Published: Sat, October 21, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Won't attend "brutal killer, mass rapist" Tipu Sultan's Jayanti: Skills minister Hegde

Won't attend

In a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister's Secretariat and Uttara Kannada DC, Minister of State (MoS) for Skill Development Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde on Friday asked them to not include his name on the list of invitees for the programmes during the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in the state.

In 2016 November, Hegde was among those arrested in Uttara Kannada district for opposing the Tipu Jayanti celebrations.

The state government describes Tipu Sultan as a patriot and a freedom fighter who fought the British but the opposition sees him as a bigoted tyrant who forcefully converted people to Islam.

"(I have) Conveyed (to) Karnataka government not to invite me to the shameful event of glorifying a person known as the brutal killer, wretched fanatic, and mass rapist", the BJP leader said in a tweet. "It's up to them to accept or reject", he said.

The Karnataka government, headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has planned to celebrate the erstwhile ruler's birth anniversary on November 10.

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Since 2015, the Congress-led government has been celebrating the birth anniversary of 18th century ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan, which has been opposed by the BJP. "As part of govt he shouldn't have written it". It all started after K Siddaramaiah-led state government made a decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti. "There were 4 wars against British & Tipu fought them all", CM Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Congress government chose to make the Tipu Sultan Jayanti an annual event, especially since the first time it was organised in 2015 led to clashed with right-wing Hindu groups that led to three deaths.

The BJP in Karnataka has been opposing state-sponsored Tipu Jayanti celebrations.

The government's decision to celebrate the day on November 10 previous year had drawn much criticism from the BJP and the RSS, who termed this act of the Congress as "minority appeasement".

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