TUMAKURU: Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday the country urgently needed to learn brotherhood and eradicate hatred as taught by 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara.
“You are teaching what Basaveshwara said we are all one, we must live together, avoid hatred and rise above caste and religion,” Rahul Gandhi said in his public address after paying tribute to the Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math in Tumakuru on his 115th birthday on April 1.
Basaveshwara was the 12th century AD social reformer who founded the Lingayat sect based on compassion, love, benevolence and philanthropy.
He had a vision of equality in society.
“The nation desperately needs the brotherhood you are teaching here. Your organization is eradicating hatred, which is rapidly spreading in the country. I commend the Seer (current Pontiff Siddalinga Swamiji) and his team for this,” Gandhi said .
Recalling its association with Siddaganga Math and Shivakumara Swamiji, the Congress leader expressed his joy that the institution has shaped the future of thousands of children by giving them an education.
Gandhi, an MP from Wayanad in Kerala, promised the pontiff that he would assist with math wherever needed.
Expressing his sadness that Shivakumara Swamiji was no longer the one he met on his last visit, the Congress leader said, “Swamiji may not be here, but he showed us the way. We must walk in his path. educate young people and help the poor.
The pontiff of the renowned Siddaganga Math, who lived to be 111 years old before passing away in January 2019, had become the standard bearer of Basaveshwara teaching with his philanthropic work.
Gaining the reputation of “walking God”, the seer had turned his Ashrama into a great educational institution for a large number of students from weaker sections all over Karnataka who were offered free food and education.
Lingayat is a powerful dominant community in Karnataka with a large population.
With just a year to go before general assembly elections, Gandhi’s visit here is seen as the party’s aggressive start to the campaign trail.
Interestingly, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also visit the Math on Friday to participate in the birthday celebrations.