Karnataka: Lingayat Mutt in Gadag to Appoint Married Muslim Man As Its Seer
Diwan Sharief Rahimansab Mulla (Photo Credits: ANI)

Gadag, February 20: In a major development, a lingayat mutt in Karnataka is set to appoint a Muslim man as it's pontiff. Diwan Sharief Rahimansab Mulla, a 33-year-old Muslim man, will be appointed the head priest of Murugharajendra Koraneshwara Shantidhama mutt in Gadag district's Asuti village on February 26. 'Bharat Ratna For Late Lingayat Seer Shivakumara Swamiji', Demands HD Kumaraswamy in Letter to PM Narendra Modi.

According to a report in Times of India, Diwan is a follower of 12th-century reformer Basavanna and is influenced by his teachings. "They've put the sacred thread & given me the responsibility. They've given me the 'Ishta-linga' and this honour. I've done the 'Ishta-linga dharan'. I'll walk on the path of dharma. Love and sacrifice is the message given to me, that is what I want to propagate," Dewan Sharief Mullah said.

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Murugarajendra Koraneswara Swami, the pontiff of the Khajur Mutt said that the caste does not matter if you follow the path of goodwill. "It doesn't matter what caste you belong to. If God appears to you for a path of goodwill and sacrifice, you will do it regardless of the manmade restrictions of birth and caste," he said.

Being born in a Muslim family, Dewan's parents were staunch devotees of Basaveshwara. Dewan's father had also donated two acres of land to construct a mutt in Asuti village.

While Lingyat seers are usually unmarried, Diwan, who has been learning principles of Lingayat religion and Basava's teaching for past three years, is a father to three daughters and a son. He said that he got support from all villagers as well as other people who believe in Basava's teachings.