The Karnataka government has asked the state Textbook Committee to furnish a report on a chapter on controversial 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan in the middle school history textbooks, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Thursday.
"There is no confusion regarding removing the lesson on Tipu Sultan. (Education Minister S) Suresh Kumar told me that a committee has been formed. Based on the committee report, a decision will be taken," Yediyurappa told reporters here.
He underlined that there was no change in the BJP government's stand on the issue. Speaking to reporters in the city, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar said the senior BJP MLA Appachu Ranjan has written to him stating that Kodavas are the victims of Tipu's atrocities.
Hence, the lesson in the textbook glorifying Tipu Sultan is not justified and it should be dropped, he added, quoting the MLA. The matter of Tipu Sultan in the textbook would be referred to the textbook committee of the state.
"I will ask the committee to give a serious thought over the points raised by Ranjan and submit to me a report. I will take further steps based on the report," Kumar added.
Slamming the government, especially the Chief Minister, on the issue, Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said.
"The same Yediyurappa when he was in the Karnataka Janata Paksha, had organised the Tipu Jayanti, sported Tipu dress with head gear and hailed the Mysore ruler." "Couldn't he see Tipu as a religious bigot then?" he asked.
The Congress leader was speaking to reporters in Mandya. Commenting on the government's decision to review a chapter on Tipu Sultan in the school textbooks, Siddaramaiah insisted that without Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali, the Mysore history will be incomplete.
"Just because Tipu Sultan was Muslim, removing him from the textbook is purely a politics of hatred. The move sans truth," Siddaramaiah pointed out.
He also reminded the BJP leaders such as Jagadish Shettar, R Ashoka and P C Mohan that they had sported the Tipu "dress".
Alleging that the BJP was pursuing hate politics, Siddaramaiah said, "When in opposition, when out of power, Tipu is their hero. Removing Tipu from the textbook after coming to power is nothing but hate politics."
Soon after assuming power, the BJP government led by Yediyurappa had decided to scrap the Tipu Jayanti, started by the previous Congress government in 2015. Now, there is growing clamour from some BJP leaders to remove a chapter in the textbook glorifying Tipu Sultan.
Many in the BJP have claimed that the lesson ignores the atrocities perpetrated by Tipu Sultan especially in Kodagu district where the alleged large scale religious conversions were carried out by the then ruler.
The erstwhile Mysore ruler is also accused of large scale massacre of Mandyam Iyengars a day before Deepavali.