Contradictions around Tipu Jayanti shadow celebrations

For some people in the region, Tipu Jayanti is turning out to be a riddle as they are unable to understand the politics behind the promotion and opposition to the celebrations scheduled to be held on November 10.

They question the rationale behind the celebration under the cover of Prohibitory Orders at Srirangapatna, the capital of the erstwhile Mysuru, from where Tipu Sultan once ruled.

“It is strange that Tipu Sultan does not have complete acceptance in his own capital. It is unfortunate that the Mandya district administration is forced to celebrate the Jayanti under strict vigil in the town, which is largely associated with Tipu Sultan,” said M S Mahesh Raje Urs, a director of Arasu Mandali Sangha.

It has to be mentioned that the Mandya district administration has clamped Prohibitory Orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code from 6 pm on November 9 to 6 am on November 11 in Srirangapatna, for holding the celebration of Tipu Jayanti.

Superintendent of Police Shivaprakash Devaraj said, “To avoid any untoward incident, Prohibitory Orders have been clamped. Processions, display of flags, raising of slogans, etc have been banned, as a large number of people are expected to arrive at Srirangapatna for the celebrations.”

The SP said, prayers can be offered near Tipu’s tomb at Gumbaz in Ganjam. “However, public speech is banned. All those who wish to participate in the celebrations should gather at the venue where the government is celebrating the Jayanti,” he has stated.

From 2015 to last year, the celebrations were held at Gumbaz. But, this year, members of the Muslim community have urged the officials to change the venue to Mini Vidhana Soudha. A decision on the venue is yet to be taken. In Mandya, the celebrations will be held under tight vigil of the Police department, at Ambedkar Bhavan.

In Mysuru also, the Police Commissioner has issued guidelines for the celebration at Kalamandira.

The Police department has stated that it has provided permission for Tipu Jayanti programme, organised by the district administration only.

There is no provision to hold public meetings, programmes, bike rallies or protests either in favour of Tipu Jayanti or against it.

S Shilpa, an assistant professor with Christ College, said, the governments should not take unilateral decisions in a democracy.

“No person is cent per cent virtuous. In the same way, no person is a complete evil. Tipu Sultan is a historical person and we should accept him as he was. Those who either glorify him or those who denounce him should show some restraint. If we see him in an objective way, we can understand the social, economical and cultural scenario of those days. Similarly, we should try to understand the circumstances under which Hyder Ali became a dictator and how Tipu Sultan stepped into his shoes,” she said.

Shilpa said, “We study History to learn about the mistakes committed by our ancestors, so that our future is bright. If Tipu has committed some crime also, can we punish him today? Or, can we punish all Muslims for his crime? Similarly, if Tipu was a messiah, can we make him our prime minister or president? Past is past. If somebody wants to celebrate his Jayanti, let them celebrate. If others feel that Tipu is not an example to emulate, let them celebrate the Jayantis of late A P J Abdul Kalam or saint-poet Shishunala Sharifa. The government should not meddle with such things. There is a lot to be done in administration. Why should it waste its energy and resources on something that is not productive?”

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Contradictions around Tipu Jayanti shadow celebrations

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