Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court today rejected an interim prayer seeking a stay on ‘Tipu Jayanti‘ celebrations to be held across the state on November 10 and directed the state government to file objections to the petitioner’s submissions on the matter in four weeks.
The petitioner, K P Manjunath, sought a direction torestrain the celebrations in his home district of Kodagu, saying it would foment communal disharmony.
The order was passed by a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar after the petitioner failed to convince the court which had sought to know whether the expenses on Tipu Jayanti celebrations were being incurred by the state. The bench also directed the government to file objections to the petition in four weeks time.
Manjunath, in his plea, contended that large-scale communal violence erupted during the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in 2015, when it was first organised by government. Manjunath made submissions pertaining to several historical material facts contending that Tipu Sultan had killed thousands of Kodavas (in Kodagu district) during his rule. He alleged that Tipu’s rule in Kodagu resulted in conversion of Kodavas to Islam.
“Tipu was an invader and a dictator and glorifying such a person is a matter of shame,” he argued.
Tipu, ruler of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore, was killed in May 1799 while defending his fort of Srirangapatna against the British forces.
Opposition BJP and some outfits are opposed to Tipu Jayanti celebrations and have called him “religious bigot”, “fanatic” and “anti-Kannada”.
Tipu is viewed in a negative light in Kodagu district of the state, where he was alleged to have persecuted the local Kodava population, as also the Roman Catholics of Mangaluru, on religious grounds and forced conversion to Islam.