Former Karnataka Chief Minister and state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday said the party was opposed to celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, who ruled Mysuru in the 18th century, on November 10.
“Nobody will appreciate this celebration,” Yeddyurappa tweeted. “In the interest of the state, state government must stop it. Government’s intention behind Tipu Jayanti celebration is just to satisfy Muslim community.”
Minister of Medical Education DK Shivakumar accused the Opposition party of having an agenda to divide communities, reported ANI. “Tipu Sultan has a long history and there is nothing wrong in conducting Tipu Jayanti,” he said. “BJP has its political agenda. They want to create some differences between Hindus and minorities.”
On November 1, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy confirmed that his government would celebrate Tipu Jayanti despite the BJP’s opposition. “We will continue the programmes that were started by the previous government,” he said. “Because they [BJP] object does not mean we should stop.”
A few days later, Kannada and Culture Minister Jayamala said the BJP would be held responsible in case there is any trouble during the celebrations.
Earlier this week, the state BJP had urged the government to cancel the celebrations and not go ahead with them because of “prestige” and “ego”.
Tipu Jayanti was first celebrated in 2014, when the Congress was in power. It has been marked by protests every year since then. In 2015, Hindutva outfits clashed with Muslim groups that took out a rally in Kodagu district’s Madikeri town, according to The Indian Express. Two people died in the clashes.
While Hindutva groups have called Tipu Sultan the “butcher of Hindus”, Mangalorean Christians have accused the government of whitewashing documented evidence that the Muslim ruler forcibly converted their ancestors to Islam and killed scores for resisting.
Last year, the Karnataka High Court rejected a petition challenging the celebration of Tipu Jayanti.