Reacting to it, former CM Siddaramaiah said that it is a “crime” to cancel Tipu Jayanti celebrations and that the BJP was against minorities.

BJP government in Karnataka cancels controversial Tipu Jayanti celebrationsRepresentation Photo
news Politics Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - 16:00

The controversial state-sponsored celebration of Tipu Jayanti has now been cancelled by the BJP government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. In an order issued by the Principal Secretary of the Kannada and Culture Department, the state-sponsored celebration of Tipu Jayanti was cancelled on Tuesday after Virajpet MLA KG Bopaiah wrote a letter stating that it was causing communal conflicts in Kodagu district.

“There is huge opposition for the celebration of Tipu Jayanti across the state and there have been several protests against it in many districts in the last few years. Even the people are against celebrating Tipu Jayanti in these districts. Several people have also died due to conflicts because of this and it is a burden on the public exchequer. Hence, as on July 30, Tipu Jayanti celebrations have been cancelled,” Principal Secretary PS Malati’s order states.

Speaking to the media, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that he instructed the Department of Kannada and Culture to cancel the Tipu Jayanti celebrations with immediate effect.

“Tipu Jayanti was cancelled after a cabinet meeting today (Tuesday). I directed the department to cancel it as people have died and it had led to failure of law and order in the state,” BS Yeddyurappa said.

Reacting to the move, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it is a “crime” to cancel Tipu Jayanti celebrations, while stating that the BJP was against minorities.

“I started Tipu Jayanti Celebration 3 years ago. People of Karnataka accepted it. He was a man who fought against British rule. He's the first freedom fighter of the country. He's a historical man. That's why we celebrated and took a decision to celebrate it. Tipu is a minority man and BJP is against minorities. BJP people are not secular. This shows their thinking and I oppose this move 100%,” Siddaramaiah said.

Joining the bandwagon, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee  President Dinesh Gundu Rao said that he was not surprised by the move. Stating that the BJP’s agenda was to polarise the population, Dinesh Rao said that the move was initiated to make political gains.

“Across the country, minorities are being attacked and that is their agenda. BJP wants to divide the population and indulge in politics of hate. We are not at all surprised that they would do this. We expected it,” he said.

The Congress, however, says that Tipu Jayanti will be celebrated with pomp and that the BJP could not stop them. Former Minorities Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan said that the decision would be opposed in the Assembly.

“We will oppose it in the Assembly. Siddaramaiah started the celebrations when he was the Chief Minister. The BJP had been opposing it since it began. This year too, we will celebrate Tipu Jayanti and we will do it with more pomp and grandeur,” Zameer Ahmed Khan said.

Tipu Jayanthi was officially celebrated by the state government for the first time on November 10, 2015 when the Congress was in power. Every year, in the days leading up to Tipu Jayanti, the BJP, RSS and other groups ran a campaign claiming that Tipu Sultan had persecuted Kodavas and Christians in Mangalore (now Mangaluru). On that day as tensions mounted, two people were killed, although the circumstances surrounding their death still remain unclear. However, the Congress government led by then CM Siddaramaiah had continued to celebrate it. 

 

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