Keep me out of Tipu Jayanti fete, says Anantkumar Hegde

Anant Kumar Hegde   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde has asked the Chief Secretary to State government to direct all concerned with the celebration of Tipu Jayanti not to include his name in the programme invitations.

Mr. Hegde, as the MP for Uttara Kannada, had last year also asked the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada not to include his name in the programme invitations. The BJP in Karnataka has been opposing State-sponsored Tipu Jayanti celebrations. Violence had erupted around it in Kodagu in 2015, when the celebrations were first introduced as a State event.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, Mr. Hegde’s personal secretary said it was being written on the direction of the Minister. “The instructions may be brought to the notice of all departments in the State celebrating Tipu Jayanti,” the letter said. In 2016 too, Mr. Hegde had said he condemned State government celebrating Tipu Jayanti “despite stiff opposition” from a section of the people. Tipu, he claimed, was “against Kannada language and was anti-Hindu”.

“In 2016 November, Mr. Hegde was among those arrested in Uttara Kannada district for opposing the celebrations. He had threatened to disrupt the celebrations in the district.”

It may be noted here that Mr. Hegde, a five-time MP, has found himself in the middle of a controversy several times. While his derogatory remarks about Islam have drawn criticism, he was also accused of assaulting a doctor in Uttara Kannada earlier.

Many of his tweets have also attracted controversy because of their hardline Hindutva views. More recently, after taking over as the Minister, Mr. Hegde termed mediapersons a “confused lot” who “do not know how to speak, what to ask, what to write”. He said they do not even know how to faithfully write what is said. His remarks soon went viral, evoking severe criticism on social media.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 9:23:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tipu-jayanti-anantkumar-hegde/article19892336.ece

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