Leaders from across the political spectrum expressed grief over the death of death of Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. They hailed his contributions to education in Karnataka and recalled their own meetings and association with the highly-regarded pontiff.
“Extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader Dr Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. He contributed immensely to society particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers,” said President Ram Nath Kovind.
“His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable. He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice… He represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged… The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt. Swami Ji was respected & revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers,” read the message from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
“Deeply pained to learn about the demise of Nadedaduva Devaru, Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddhaganga Mutt. Swamiji has transformed millions of lives with his immense knowledge and positivity. I was fortunate to have received his blessings… May he continue to bless us with the strength to walk on the path he has shown us… Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,” said BJP chief Amit Shah on Twitter.
“Deeply pained by the demise of respected Lingayat seer of Siddaganga mutt, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji. Swamiji inspired people to serve the society and bring positive change. His focus on spreading education & learning transformed many lives. His demise is a great loss for society,” said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Politicians from Karnataka however put out more emotional condolences than their national counterparts. “India has lost a divine soul,” read the simple condolence from the handle of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. His political archrival BS Yeddyurappa, himself a Lingayat, too tweeted that the nation had been rendered poorer by the death of the pontiff.
“The state is at a loss today. As I recall my long-term association with Shri Shri Siddaganga Swamiji, I realise we were blessed to be around & guided by the great humanitarian seer who cared for all, irrespective of status, caste or religion… Shri Shri #ShivakumaraSwamiji’s yeoman service to the society has been exemplary – he enabled children across the boundaries of caste, creed & religion with free food, shelter & education. He was the guiding light to many & lived what he taught. May he rest in peace,” read tweets from Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara who has been camped out at Tumakuru since the pontiff went into a critical condition.