Karnataka celebrates Tipu Jayanti amid protests by BJP
BENGALURU: Karnataka on Saturday celebrated the 269th birth anniversary (Jayanti) of erstwhile Mysore (Mysuru) ruler Tipu Sultan amid protests by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, an official said.
“Tipu Jayanti was celebrated peacefully on his birth anniversary under tight security despite protests by BJP leaders and cadres in the state,” a Kannada and Culture Department official said.
State Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy of the JD-S and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the Congress were conspicuously absent at the main event, held in the legislative building in the city centre.
“Kumaraswamy is unable to attend the function, as he is taking rest on doctor’s advice,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s office, explaining his absence and denying that he kept away from the event due to the fear of losing power, as he is against such blind beliefs.
Parameshwara also could not be present at the main function as he was out of the country. “Parameshwara could not be present at the function as he flew to Singapore to visit our ailing party leader Chennigappa, who is undergoing treatment in a private hospital there,” state Water Resources Minister and Congress leader D K Shivakumar told reporters after inaugurating the Jayanti.
Congress ministers, including Jayamala, Zameer Khan, U T Khader and party legislator Roshan Baig also participated in the event. JD-S Ministers, however, kept away from the day-long state-sponsored celebrations, held in all the district headquarters.
Eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali, Tipu (1750-1799) is also hailed as the “Tiger of Mysore” for fighting the British East India Company’s advances and protecting his kingdom.
Tipu was killed in a battle with the British army in 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna near Mysuru, about 120 km from here.
“Tipu’s birth anniversary is being celebrated all over the state. His progressive measures in administration and quest for innovation are commendable,” said Kumaraswamy in a message on the occasion.
In a related development, about 70 BJP men, including its Virajpet legislator K G Bopaiah, were detained by the police at Somwarpet in Kodagu district for protesting against the event.