BENGALURU: With just two days to go for Tipu Jayanti, those for and against it are at loggerheads.
Opposing the celebrations, the BJP will stage a three-day protest starting Tuesday.
BJP State chief B S Yedurappa will lead the demonstration in Bengaluru at the Gandhi Statue, near Ananda Rao Circle in Gandhinagar.
Writer and activist Gauri Lankesh said, “The BJP is opposing the Tipu Day celebrations only because he was a Muslim. All other allegations of him being anti-Hindu, anti-Kannada are excuses. They have been alleging that Tipu was a murderer and hence Tipu Jayanti should not be celebrated.
“But in that case any king of that era would kill anyone, who would come in their way, and Tipu was no different. King Ashoka too killed so many people in the Kalinga war, but we still carry his lion emblem on our coins. Further, he protected many temples, although many falsely propagated that he destroyed them.”
However, Vadiraj, convener, Forum For Social Harmony, said, “Our opposition has been there since the time of announcement of the establishment of Minority University. Our reasons are well known.
“We are opposing him not because he was a Muslim but because he was anti-Hindu, anti-Kannada and anti-Kodava. He is known for forced conversions and killing many innocent people. Why should we celebrate for such a personality?”
Those Who Support
Tipu was not anti-Hindu. Even after his death, his soldiers revolted 30 times against the British and most of them were Hindus. Can 300 years ago Tipu have had only Muslim soldiers?
India is a secular country, and any hero can be celebrated for his/her achievements.
He was not anti-Kannada as he wrote all his letters in the Kannada language instead of Persian. Besides, when the Marathas ruled North Karnataka, they tired to impose their language and traditions and so did the Gangas and Tipu.
Tipu did not destroy temples but in fact protected them. He had given donations to many temples. He gave money to Sringeri Math to pray for his kingdom.
He was one of the best 18th century monarchs in India. He was loved by the people of Mysuru and fought the British. If Rani Channamma is celebrated for fighting the British, then why not Tipu?
There is no proof that Tipu forced people to convert. The stories of he being a tyrant and forced conversions were floated by the British as they hated him since he troubled them a lot.
Those Who Oppose
Tipu was anti-Hindu. He was communal by nature, Tipu had hanged about 700 men, women and children of the Mandyam Iyengar community in Melukote for no fault of theirs.
He destroyed many temples. During 1760 - 1780, Tipu destroyed more than 600 temples across Kodagu. The Mysuru Gazetteer mentions destruction of nearly 8,000 temples across South India during his reign.
He killed many innocent people. He butchered thousands of Coorgis, mainly women and children. He was an oppressive ruler.
Other than Tipu, there are better personalities who could be celebrated. Why celebrate somebody who is known for his tyrannic rule?
Tipu forced conversions. There are several stories of forced conversions of Hindus.