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Day ahead of Tipu Jayanti celebrations, Karnataka BJP workers protest event

The state BJP, meanwhile, has urged the government to drop its decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti and not to stand on "prestige" or "ego".

Day ahead of Tipu Jayanti celebrations, Karnataka BJP workers protest event

A day ahead of the 'Tipu Jayanti' celebrations in Karnataka on Saturday, BJP workers on Friday staged protests in Bengaluru, Karnataka, opposing the event.

The Karnataka government has decided to celebrate the event to mark the birth anniversary of controversial 18th-century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan, bringing the state under a thick security blanket, amid threats of protest by the BJP. 

The state BJP, meanwhile, has urged the government to drop its decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti and not to stand on "prestige" or "ego".

BJP and some Hindu outfits see Tipu as a "religious bigot" and a "brutal killer", some Kannada outfits call him anti-Kannada, saying that he had promoted Persian at the cost of the local language. 

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who held a meeting with senior officials about the celebration on November 10, said Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of all districts had been directed to organise event and funds for it have been released from the Kannada and Culture department.

This will be first such celebration of 'Tipu Jayanti' after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government came to power in the state.

The previous Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, began celebrating 'Tipu Jayanti' on November 10 every year since 2015, amid stiff opposition by the BJP, several Hindu organisations and some individuals.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Belthangady Harish Poonja has asked the Dakshina Kannada district deputy commissioner Sasikanth Senthil not to invite him for the celebrations.

In a letter to Senthil, a copy of which was released to the press here, Poonja said his name and designation should not be used in the invitations.
The MLA said he was writing the letter in the context of the decision of the Karnataka government to celebrate the Tipu Jayanti at the state, district and taluk-levels.

Celebrating the jayanti of a ruler who killed many Hindus and Christians during his regime amounted to betrayal of the people of the State, he said in the letter.

Former chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa called the state government`s celebrations a gimmick to appease the Muslim community.

"We are opposing this (Tipu Jayanti). Nobody will appreciate this celebration. Government`s intention behind the Tipu Jayanti celebration is just to satisfy the people of the Muslim community. Even within the Congress and JD(S), people are opposing this," Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told ANI. He further said that the state government should have celebrated former president APJ Abdul Kalam`s birthday instead of Tipu Jayanti.

Congress leader DK Shivakumar, however, said that the BJP always opposes `national patriots'.

"The BJP always opposes any national patriots. Tipu Sultan has a long history and there is nothing wrong in conducting Tipu Jayanti. BJP has its political agenda. They want to create some differences between Hindus and minorities," Shivakumar told ANI.

Referring to the President`s speech in the Parliament last year, he said, "He (Tipu Sultan) was appreciated by his Excellency on the floor of the House for his historic battle.

"Tipu Sultan had fought against the British and died in 1799 while defending his capital Srirangapatna, present-day Mandya, in Karnataka. Several leaders of the BJP, however, claim that the ruler was "against Kannada language and anti-Hindu" and thus flay the state government for celebrating his birth anniversary or Tipu Jayanti.

On Wednesday, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, sister outfit of Hindu right-wing group Sanathan Sanstha, demanded that the celebrations be called off.