Bengaluru: While the opposition lambasted the JDS-Congress combine for the state government event on Tipu Jayanti on Saturday, members of the Muslim community have voiced their displeasure over senior government officials choosing to remain absent.
The BJP led the attack against chief minister HD Kumaraswamy who remained absent citing health reasons. Several senior leaders of the BJP said it was merely an excuse while union minister Prakash Javdekar trained his guns on the entire state government machinery. "To hold a state government event on Tipu Sultan Jayanti, who is a symbol of hatred, is surprising. We want to ask Congress how the one who destroyed churches and temples, and killed thousands of Christians and Hindus, is praised in a state government event," he told news agency ANI.
There were massive protests across Karnataka - mostly from BJP party workers - against the celebrations for a historical figure seen by many as someone who had killed thousands of people in Kodagu and Mandyam Iyengars of Melukote near Mysuru. BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa had even said that celebrating him was just a way for JDS-Congress government to appease Muslims.
Just that not many people from the Muslim people appeared appeased.
Kumaraswamy's decision to stay away from the celebrations left many bitter. "I have information that Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy couldn't attend the Tipu Jayanti celebrations due to health issues. Deputy CM G Parameshwara also couldn't attend. Somewhere it seems like it's an insult to the community. There's no doubt about it," MLA and former minister Tanveer Sait said.
News agency PTI reported that many Congress leaders - especially from the Muslim community - are miffed with the CM and deputy CM for staying absent.
Tipu Jayanti celebrations began under the chief-ministerial tenure of Siddaramaiah in 2015 despite massive protests by BJP and right-wing organisations every year. This year, Section 144, which prevents assembly of more than four people in an area, has been imposed in the cities of Hubli and Dharwad as well as the district of Kodagu from 0600hrs on Saturday till 0700hrs on Sunday. Security in several cities across the state has also been tightened.