THE CONGRESS-JDS coalition government in Karnataka has decided to carry on with the practice of celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century ruler of Mysore, on November 10 despite strident opposition from the BJP and its affiliates in the past.
A meeting of a committee of the state government under the leadership of Kannada and Culture Minister Jayamala decided on Saturday that the state will celebrate Tipu Jayanti on November 10 like it had done in recent years under the Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah.
The decision of the committee would be conveyed to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who will take a final decision on the matter, Jayamala said. She also said that the opposition BJP would be held responsible in the event of any trouble during Tipu Jayanti celebrations.
Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister G Parameshwara — of the Congress — on Sunday also stated that the Tipu Jayanti celebrations will be held in the state by the government this year like it has been done in recent years irrespective of protests by any group.
“The BJP raises protests over Tipu Jayanti without reason. Tipu fought against the British and we will ensure that the celebrations are held peacefully irrespective of protests by any group,” Parameshwara said.
“The decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti under the aegis of the government was taken a few years ago and this will continue,” he said.
While Tipu Sultan is considered a freedom fighter by the state government, he is considered a religious bigot by the BJP and its affiliates. The Tipu Jayanti celebrations, which began in 2014 under the Congress government, has been marked by protests and court cases every year.
In 2015, Hindu outfits opposed to the celebrations clashed with Muslim groups who took out a rally to Madikeri town in Kodagu district. The clashes resulted in two deaths.
Last year, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court rejected a plea to prevent celebration of the Tipu Sultan birth anniversary. A case has been filed again in the high court this year and the matter is posted for hearing on November 9.
The celebration of Tipu Jayanti is particularly opposed by people from the Kodagu region of Karnataka citing incidents of violence that occurred in Kodagu in 2015 during celebrations and the historical animosity among the people of the region towards the 18th century ruler.