Karnataka’s BJP government axes Tipu Sultan celebrations
The machinations began soon after the new chief minister won the trust vote. Rightwing groups oppose the celebration of his anniversary, alleging that his reign saw atrocities against Hindus and Christians.
The new BJP government in Karnataka has decided not to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary this year.
The machinations against Tipu Sultan, a celebrated 18th century king of Mysore, began immediately after the new Chief Minister Yediyurappa won the trust vote in Karnataka assembly on Monday. Lawmakers from the Chief Minister’s Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] had told reporters that they would soon be petitioning the chief minister on the issue.
Rightwing cadres have been raising the pitch against the celebration of Tipu Jayanti in the state, while the ousted Kumaraswamy government of the JD(S) – Congress alliance went ahead with a grand celebration last year. The Chief Minister himself attended the celebrations at many venues across the state. The birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysuru and Tipu Saheb, is celebrated on the 10th of November every year.
Tippu Sultan was a tyrant who massacred thousands of Hindus and it was shameful the previous Govts felt it was their duty to honour him with a Jayanti.— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) July 30, 2019
Shri @BSYBJP govt now undoing all the wrongs of the mismatched coalition, one master stroke at a time. ???? https://t.co/pL5oplIVjI
BJP MLA Bopayya wrote a letter to Yediyurappa asking him to ban the celebrations on Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary in November. On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that the government had cancelled the celebrations. The decision was no surprise as the BJP had made it an issue during the state elections.
The controversy over Tipu Jayanti began with the decision of the Congress-led Siddarammaya government in 2015 to celebrate the birth anniversary of the 18th century king, who is remembered for many technological and administrative innovations. Tipu is credited with the introduction of new coin denominations and a new luni-solar calendar during his reign. He was also regarded as a pioneer in the use of rocket artillery.
Tipu Sultan, the winner of many battles against the Marathas and the British, was defeated and killed after the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99) when the army of the British East India Company, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad came together against him.
Congress hailed Tipu Sultan as one of the earliest freedom fighters against colonial rule. Rightwing outfits oppose the celebration of his anniversary, alleging that his reign saw atrocities against Hindus and Christians.