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Basava Jayanthi

Basava beyond the boundaries of caste and religion

10 May '24
2 min read


Basava Jayanthi

Basava Jayanthi is celebrated across Karnataka and India to remember and honor the life and teachings of Basaveshwara. Basava, also known Basavanna, was a 12th century social reformer, philosopher and a poet (vachanakara) who fought for equality and unity among people and against the superstitions and meaningless rituals, 

But it is very unfortunate and ironic how his ideas have been molded into superstitions and his perspectives against caste based discrimination have been twisted over time.

Basava believed in "Kayaka" (service) and "Dasoha" (sharing) to help everyone in society. Basava spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. He rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions, meaningless rituals and the practice of caste system, he advocated that people should be judged by their actions, not their birth. He even encouraged intercaste marriages, breaking the traditional rules and bringing people together.

Unfortunately, some have misunderstood Basava's philosophies or even intentionally misinterpreted them. Instead of unity and equality, they've used his name to keep caste divisions alive. This goes against everything Basava stood for. Even today, despite the developments in various fields like technology and education, discussions about intercaste marriage remain sensitive and often taboo, social stigma, family pressure, and fear of ostracism continue to deter individuals from pursuing relationships outside their caste boundaries, this fear stops many from following their hearts.

As we celebrate Basava Jayanthi, instead of remembering him just as a religious figure let's remember him as a social reformer and celebrate his principles and teachings. Let's stand against social and caste discrimination and work for a world where everyone is treated with respect and equality. Basava's dream of a world without caste barriers may seem very far away, but it's a goal worth striving for, even if it means going against what the society expects.


Written by Muttu N