Bengaluru: After Jamia Masjid in the historical Srirangapatna town and Malali Masjid near Mangaluru city, a fresh controversy has erupted in connection with ‘Peer Pasha Dargah’ near Basavakalyan town in Bidar district of Karnataka.
Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers have claimed that the first parliament of the world — “Anubhava Mantapa” — was allegedly razed and a dargah was built over it.
The controversy has taken a new turn as Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is going to verify the truth regarding claims of Peer Pasha Dargah being at the “Anubhava Mantapa” site.
“Seers have demanded to conduct a research on Peer Pasha Dargah. They have also provided documents in this connection which are going to be verified by the ASI,” he added.
Any development in this matter is likely to create unrest in the state, according to sources.
Peer Pasha Dargah is located in Basavakalyan town, which is the birthplace of social reformer Basaveshwara, who created a social revolution in the 12th century and founded the Lingayat sect.
Basaveshwara used “Anubhava Mantapa” as the platform for discussion on caste discrimination, inequality, gender inequality and other social evils in Hindu religion and society.
He gave representation to all castes, women and used the platform to conduct inter-caste marriages.
The platform also led to the creation of the finest literature in the form of “Vachana Sahitya” in Karnataka.
The BJP government in Karnataka announced the building of the magnificent “Anubhava Mantapa” in Basavakalyan at a cost of Rs 200 crore in 2021.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had laid the foundation stone for the project.
Chief Minister Bommai has given a three-year deadline to complete the project.
The project cost has been raised to Rs 532 crore.
Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers met Bommai at his residence along with BJP MLA of Basavakalyan, Sharanu Salagar and demanded a survey of the Peer Pasha Dargah.
They claim that the Peer Pasha Dargah is standing upon the “Anubhava Mantapa”, a 12th century parliament-like structure founded by Basaveshwara.
It was razed to build a dargah during the reign of the Nawabs in Karnataka.
The memorandum handed by the seers claims that they have ascertained the truth about the dargah through local sources and procured documents to prove their claims.
However, a few Lingayat seers have objected to claims regarding the “Anubhava Mantapa”.
The BJP-led state government is treading cautiously on the issue as Lingayats form the core vote base of the BJP while the latter is also facing the tough challenge of maintaining law and order in the state.