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Tipu celebration becomes issue

Saturday, November 11, 2017

WHY has the Tipu birthday celebration issue emerged in such a big way this year as never before?

In the last few years, his birthday did not attract much attention. This year, there has been not only rallies, processions but also violence. There have been controversial speeches - some saying Tipu has done a lot of good as a ruler and some holding the view he was a merciless killer. Hindus said he had killed many innocent people. He held a Hindu as his enemy and as such his celebration on birthday was not called for.

But there was someone else who was interested in remembering Tipu - the Karnataka government. It has succeeded in having Tipu's memory to serve its own interests in the ensuing elections.Chief minister Siddaramaiah knew he could exploit Tipu's memory and make political capital out of it. He wanted to recreate the "glorious" history of Karnataka. The state government was all praise for Tipu. The chief minister decided to forget about the cruel things he did to Mysuru, and celebrate his memory. Following the chief minister's plans, Tipu was remembered by a large number of Karnataka people.

Tipu's birthday celebrations are likely to get the Congress a few more votes in the state assembly poll. It was hell for Hindus during Tipu's rule in the south. Perhaps a section of people have horrible memories of Tipu's rule. The Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah however has gained a lot from the celebrations: Votes for his party in the assembly elections.

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