Basavanna Jayanti, or Basava Jayanti, marks the birth anniversary of the 12th Century thinker, social reformer, saint and religious teacher, Basaveshwara. In 2016, the date of Basava Jayanti is May 9. Basvanna is considered to be the founder of Lingayatism or Lingayat Sect or Veerashaivism. He was responsible for sweeping social changes in Karnataka and surrounding regions around 900 years ago.
A true humanist, Basaveshwara stood for the upliftment of the downtrodden and fought the evils that had crept into the Brahmanic Vedic tradition. He preached that there is only one Supreme Being and that is Shiva; and that all animate and inanimate are equal before the Supreme Being.
The philosophy and teachings of Basaveshwara had universal appeal and eternal value and it attracted millions of people. The equality of sexes and social justice, which was unheard in many parts of the world in 12th century, was introduced at the grassroots level of the Kannada society by Basavanna.