Tipu Jayanti celebrations in Karnataka have several classic goings-on surrounding the controversial event – BJP protests amid heavy police deployment, cadre being detained, and of course, the Congress leaders celebrating with pomp. This year too, the BJP observed protests in Mangaluru, Bagalakote, Hubballi and Kodagu. BJP leaders were also detained, just like the previous years. However, the one thing missing was the jubilation among Congress leaders and workers and the pomp with which the event has been celebrated in the last couple of years.
ranted, we did see former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in a ‘Tipu’ turban, posing with a sword for the cameras. But the celebrations were very low-key, compared to the grand ceremonies organised under Siddaramaiah’s Chief Ministership.
In fact, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, as well as Deputy Chief Minister DR G Parameshwara, stayed away from the official celebrations on Saturday. The events were strictly indoors, and the government put a ban on public processions.
The tepid Tipu Jayanti this year has a lot to do with the alliance politics in the state. Over the years, while the BJP and the Congress have been busy policticking over the issue, the JD(S) always stayed away from the controversy. And now that the Congress and JD(S) are in an alliance in the state, the compromise was to go ahead with Tipu Jayanti, but to keep it on the down low.
“Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy have never got involved in the communal politics surrounding Tipu Jayanti. Kumaraswamy has decided to rest for three days until the furore surrounding the event dies down. The only reason why the current government is celebrating Tipu Jayanti is because the JD(S) had agreed to continue implementing all schemes started by Siddaramaiah,” a JD(S) source said.
The celebration at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru was therefore headed by former CM Siddaramaiah and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan, who brandished swords whilst adorning Tipu-style turbans and celebrated the event with pomp.
Tipu Jayanti was former CM Siddaramaiah's brain child. The state-sponsored event was introduced in 2015. While the Siddaramaiah and his supporters called Tipu a patriot, the opposition led by the BJP dubbed Tipu a tyrant and a mass murderer of Hindus. This resulted in a massive controversy and once again, history was used to feed cultural politics.
Since its birth in 2015, the controversy has turned into a blame game between the Congress and the BJP.
"JD(S) has never wanted to create a huge divide between Hindus and Muslims. The BJP and Congress have effectively managed to do this over several decades," the JD(S) source added.