Mangaluru, (DHNS): "Those who twisted the history of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru for political gains are engaged in twisting the history of Tipu Sultan too. This is condemnable," District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai said.
After inaugurating Tipu Jayanti, organised by the district administration and the Kannada and Culture Department here on Friday, he said that Tipu had fought against the British four times. "He made continuous efforts to send back British from the country, which has been documented by historians without any twist in it. However, now a few people are trying to twist the history and are engaged in criticising Tipu as being "anti-Hindu" and by calling him a "bigot".
Several historians have praised the valour of Tipu. The controversy started only when the state government decided to observe Tipu Jayanti," he said.
He said that when an attempt was made to attack Sringeri Shankaracharya Mutt and Sharadamba temple, it was Tipu who came to the rescue of the Mutt and the temple. There are references to Tipu extending aid to the Sringeri Temple and Kollur Temple. As a king, Tipu had contributed towards maintaining communal harmony, he added.
Stating that President Ramanath Kovind had praised the valour of Tipu, Ramanath Rai said that a few individuals are not able to digest the truth.
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies U T Khader said that, "Those who spoke ill against Gandhi and glorified the one who murdered Gandhi are now opposing Tipu Jayanti. What can we expect from those who glorify Godse?" he asked.
"Had a few organisations and people not opposed Tipu Jayanti, the programme would not have got so much publicity. The opposition to the programme has led to serious discussions on Tipu at the national level for the past 15 days," he said.
Countering Union Minister Ananthkumar Hegde's statement that Islam culture does not promote Tipu Jayanti, Khader said that, "It is not Islam culture. However, observing Jayanti of great persons is part of Indian culture."
"The one who is speaking of "Islam culture" had assaulted a doctor who was on duty. What culture was he following when he assaulted the doctor?" he sought to know.
"A king/ruler should not be restricted to a community and caste.
The one who is holding a responsible position should not politicise any issue in the name of religion and death," the minister said.
MLA J R Lobo said, "A ruler has to take a decision based on the prevailing situation. Keeping forth the wrong decisions of a ruler, we cannot deny the good works initiated by him. The history is not about only good things."
Delivering a talk on Tipu, writer Aravind Chokkadi said that Tipu had believed in democratic principles.
Stressing the need for cultivating reading habits, he said that library culture is on the decline among the present day generation.
As a young boy, Tipu had asked his father to construct a library for him to gain knowledge.
Tipu had introduced several administrative reforms that benefited all strata of the society. Soon after Ramanath Rai spoke, Kabeer Katipalla, a member of the audience, said that Tipu Jayanti should not be observed within the four walls of a building. It should be organised in the open to create awareness among people. The government should announce a public holiday for Tipu Jayanti, he suggested.
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