The bench backed its argument by recalling the law-and-order situation during 2015 celebrations.

Tipu was a monarch not a freedom fighter Ktaka HC slams Jayanti celebration
news Tipu Sultan Jayanti Thursday, November 03, 2016 - 09:44

Slamming the Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti, a division bench at the high court on Wednesday said that Tipu Sultan was not a freedom fighter but a monarch who fought to safeguard his interests, reported PTI.

“What is the logic behind celebrating Tipu Jayanti? Tipu was not a freedom fighter, but a monarch who fought the opponents to safeguard his interests,” Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, presiding over the division bench, observed.

The division bench, which included Justice R B Budhihal and Justice Mukherjee, was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Kodagu-based K P Manjunatha, who challenged the government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti.

Mukherjee questioned the rationale behind celebrating the day when there was a potential for communal tensions to escalate in Kodagu and in other districts of the state. 

“As far as my knowledge of history goes, he (Tipu) was not a freedom fighter, but a ruler of a princely state. What is the use of celebrating this? Even if Nizam of Hyderabad had come, he would have countered him in the same way," Mukherjee said.

The bench backed its argument by recalling the law-and-order situation during 2015 celebrations.

However, the public counsel, MR Naik defended the government’s decision and maintained that the 18th century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom was a great warrior who fought against the British.

Sajan Poovaiah, the advocate for the petitioner said that Tipu was a tyrant who killed people belonging to many communities, including Kodavas, Konkanis and Christians.

The hearing will continue on Thursday.

The Siddaramaiah government decided to observe the birth anniversary of Tipu last year. The government stood its ground even as many, including intellectuals, academia and different communities and organisations opposed the decision. 

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