BJP govt orders cancellation of Tipu Sultan Jayanti

BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government on Tuesday cancelled celebrating erstwhile Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan’s birth (DH Photo)

In line with the BJP’s 2018 poll promise, the BS Yediyurappa-led government on Tuesday cancelled the 'Tipu Sultan Jayanti' celebrations, which had become an annual event under the previous Congress regime. 

In an order, the Kannada & Culture department stated that the ‘Hazrat Tipu Sultan Jayanti’ had been cancelled “with immediate effect”. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting Yediyurappa chaired on Monday, said the order. 

Defending the decision, Yediyurappa said legislators from Kodagu had “highlighted incidents of violence during Tipu Jayanti”. “So, the government decided to cancel it,” said the CM.

The celebrations, which began in 2015 under the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, had sparked protests every time it was held in November. It was first held by the Minority Welfare department before being transferred to the Kannada & Culture department.

Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah hit out at the BJP for cancelling the Jayanti. “The BJP has cancelled it because of their hatred towards minorities. It’s a big crime,” he said.

“Tipu isn’t just someone who belongs to the minority community. He was king of Mysuru and fought against the British. He was a freedom fighter. He contributed to the development of Mysuru. It was during his time the foundation was laid for the KRS dam. He also tried to improve industry, agriculture and trade,” he said.

Former Congress minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan said Tipu’s supporters will not stop celebrating him even as the government had decided not to. 

On Monday, Virajpet MLA KG Bopaiah wrote to Yediyurappa seeking cancellation of the Jayanti. Bopaiah, along with Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan and MLC MP Sunil Subramani, argued that there had been protests across the state, especially in Kodagu district, leading to the destruction of private and public property.

The Jayanti had become a political hot potato for the JD(S), with the party being averse to celebrating it. Last year, not a single JD(S) leader, including former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, attend the event, turning it into a fiasco.  

The previous Congress government’s decision to organise the Jayanti was also seen as the party’s move to pander to the minorities. The BJP, in its 2018 election manifesto, had promised to end the celebration of the Jayanti. 

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