[India], Nov 10 (ANI): Coming down heavily on the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance government in Karnataka over Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said holding a state government event on the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, who persecuted Hindus and Christians in large numbers is "surprising."
Speaking to ANI, Javadekar said: "To hold a state government event on Tipu Sultan Jayanti who is a symbol of hatred, is surprising. We want to ask the Congress how the one, who destroyed churches and temples and killed thousands of Christians and Hindus, is praised in a state government event."
The Congress government-led Siddaramaiah had started celebrating Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary in 2015, saying that the 18th century ruler of Mysore was a "freedom fighter", who was killed in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war. On November 8, former chief minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yeddyurappa called the state government's celebrations a gimmick to appease the Muslim community.
"We are opposing this (Tipu Jayanti). Nobody will appreciate this celebration. The government's intention behind Tipu Jayanti celebration is just to satisfy the people of the Muslim community. Even within the Congress and JD(S), people are opposing this," Yeddyurappa, Karnataka chief of BJP, told ANI.
Tipu Sultan had fought against the British and died in 1799 while defending his capital Srirangapatna, present day Mandya, in Karnataka.
Several leaders of the BJP, however, claim that the ruler was "against Kannada language and anti-Hindu" and thus flay the state government for celebrating his birth anniversary or Tipu Jayanti. (ANI)