A day after proving its majority in the House, the B.S. Yediyurappa-led BJP government has called off the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century king from Mysuru, which was made a government-sponsored annual affair in 2015 by the Congress government.
In an order, the Department of Kannada and Culture stated that the Hazrat Tipu Sultan Jayanti has been cancelled “with immediate effect”. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting on Monday, according to the order. The Congress has opposed the decision and called it a mark of the BJP’s “anti-minority” stance.
The BJP and Sangh Parivar affiliates had been opposing the decision on celebrating Tipu Jayanti ever since the Congress government, headed by Siddaramaiah, took a decision to celebrate it, alleging that the Mysuru ruler was a “tyrant” and “anti-Hindu”. There were also violent protests in Kodagu and one person had died.
On Monday, senior BJP leader and former Speaker K.G. Bopaiah wrote to the Chief Minister seeking cancellation of Tipu Jayanti. “There have been several protests in various parts of the State against the celebration of Tipu Jayanti, especially in the district of Kodagu. The people of the district are opposed to the celebrations,” he had said in the letter. The Governemnt Order is based on Mr. Bopaiah’s letter.
In 2018, after the coalition JD(S)-Congress government was formed, the fourth edition of the Jayanti was held amidst tight security in Srirangapatna, the erstwhile capital of the Mysore region where Tipu ruled. However, the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara had stayed away from the official event. The JD(S) had questioned the rationale behind the Congress marking Tipu Jayanti the previous year, in 2017, in the midst of drought.