November 11, 2015
"Tipu Sultan a great Indian hero, freedom fighter and the first ruler to fight against British imperialists"
The 18th century king died fighting the British in the last Anglo-Mysore war. Renowned litterateur Girish Karnad said that Tipu Sultan's place would have been even higher, had he been a Hindu.
Karnad was not off the mark, as Tipu Sultan was the first and only Indian king of the era who saw East India Company's design and fought against them.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that Tipu Sultan had fought three wars against the British and he was in a true sense the man who started India's freedom struggle.
The words that India's freedom struggle began with Tipu Sultan, are quite true. Tipu was the most formidable enemy, this is acknowledged by the British even today and he is listed among the fiercest adversaries that include Napoleon Bonaparte. Tipu's anniversary was celebrated across state on November 10.
Experts say that while Tipu Sultan laid his life for the country, right-wing extremists who quote from distorted history, selectively target Tipu. They say that his attack in Coorg is used to defame him and his army is accused of atrocities, which are exaggerated.
The reality was that medieval era kings did attack territories to subdue rebellion. A case in point is Shivaji's attacks including his seize of Surat, which was burnt and destroyed by the Maratha army.
Though Marathas kept looting and attacking across the country, this aspect is not recalled and Shivaji along with other Maratha rulers are termed as ultra-nationalists. However, Tipu Sultan is systematically targeted and denied his due status.
Karnad said that it was a fact that Muslims were not given their due recognition. "Had he been Hindu, Tipu Sultan's stats would have been similar to Shivaji. He was the first to unify the region that was in disarray then, just like Shivaji formed his empire in adjoining Maharahstra", he adds.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Tipu Sultan was a true secularist and a great hero. He said it at the event organised by Karnataka government on Tipu Sultan's anniversary. The CM rejected the BJP and right-wing groups' propaganda to demean the status of the Sher-e-Mysore.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had tried to disrupt the Tipu Sultan Jayanti function and had resorted to violence and stone pelting. The police had taken action and a VHP leader Kuttappa died when he got injured in the melee.
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