Who was Shivakumara Swami? The walking god of Karnataka
Tumkur, Jan 21: Considered a 'walking god' by those who admire his contribution towards the society, the Lingayat seer Siddaganga Sri Shivakumara Swamiji passed away on January 21, 2019 - at the age of 111 years.
The Swami, who was one of the oldest persons living in India, has been suffering from lung infection for the past few weeks. He had been in and out of hospitals over the last few years due to his advanced age.
The Siddaganga mutt, under his guidance, educated and hosted lakhs of students from economically deprived backgrounds.
Born on 1 April 1907 in Veerapura near Magadi Taluk, Ramanagara District. He was initiated into the Viraktashram Order in 1930. In recognition of his social work, he was conferred with the third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, in 2015 and the Karnataka Ratna in 2007. He was also conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Karnataka University in the year 1965.
The Lingayat seer is also the head of the Sree Siddaganga Education Society which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state from engineering colleges to business schools, where more than 10,000 children get free education.
The seer was a firm believer in two of the most important tenets of Lingayat sect or religion - Shikshana (education) and Dasoha (mass feeding).
Kumaraswamy said he had recommended the Swami's name to the Central government for the highest civilian award 13 years ago when he was the Chief Minister heading the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday said the Central government should confer the Bharat Ratna on Tumakuru Siddaganga mutt's 111-year-old pontiff Shivakumara Swami.
"I had recommended Bharat Ratna for Swami in 2006 itself for his good work. If necessary, we will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant the award to Swami," Kumaraswamy told the media.