Shivakumara Swamiji: Bharat Ratna campaign for seer kicks off in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Youngsters from all walks of life kickstarted a signature campaign from Malleshwaram, Bengaluru on January 28. "The Karnataka government have been persuading the Centre for the last 12 years, and the demand has increased in the last four years. Had the central government given the award when Swamiji was alive we would have been grateful," said Ashik Gowda, vice president, Youth Congress Bengaluru. Dr Shivakumara Swamiji was earlier awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015. According to the rules, if an award is given to a personality by the central government, the next conferral can only take place after five years. There have been some exceptions like Lata Mangeshkar, who was awarded with the Bharat Ratna within three years of her being conferred with the Padma Shri. "Shivakumara Swamiji deserves such an honour and our efforts will continue until the government of India makes an official announcement of honouring Swamiji with the Bharat Ratna,” said another Congress leader. Lingayat leader and Govindarajnagar BJP MLA V Somanna too expressed displeasure over the Centre leaving out Swamiji's name this year. "Swamiji's persona is above any honour. The status of the Bharat Ratna would have been elevated if it was conferred to him," said Somanna.

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