Karnataka: Yediyurappa Govt Cancels Tipu Jayanti Celebrations, Academics Condemn The Move
Days after swearing-in as Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa-led BJP government on Tuesday cancelled the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, the 18th-century ruler of Mysore.
“Our government has cancelled observing the controversial and communal Tipu Jayanti,” tweeted BJP Karnataka.
Kannada and Culture department, in order, has said that the Hazrat Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations have been cancelled “with immediate effect”.
Tejasvi Surya, BJP leader and MP from Bengaluru South Lok Sabha Constituency in a tweet on July 30, said, “Tipu 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.”
The celebrations of the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan started in 2016 under the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government and has been celebrated every year since then on November 10.
However, the opposition to the celebration is not new. When Congress first announced thee celebrations, there was a huge protest from the BJP and other right-wing groups. The protest even turned violent leading to the death of one person in 2015.
Academics Cry Foul
“This decision is the result of standard right-wing politics. They come out with these controversial decisions, which results into communal hatred instead of highlighting the future course of development policy areas,” Chaitanya Pradeep, Department Of Business Studies And Social Sciences, Christ University, told The Logical Indian.
“Karnataka government has its own cultural policy to preserve the culture and this decision goes against that policy,” professor Chaitanya added.
The Logical Indian also spoke to Tabir Kalam, Professor of History at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
“It is difficult when we see a ruler in the present context. One can not deny that Tipu Sultan destroyed temples, but at the same time, he built several other temples and we should not overlook it. Tipu Sultan was the first freedom fighter. At that time, when not many were aware of Britisher’s policy, he was the only leader to stand against them. He was the first leader who had decided to throw Britishers away,” professor Tabir said.
“He was the only leader to resist the subsidiary alliance in the 1780s. The subsidiary alliance was accepted by contemporary Marathas as well as Nizams of Hyderabad,” professor Tabir added, “He was very much influenced by the French Revolution. He contributed a lot in modernisation, including arms and ammunition. He even sent forces to train in France.”