Tipu Sultan row: CPI calls secular forces to stand up against VHP

New Delhi, Nov. 12 : The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday called on secular democratic forces to stand up against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which has called for a shutdown in Karnataka on Friday following the escalating tension in the state over the birth anniversary of the 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

“Following that murder, there are many incidents happening in Karnataka, where the communal forces are aggressive and offensive. All secular democratic forces must stand up against these forces, which are trying to subvert the constitutional arrangement of governance,” CPI leader D. Raja told ANI.

“The VHP has been making every issue to create communal strife in the country. Creative writers, artists are being intimidated. Earlier we witnessed the gruesome murder of Kalburgi,” he added.

A VHP activist was killed yesterday in Karnataka during the birth-anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, which led to a violent clash between two groups.

The activist succumbed to the injuries he suffered during the stone-pelting amid the clash.

The clashes broke out between VHP activists and a Muslim group following which the police had to resort to lathi-charge to control the situation.

Earlier, a complaint was filed at the Vidhana Soudha police station here against Jnanpith Award winner Girish Karnad for his ‘provocative’ remark on naming the Bengaluru international airport after city founder Kempe Gowda, on charges that the comment has allegedly hurt the sentiments of certain sections of society.

“I feel that if Tipu Sultan was a Hindu and not a Muslim he would have attained the position in Karnataka that Shivaji Maharaj enjoys in Maharashtra. Kempegowda was never a freedom fighter. Still, the Bengaluru International airport has been named against him. Instead, it should have been named against Tipu Sultan,” Karnad had said.

Karnad had earlier apologised for his remarks saying he did not intend to hurt anyone as he was only expressing his opinion about Tipu Sultan on his birth anniversary.

People of Karnataka respect Tipu Sultan as he opposed the colonial rulers.

However, protest demonstrations were held and rallies were taken out against him in many cities and towns across Karnataka. (ANI)