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Fresh controversy courts spiritual leader Mathe Mahadevi

Staff Correspondent

She has been served legal notice for changing the pen name of Akka Mahadevi

MYSORE: A prominent preacher of Basava philosophy and spiritual leader of Veerashaiva community Mathe Mahadevi is in the middle of a fresh controversy over her reported move to change the pen name of the revered social reformer Akka Mahadevi.

Notice

Mathe Mahadevi has not only incurred the wrath of Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha and Sharana Sahitya Parishat, but she has also received a legal notice from the Veerashaiva swamiji in Mysore, for changing Akka Mahadevi’s pen name from “Channamallikarjuna” to “Mahadevi Akka Priya Lingadeva”.

According to the legal notice, a copy of which was made available to The Hindu, Sri Basavalingamurthy Sharanaru of Jagadguru Murugarajendra Mahalingeshwara Math, Mysore, has threatened to file a civil and criminal case against Mathe Mahadevi if the recently released compilation of Akka Mahadevi’s Vachanas containing the altered pen name is not immediately withdrawn.

Publication

The legal notice issued by Sri Sharanaru’s advocate M. Shivananandaswamy, states that the monthly publication “Kalyanakirana”, brought out by Vishwa Kalyana Mission Charitable Trust headed by Mathe Mahadevi, contains a compilation of Vachanas wherein the pen name of revered social reformer of the 12th century Akka Mahadevi has been changed.

Change in Vachanas

“Akka Mahadevi had instilled strength and security in the minds of women. By insulting and offending such a woman, you have brought disgrace to women. Nobody has given you the right to distort and change the Vachana,” said the notice served to Mathe Mahadevi.

Earlier ban

Sri Sharanaru also recalled a similar attempt made by Mathe Mahadevi a couple of years ago to change the pen name of Basava in his Vachanas.

“Though the Government banned the book in which Basava’s pen name had been changed, it is unfortunate that you have tried to embark on a similar misadventure again,” the notice said.

Asking for ban

The Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha has also threatened to launch an agitation if the State Government does not ban and confiscate the books, which are already in circulation.

The Mahasabha representative in Mysore, N.S. Basavaraju said Mathe Mahadevi has hurt the sentiments of the people of the community. “We have no objection if Mathe Mahadevi writes her own Vachanas with her pen name.

But, we will not tolerate the insult of the names and writings of great philosophers like Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi,” he said.

Sharana Sahitya Parishat President G.R. Parameshwarappa termed Mathe Mahadevi’s act as an attempt to distort history.

‘Book a case’

“The State Government should take serious note of the criminal act and book a case against her,” he said.

The Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiva Mahasabha and the parishat claimed that the Veerashaiva organisations in the State will jointly launch a State-wide agitation if the Government fails to act on the matter.

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