Tipu Jayanthi controversy erupts again, Hegde asks to be excluded from celebrations

New Delhi: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde has condemned the Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler, Tipu Sultan, on November 10 and has asked them not to be invited to the event marking the celebration.

Tipu Sultan had fought against the British and died in 1799 while defending his capital Srirangapatna (present-day Mandya).

Several leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, claims that the ruler was “against Kannada language and anti-Hindu” and thus flay the state government for celebrating his birth anniversary or Tipu Jayanti.

The Congress party considers him as the first freedom fighter to have opposed the British rule on India.

The Officer on Special Duty to Hedge wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka stating that even after the incidents of violence witnessed across the state last year during the celebrations, the state government’s decision to glorify Tipu Sultan is “unfortunate”.

“History says that Tipu was anti-Hindu and anti-Kannadiga. Earlier when the government had gone ahead with the move there were state-wide protests and sporadic incidents of violence were witnessed. It is unfortunate that the government still wants to glorify him and we condemn it,” the letter read.

“I hereby would like to inform you to not mention my name in the invitee’s list for Tipu Jayanthi,” it added.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said that although the state government has decided to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, there will be restrictions on celebrations as well as protests.

“Government will celebrate Tipu Jayanti, but all processions, both for and against have been banned. We have requested 10 companies of RAF from the Centre. All officers have been informed,” Parameshwara told reporters here.

Last year, the Karnataka government headed by former chief minister Siddaramaiah decided to celebrate Tipu Jayanti on his birth anniversary on November 10.

Popularly known as the Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Jayanti has become a controversial figure, especially since 2015, when the BJP and the Congress fought over the need to celebrate the 18th-century ruler’s birthday.