President, PM mourn Karnataka’s 111-year-old seer
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday mourned the death of Karnataka’s 111-year-old revered seer, Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru.
“Extremely sad to learn the passing of the spiritual leader… He contributed immensely to society, particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers,” the President tweeted.
The Lingayat seer passed away at 11:44 a.m at the Mutt while receiving treatment for lung infection. He was on ventilator support after his condition showed complications.
“His Holiness lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable. He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice. Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world,” tweeted Modi.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said: “Swamiji was respected and revered by millions of Indians, from all religions and communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah also condoled the seer’s death.
Known among his followers as a “walking god” and an incarnation of 12th century renowned social reformer Basava, the Lingayat seer was the head of the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state — from engineering colleges to business schools — providing free education to poor students.
The Karnataka government has declared three-day state mourning. Schools and colleges will remain closed on Tuesday when the last rites will be held.