A.H. Vishwanath, MP, on Tuesday lashed out at writers and intellectuals opposed to naming the Central university proposed at Srirangapatna after Tipu Sultan, accusing them of “distorting history” and acting as the “agents” of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“It is a virulent campaign against a particular religion,” he told journalists here.

He was reacting to the statements made by writers S.L. Bhyrappa and M. Chidanandamurthy, among others, who opposed naming the proposed university after Tipu at a programme organised by Manthana, a forum of writers and intellectuals, here on Sunday. Other participants in the programme were Rakesh Sinha from the University of Delhi, Addanda C. Cariappa, president of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy, and K. Mohan Das from the University of Calicut.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan had recently made an announcement with regard to establishing the university and naming it after Tipu.

‘The proposed university is a university for the linguistic minorities, not a Muslim university,” Mr. Vishwanath said. Minorities meant not just Muslims, but also Jains, Sikhs, Parsees, Christians and Buddhists, he said. Referring to the observations made by speakers at the Sunday’s programme that Tipu had destroyed many Hindu temples, Mr. Vishwanath sought to know whether Tipu had destroyed Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangapatna.

Mr. Vishwanath said he had high respect for the literary works of Mr. Bhyrappa and research works in Kannada done by Mr. Chidanandamurthy. Mr. Bhyrappa seems to have forgotten the Constitution while making such statements, he said.

Their version of Tipu’s rule amounted to distortion of history, he charged. Mr. Vishwanath also lambasted Mr. Sinha for his statements.