Demonstrations and protests broke out in Madikeri in Karnataka early on Saturday even before the government-sponsored celebrations for the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th-century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom Tipu Sultan began. Security has been tightened in the area in the wake of a shutdown called by various groups, including the BJP and Codava National Council. Several people have also been detained.
Meanwhile, both the Chief Minister and his deputy skipped the event, while Kumaraswamy cited medical reasons, Parameshwara who was to replace him too skipped it, as he was town officials were quoted as saying by PTI. The BJP had appealed to the government to drop the celebrations after the JDS-Congress coalition government announced that Tipu Jayanti would be observed on November 10 in continuation of the previous Congress government’s policy.
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, have been marked by protests and court cases every year.