Source: Deccan Chronicle, Bangalore
MYSORE, SOUTH INDIA, December 6, 2000: Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha (ABVM) President Bheemana Khandre has called upon heads of all Veerashaiva monasteries to unite and mobilize Veerashaivas as a separate religion to strengthen the community. Speaking as the chief guest on the "Census Enumeration - 2001 and Awareness Tour," organized by the prominent Veerashaiva Mahasabha based at Suttur Mutt, Khandre reiterated that Veerashaivas were not Hindus as they revolted against the Vedic culture and, by this token, should be recognized as a separate religion in the census report. He denied that their demands would divide society on caste issues and told of injustices meted out to this community who are socially and educationally backward. Neither the Backward Commission Reports nor the Mandal Commission had benefitted their cause, he said. The government too had denied them a separate religion listing in column eight of the census form. Khandre called upon Veerashaivas to insist on their name being listed on the form.