The Siddaramaiah government’s plans to celebrate ruler Tipu Sultan’s 265th birth anniversary on November 10 may run into rough weather as Hindutva organisations threatened to disrupt the festivities.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, which are leading the agitation, are of the view that Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu and anti-Kannada ruler. They had also opposed the state’s decision to put up a tableau commemorating the ruler in last year’s Republic Day parade.
“We have lost our patience. Siddaramaiah continues to promote Tipu Sultan, ignoring the fact that we have been opposing this for several years,” Bajrang Dal state convener Suryanarayana said.
He added: “We cannot predict how Hindus will react to the state government celebrating the birthday of a man who destroyed thousands of Hindu temples and killed the Kannada language by promoting Persian and Urdu.”
“Tipu Sultan also destroyed many Catholic churches when he invaded Mangalore and north Kerala. The catholics of this region still carry the pain of his persecution,” said RSS spokesman Vadiraj, adding that the RSS was only playing a guiding role and the VHP and the Bajrang Dal would coordinate the agitation on the ground.
“Majority of the people are opposed to it – Tipu was the ruler of Mysore – it’s okay, but at the same time he was the most intolerant king. It has been recorded by history, not by RSS. On his sword it is clearly mentioned, it is meant to kill kafirs,” kshetreeya sanghachalak of RSS for Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, V Nagaraj told reporters.
Nagaraj said people in Karnataka are opposed to the celebrations as many historians have recorded the treatment meted out to people during his tyrannical rule.
“Historians in Karnataka also have written how he had treated people of Chitradurga, Mangaluru and mid-Karnataka. So, naturally people are opposing it,” he said.