Basava?(Kannada:????) (also known as?Bhakti Bhandari Basavanna?(Kannada:?????? ?????? ???????) or?Basaveshwara?(Kannada:????????), (1134?1196)) was an Indian philosopher,?statesman, Kannada poet and a?social reformer?in what is now?Karnataka, India. Basava fought against the practice of the?caste system, which discriminated against people based on their birth, and other rituals inHinduism.?He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. Basavanna used Ishtalinga, an image of the ?iva Li?ga, to eradicate?untouchability, to establish equality among all human beings and as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment. These were rational and progressive social thoughts in the twelfth century. Basaveshwara is undoubtedly one of the pioneer’s of Indian Democracy. He created a model Parliament called the “Anubhava Mantapa,” which not only gave equal proportion to men and women, but also had representatives from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The carvings of the model Parliament can be found across many temples in south India. He was a man ahead of his time, who believed that conflict should be resolved through debate and not violence. He advocated mercy towards both humans and animals.