Why the BJP in Karnataka is against the celebration of Tipu Jayanti
news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 25, 2014 | 06:40 pm IST Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on December 22 reportedly announced that the government would celebrate the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, or Tipu Jayanti, and that the date would be decided shortly. Ever since a controversy seems to have erupted in the state over the CM's announcement. According to a report in PTI, the BJP has alleged that the move by the ruling party is an attempt to strengthen its vote bank. BJP leaders are opposed to the move, with some claiming that Tipu Sultan, the erstwhile ruler of Mysore, was a 'tyrant' and had carried out barbaric acts against people including Kodavas (in Kodagu district). Some senior BJP leaders also said that Tipu Sultan carried out forced conversions in Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts in Karnataka and also in Kerala. And so no such day should be celebrated in his memory. "We (BJP) have our own viewpoint on Tipu Sultan about his administration, especially when you go to Coorg (Kodagu) and other places where people still remember the barbaric acts committed against Coorgis, who refused to oblige his dictates. So, Tipu cannot be considered as a person whose birthday should be celebrated by the state government," BJP leader Suresh Kumar told The Economic Times. However, the announcement was said to have been well received by some activists in the state. A report in The Hindu states that some activists found the Congress government's announcement to be a tribute to a true patriot. Talakadu Chikkarangegowda, well-known writer and researcher of Tipu Sultan, told The Hindu that 'the decision would take away the energy from people who have been spreading canards, fabricated and grossly misleading information about Tipu'. Pro-Tipu activists have also reportedly kept several demands in front of the government, some of which include setting up a Tipu Sultan Research Centre and name BidarSrirangapattan highway, the longest road in the State after Tipu Sultan.