Taking strong exception to Karnataka government’s plan to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, Padma Shri awardee T V Mohandas Pai today said that it’s like celebrating the anniversary of Aurangzeb who was a tyrant Mughal Emperor and a staunch religious fundamentalist.
"The state governments plan to celebrate Tipu Jayanti is like the central government celebrating the anniversary of Aurangzeb, who was a tyrant Mughal Emperor and a staunch religious fundamentalist," Mohandas Pai said.
Mohandas Pai alleged that the Karnataka government was playing politics over Tipu Jayanti and urged it to celebrate anniversaries of benevolent rulers like the Wodeyars and Mysuru Diwan Mirza Ismail.
"What the government is doing is playing politics, which is wrong and I would request them not to do it. If they want to celebrate, let them celebrate Mirza Ismail, Wodeyars - both were benevolent rulers. Let them also celebrate Sir Visveswaraya, the greatest engineer we ever had," he said while talking to media persons on the sidelines of an RSS event in Bengaluru.
Ismail was Diwan (Prime Minister) of Mysuru, Jaipur and Hyderabad. Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was Ismails mentor.
Tipu Jayanti, slated to be celebrated across the state on November 10, is being observed since last year following a Congress government decision, which had triggered a major row and caused violence in Kodagu district in November last.
Tipu Sultan was the 18th century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom.
"The BJP and the Congress play politics. They have got their own constituencies. Let them do what they want," he said.
Pai said he feels offended that government would celebrate Tipu Jayanti who was a "bigot and tyrant", who killed people of different communities and converted people to Islam.
"I am a Konkani and I feel very offended that the government is celebrating somebody (Tipu) who did wrong to both communities."
Pai alleged that Tipu Sultan butchered Coorgis and the Christians living in Kodagu and Kerala, and also destroyed Konkani temples near Sultan Bathery and Kasargod, in Kerala.
"The Coorgis still have anger against him. In Mangaluru, the Christian community are angered because some 26,000 Catholics were put in dungeons," he said. "He (Tipu) destroyed Konkani temples near Sultan Bathery and Kasargod," he added.
"There is a dark side to Tipu. He was a despot and a bigot. He killed many people converted others to Islam by using sword. There is no denying the fact as such," he said.
BJP and RSS have opposed the "Tipu Jayanti" celebrations.
RSS had stated recently it opposed the celebration and it would stage protests against it as the ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom was a "religious bigot and a violent sultan".
(With PTI inputs)