Bengaluru: In one his first orders after assuming the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka, B. S. Yediyurappa, has stopped the celebration of Tipu Sultan from this year onwards. The Tipu Jayanthi was being celebrated in a grand scale since 2015.
Tipu’s Jayanti is celebrated on 10th November. It was first introduced by the Congress government and later, H. D. Kumaraswamy retained the celebrations.
The former ruler of Mysore Kingdom, Tipu Sultan, is widely seen as a Muslim fanatic who forcibly converted thousands of Hindus to Islam and also was instrumental in the killing of Hindus and Christians. Though, he was a fierce antagonist for the British, Tipu Sultan was a staunch Muslim and his actions spelled genocide for Hindu populations in the kingdoms he attacked.
His cruelty against Hindus are still remembered by the Hindu community and he is regarded as a polarizing figure. Yet, Congress and left historians tried to eulogize him as a freedom fighter and enemy of the British.
The government’s order comes after MLA K. G. Bopiah wrote to Chief Minister Yediyurappa to cancel Tipu Jayanti celebrations organized by the Karnataka Kannada and Cultural Department.
The government cited religious riots as reason to scrap the celebration.
The celebrations had widespread opposition from people in Kodagu district. In 2015, large scale protests led to the death of VHP activist Kuttappa. Last year also BJP opposed the celebrations by dubbing Tipu as a religious bigot.
Interestingly, many Christian organizations are also against lionizing Tipu Sultan for his violence against Christians during his reign.
Tipu Sultan, during his campaign against the Hindu rulers in Kerala, left a trail of death and destruction of the Hindu population in Northern Kerala. The only kingdom that did not succumb to his brutality in Kerala was the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom.
His armies killed or converted thousands of Hindus in Kerala during his conquest of Kerala.
Meanwhile, the Congress has come out heavily against the government’s decision and said that the government was acting communally.