Bengaluru: Mate Mahadevi, who spearheaded the fight for Lingayat as a separate religion passed away at Manipal Hospital on Thursday (March 14). She was 74 years old.

Mate Mahadevi was suffering from lung infection.  About a year ago, she suffered a kidney failure and had been undergoing dialysis. She was being treated in the ICU at Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru on March 8, 2019.

The medical statement from the hospital stated that ever since she had been admitted, Mate Mahadevi was suffering from multi-organ failure and needed a life support system.

A meeting was held under the leadership of home minister MB Patil, who had also supported the campaign for Lingayat as a separate religion, to discuss ways in providing advanced treatment to the Lingayat leader.

Mate Mahadevi had said that she will not stop protesting until there is a separate religion for Linagayat.

Mate Mahadevi was the first woman Jagadguru of the Lingayat community. Swami Lingananda had provided 'Deeksha' to Mate Mahadevi in 1966.

Controversy never ceased to surround her. A series of letters written by Lingananda Swami to one of his disciples were reportedly released. The letters explained the alleged relation between him and Mate Mahadevi. The 'relationship' had apparently come into question by few members of the Lingayat community.

Mate Mahadevi was born on March 13, 1946. She held a BSc and MA degree. She started writing after she was inspired by the 12th Century reformer, poetess Akka Mahadevi. She wrote 20 books. She also started an educational and religious institution called Jaganmata Akka Mahadevi Ashrama in Dharwad, Karnataka by 1983. The education institute imparts training with the focus on educational and spiritual upliftment of women.  

Manipal Hospital has released an official statement following the death of Mate Mahadevi.

We regret to inform that 74 years old Dr. Jagadguru Mate Mahadevi was critically ill and  admitted on 08/03/2019 at Manipal Hospitals has passed away at 4.45 p.m. today due to cardiac arrest. She had a prolonged renal illness and was on advanced life support system  Since admission, she required multiple organ and life supports including ventilation, BP support, and dialysis. Her condition was extremely critical and she was receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics for sepsis. The ICU, nephrology and pulmonology teams were providing the best of care to her round the clock. Our deepest condolences to the entire family and the devotees on her sad demise.

Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals