[India], Nov 9 (ANI): Anger ran high here on Saturday on the occasion of birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan as scores of people took to streets to oppose Karnataka government's decision to go ahead with the celebration, which was introduced by then Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in 2015. Several other groups of protesters have also decided to first offer prayers at Sri Omkareshwara temple and then will carry out a procession against the celebrations.
Taking the cognizance of the prevailing tense situation, the security has been beefed up in Madikeri. Not only residents, but several political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Codava National Council have also called for a shutdown in the region to register their protest against the celebrations.
Speaking to ANI, PI Srividya, Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu, said the police have made all requisite arrangements to maintain law and order in the region. "We have taken all precautionary measures. If somebody violates law and order, the police will take strict action against him."
Each year Tipu Jayanti creates a rift among political outfits over the celebration of his birthday. Basically, Tipu Sultan is considered as a freedom fighter by the coalition government in Karnataka but he is treated as a religious "bigot" by the BJP and its supporting organisations.
Taking on Karnataka government, BJP's district unit secretary Sajjal Krishnan alleged that the coalition government in the state was playing appeasement politics to garner the support of a section of the society. "The government is wasting public money in the name of Tipu Jayanti. Tipu was not a warrior. He killed so many Hindus and attacked temples. Why are they glorifying a man like him? This is only vote bank politics. Everyone in Kodagu is opposing the celebrations," he said.
BJP spokesperson C T Ravi also tweeted, urging Karnataka government to choose icons like Mirza Ismail or Shishunala Sharief and not a "bigot" like Tipu. Taking to twitter, the BJP Karnataka also stated, "While Cong-JDS government is celebrating a tyrant Tipu, the CM himself goes into hiding. What is the point of celebrating a fanatic when CM himself abandons a govt function? Glorifying a mass murderer just for vote bank clearly shows mindset of this govt."
Moments after BJP Karnataka's Tweet, the Karnataka Chief Minister's Office (CMO) issued a statement stating that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is taking rest on doctor's advice and thus is unable to take part in the programme. "It is also far from truth that he isn't taking part due to the fear of losing power, as he opposes such blind beliefs. He has wished the function a grand success," it added. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwar will also not attend the celebrations as he is out of the country and has not returned yet.
Responding to criticism, former chief minister Siddaramaiah said: "Tipu's opponents have to remove their communal glasses to see the true Tipu Sultan. For this, the BJP leaders have to read the book on Tipu Sultan." (ANI)