Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge

Cong leader Kharge seeks Bharat Ratna for Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami

ANI | Updated: Jan 21, 2019 17:28 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 21 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday requested the Central government to confer Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, on late Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami.
“He was very much committed to improving the level of education among poor and downtrodden people. He used to feed thousands of boys every year. I request the Government of India to honour him with the Bharat Ratna, which he truly deserves,” Kharge told ANI.
“His loss has created a great void in the field of education. All Prime Ministers have themselves seen his work, particularly in the field of education. Even he taught Sanskrit to the downtrodden sections of the society. He had come from a very poor background, but he left a great service behind him,” said Kharge.
“Lakhs of his devotees and followers have become orphans today,” he said, adding that except education, he never used to interfere in any matters. “His only aim till his death was education,” he added.
“I met him on January 14 in Tumkur as his health was serious. He died at the age of 111. Even at such an old age he could read without spectacles and walk without stick,” Kharge further told ANI.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told media in Tumkur that Swami passed away at 11:44 am. The cremation will take place on Tuesday at 4:30 pm.
The 111-year-old Lingayat pontiff was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation on December 8 last year, which was carried out to treat his liver and bile duct infection.
Shivakumara Swami is considered to be one of the most esteemed religious and social practitioners of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism.
The government of Karnataka has declared three-day state mourning and one day holiday on Monday for all schools, colleges and government offices on account of Swami’s demise. (ANI)