Protest against celebrating Tipu's birth anniversary intensifies in Coastal dist

Protest against celebrating Tipu's birth anniversary intensifies in Coastal dist

Protest against celebrating Tipu's birth anniversary intensifies in Coastal dist

The celebration of the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, who tortured Canara Christian community throughout his rule is unfortunate, said scholar Robert Rozario.

“With the celebrations in the name of secularism, the word ‘patriot’ has also got polluted just like that of ‘secular’,” he condemned.

Addressing a gathering during a protest organised by United Christian Association seeking a ban on Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary celebrations in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Friday, he said.

“Tipu arrested about 80,000 people of the community in the coastal and Malnad areas of Karnataka on the holy day of Ash Wednesday on February 24, 1784. They were transported on foot to Srirangapatna near Mysuru and around 20,000 people died on the way. Many were pushed from the top of Jamalabad fort. Only  20,000 people survived,” he said.

“Tipu might have thought that Christians acted as British informers. It might also be true to some extent. But, as a king what did he achieve by killing so many innocent people including women and children?” he questioned.

Message of cruelty?

“By celebrating Gandhi Jayanthi, we can pass a strong message of truth, peace and social harmony to society. But by celebrating Tipu’s birth anniversary what are we going to achieve? Are we spreading the message of cruelty? Tipu had destroyed more than 27 Churches in the region,” he further added.

Historian Prof M R Prabhu, who wrote lessons on Tipu Sulthan for primary and secondary school text books also claimed that Tipu’s achievements were exaggerated.

“Tipu replaced Kannada and Marathi with Parisian as administrative language. He named coins in Arabic. He could not build a strong army and lost to British. He failed as an administrator as well. In the last 14 months of his tenure, his soldiers got only two months of salary,” he stated.

“There are several examples to prove that he was not secular. He destroyed many temples and churches. He promoted conversion by announcing concession in tax for those who get converted to Islam. Tipu did not introduce annual grants for temples, but he just renewed it,” he said.

‘Black month’

United Christian Association president Alban Menezes urged the State not to celebrate Tipu’s birth anniversary on November 10. Canara Christian community will observe November as ‘Black month’, he said.

Starting from Rev Fr Charles Andrews, one of the close companions of Mahatma Gandhi who motivated him to be active in freedom struggle, the community leaders  remembered the contribution of members belonging to the Christian community to the freedom struggle on the occassion.

Vedike condemns

Later, members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike held a protest condemning government's decision on holding Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary. The leaders submitted a memorandum demanding that the government withdraws its decision.

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