The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Saturday urged the Karnataka government to stop a “salam mangalarati” that is said to be performed in the honour of 18-century ruler Tipu Sultan, the Deccan Herald reported.
The ritual is performed at the Mookambika temple at the Kollur village in the state’s Udupi district to commemorate the visit of Tipu Sultan there in 1763.
The Hindutva organisation’s divisional secretary Sharan Pumpwell led a delegation and submitted a memorandum to the temple’s administrative committee. The organisation also submitted a document with its demands to the state Muzrai or Hindu religious endowments department.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad said that offering a mahamangalarati in the form of a “salam” symbolised slavery, The Times of India reported.
“Kollur Mookambika Temple has a historic background and it is one of the 108 powerful Hindu Peetas,” the organisation said. “Offering mahamangalarati in the name of Tipu, the fanatic who is accused of killing thousands of Hindus and demolishing hundreds of Hindu temples, will harm the temple’s sanctity.”
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad urged the government to “take necessary steps in this regard at the earliest”.
However, a former dharmadarshi, or superintendent of the temple, denied that such a prayer existed, according to the Deccan Herald.
“It is actually known as ‘Thurthu Mangalarati’ and it comes before mahamangalarati,” the dharmadarshi said. “But some people refer to it as ‘Salam Mangalarati’. Tipu is a fanatical ruler, and he had no intention of favouring any spiritual service to the Goddess.”
In 2015, TR Uma, the then executive officer of the temple, had said that the “salam mangalarti” was an oral undocumented ritual that was followed there, according to The Times of India.
The BJP claims that Tipu Sultan was a tyrant who destroyed many temples and villages and converted thousands of people to Islam. In Karnataka, the BJP government had disbanded the celebrations of Tipu Jayanti in 2019 and even called for removal of his references from school textbooks.
However, many historians have written about his resistance to the British when they had colonised India. He, along with his father Hyder Ali, are also credited for attempting to modernise the economy of Mysuru, where they ruled.