Bhyrappa, Chidananda Murthy distorting history: Minister
Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan, whose Ministry has mooted setting up of a Central University in Srirangapatna named after Tipu Sultan, criticised those creating a controversy and “unnecessary fuss” over the proposal.
The proposal has become a bone of contention after G. Madhusudhan, BJP MLC, and two leading Kannada writers, S.L. Bhyrappa and M. Chidananda Murthy, attacked the idea of naming a varsity after Tipu. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Khan said that Mr. Madhusudhan was simply spreading canards that over 2,000 acres in the town would be given for the university. The proposed university requires only 150 acres, he said.
The Minister said he did not understand why these people were making a fuss over an issue, when neither the Union government nor he have written to the State government.
He alleged that these writers have been distorting the history for over 30 years, and forget that Tipu Sultan had fought valiantly against the British and was the first freedom fighter in India.
Srirangapatna, the Minister said, was the place from where Tipu Sultan waged a war against the mighty British and was the right place to establish the university to be named after him. He said that over 10 lakh tourists from all over the country visit the historical Daria Daulath and other places in the ancient temple town, paying respects to him.
Criticising the “mindset” of those opposed to the varsity, Mr. Khan said that he was establishing minorities universities under his ‘Ministry in several places across the country — West Bengal and Bihar for all minorities classes and one for Christians in one of the northeastern states and one for minority women. A decision on the State would be taken shortly. While Prof. Pathan of Karnataka and Prof. Mungehar, MP of Mumbai, have been selected to be Vice-Chancellors, the others would be chosen later.
He said that a five-member committee, headed by the former University Grants Commission Chairman Sukhdeo Thorat, had been set up to frame the syllabus. Defending introduction of Islamic studies in the university, he said that there was a chair in some 10 universities including the Kerala University on Islamic Studies. In fact, there were Arabic universities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, there was a Persian university in Bihar.
On reserving 50 per cent of the seats for students belonging to all the five minority groups such as Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, he said that it was the constitutional mandate and a decision by the Supreme Court.