New Delhi: Bringing the state under a thick security blanket, Tipu Jayanti celebrations were held amid protests across Karnataka today to mark the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th-century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan.With a sharply divided opinion over Tipu's legacy and rising political temperature, opposition BJP, several Hindu organisations and individuals opposed the Karnataka government celebrating Tipu Jayanti through statewide protests.
But, Tipu Sultan is a sensitive issue in Kodagu district as Kodavas (Coorgis), a martial race, believe that thousands of their men and women were seized and held captive during his occupation and subjected to torture, death and forcible conversion to Islam. Kodagu-based writer of historical books C P Beliappa had called the erstwhile ruler of Mysore a "treacherous tyrant". However, the scale of such suppression is disputed by several historians, who see Tipu as a secular and modern ruler who took on the might of the British. With a sharp polarisation over Tipu Jayanti celebrations, the Karnataka government had made massive security arrangements across the state, deploying over 54,000 police personnel, 20,000 home guards and 212 platoons of the KSRP.