Tipu Sultan was a freedom-fighter, and therefore, the Kempegowda International Airport must be renamed after him.

Why Girish Karnad wants Bengaluru airport named after Tipu Sultan
news Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 14:29

Tipu Sultan was a freedom-fighter, and therefore, the Kempegowda International Airport must be renamed after him, writer and Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the official celebration of Tipu Jayanti held in the banquet hall of Vidhan Soudha, Karnad said, “It is true that Kempegowda built Bengaluru, but he was not a freedom fighter. I know that my views will be cause for debate and controversy, but am saying it nonetheless. The airport must be named after Tipu.”

Earlier, he said: “Tipu has always been a part of my life. Tipu was not just a political person, but also a part of Kannada literature and theatre. No Kannadiga equal to Tipu has been born in the last 300 years.”

The Karnataka government’s decision to observe November 10 as Tipu Jayanti has come under fire from the BJP and its affiliates. The BJP claims that Tipu was “anti-national” and that he had forcibly converted Hindus and Christians to Islam.

Many historians however, have shown that Tipu was not a proselytizer, and that classification of rulers in Indian history as either “Hindu” or “Muslim” was a flawed one, as local satraps had often changed faiths in order to maintain better relationships with the current ruler and have provided numerous examples of this. They have also pointed out that Tipu’s targeting of temples was limited to specific instances of warfare, and that he had no intention to convert people en masse. Several historians have written about the manner in which he patronised the mutt in Srirangapatna, which was his capital.

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