Vokkaliga Community and Lingayat Sect

Vokkaliga Community and Lingayat Sect

Vokkaliga Community :

Why in news : There is high politics going around this community to increase the reservation for the community from an existing 4% to 12%.

Key points about Vokkaliga community :

  • Vokkaliga is a community of closely– related castes. They are majorly present in the state of Karnataka.
  • They are also presented in the state of Tamilnadu in minor numbers.
  • They have historical, political and demographic dominance in old mysore region.
  • It is even believed that the Rashtrakutas and Western Gangas were of Vokkaliga origin.
  • Vokkaligas commonly carry names such as Gowda, Hegdeand 
  • Before the 20th century Vokkaligas were the landed gentry and agricultural caste of Karnataka.
  • They, along with the Lingayats, owned most of the cultivated land in the state.

Demographic distribution of different sects in the state of Karnataka

Lingayats :

Some key points about this sect :

  • Lingayatism or Veera Saivism is a Hindu denomination based on Shaivism majorly present in the state of Karnataka.
  • They were initially known as veerashaivas.
  • Since the 12th century they came to be known as Lingayats. The origin of this sect is traced back to the 11th- and 12th-century CE in around northern Karnataka and nearby districts of South India.
  • The Lingayat sect has been propounded by the 12th-century philosopher Basavanna in Karnataka.

Basavanna, the influential personality who shaped the Lingayat sect

  • Lingayatism emphasizes on qualified monism i.e., Advaita (with philosophical foundations similar to those of the 11th–12th-century South Indian philosopher Ramanuja).
  • Lingayatism rejects any form of social discrimination including the caste system.
  • It also rejects the authority of vedas and puranas.
  • The rejected the phallic linga symbol of Shiva and opted for ishta linga.
  • Worship is centred on Shiva as the universal god in the iconographic form of Ishtalinga.
  • They fought against discrimination on the basis of gender and birth.

Syllabus : prelims- culture