of the Guru Basava was reportedly collected by Channnappa the Basel mission evangelist and was converted as a collection of vachanas, The crooked person with an intention to convert this particular community would have doctrined the vachanas of Guru basava. This assumption can be made easily because, Channappa often compared Basava with Christ and Christ With basava, by stating that, “Basava is the best Christian and Jesus is the best Lingayat”. He also had advocated the fellow evangels to use the technique of hindu way of living to harvest the hindu souls.

3> There was an agitation to get an independent religious status for Lingayat in the year of 1940 reportedly under the directions of Channappa Uttangi and the basel mission. I tried to get the documents related to this as this is the major breakthrough that we may get, but I failed on this as I didn’t get much support on this.

4> Hiremallur Ishwarana and M.M. Kalburgi (Historians) had put forward the theory that Lingayats are the separate religion. It could be based on the assumptions made by Channappa Uttangi of Basel Mission. This is the document that now being used by congress and church to take away the lingayat community from the hindu fold and to provide a separate status for Lingayat.

5> The major writings of Channappa Uttangi of Basel Mission included many evangelical books, the famous one is “Bethlehem’s Appeal to Benares” . In this book he was addressing the benaras hindus to accept the Jesus as the savior. It is evident that, with such mentality Channappa would have done lot of damage to the real teaching of Guru Basava.

6> Dr.N.G.Mahadevappa ,Sanjay Makal, Vlasavathi Khuba, Asha Khuba Manjunath Kale, Chandrashekhar Tallali These are the main bigwigs who’s doing the role of Jaichand in terms of taking the lingayat away from the hindu fold. A detailed study on these people and the connection of these people with the church also will give us an idea on who’s playing behind the scene. In all scenarios, these people are using the findings or vachanas that an evangel like Channappa Uttangi had allegedly wrote.

7> Channappa Uttangi was so influential that, Basel mission, concluded that the Christian preachers must use the Hindu methods to impress the principles of Christ.

8> For Joshua Mission The lingayat are non hindus because the lingayat rejects the vedas. Here also the Joshua mission people also might be using the writings of Channappa.

9> According to Southern Baptist church, In the 1990s, Southern Baptists from the U.S. challenged Lingayat followers of Christ to reach their own people in order to establish Lingayat fellowships. South India Gospel Outreach (SIGO) is reaching the Lingayats, in this, only about 5,500-6,000 know the truth of the Bible.

The Lingayat community is part of the Mega people. The influential community in several states is called as Mega people by the church. There are nearly 150 mega people groups with a population of more than one million. Several of these mega people groups are strategic in their regions and politically influential. Many of them are spread around the country. Some of the politically powerful people groups are Jats, Vokkalingas, Lingayats, Ezhavas, Nairs, Kamma, Reddys, Patnaiks, Patels, Marathas, Yadavs, Kurmi, Rajputs, Thakurs, Thevars, Vanniars and Gujjars. None of these mega people groups have any significant movement of Christ followers except recently among the Lingayats in Karnataka. There are no major churches or mission agencies that have a focused ministry to serve among these mega people groups. They are often overlooked as not being responsive simply for the reason of very little effort in contextually communicating the good news or providing an environment of appropriate integration among the established Christ followers.

Assumption: – Channappa Uttangi is possibly the person who’s behind the idea of Lingayat being the separate religion. He had used the opportunity of the non-recorded vachanas of poet Sarvajna and doctrine the vachanas to match with Christianity and to reject everything else in the hindu dharma.