Bengaluru: In a development which is likely to further escalate the war of words between ruling Congress and the BJP in poll-bound Karnataka, the Government of Pakistan on Friday hailed Tipu Sultan – the erstwhile ruler of Mysore – and called him a ferocious warrior.
Describing Tipu Sultan as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’,the Pakistan Government said in a tweet that he was an important and influential historical figure, who was trained in the art of warfare right from his early years and had a fascination for learning.
The Pakistan government said this in a tweet on the 218th death anniversary of the Muslim Mysore ruler, Badshah Nasibuddaulah Sultan Fateh Ali Bahadur Sahab Tipu alias Tipu Sultan.
BJP has, however, grabbed the opportunity to hit back at Pakistan and accused it of indirectly helping the Congress party.
Tipu Sultan is known to have challenged the mighty British Empire, which gave him the due honour for his contribution in the freedom struggle. However, many disagree with it.
He was an able administrator and a great warrior, according to historians. Born on November 20th, 1750, Tipu embraced martyrdom on May 4, 1799, at the age of 48 years while fighting the British forces.
He was laid to rest in the state of Karnataka. Although Tipu Sultan has no direct connection with Pakistan, latter’s sudden praise for the former Mysore ruler, who is seen a religious ‘bigot’ who had massacred many people and forced them to embrace Islam by the right-wing groups, is likely to add more fuel to the already charged electioneering in the poll-bound southern state.
BJP and the Congress, which is in power in the state, have already crossed swords over the Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan on November 10 every year.
Through an official notification, the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had in 2015 announced to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birthday on November 10 every year under the aegis of Department of Kannada and Culture – a move which was vehemently opposed by the BJP and several right-wing groups.
BJP had termed the Congress government’s move of observing Tipu Sultan Jayanti as an act of Muslim appeasement.
It had even asked its leaders not to celebrate or attend Tipu Sultan birth anniversary celebrations. The BJP claims that Tipu was a ‘terrorist’ who persecuted the Kodavas and Catholics in Mangaluru.
The BJP even pitted Tipu against Onake Obavva, a legendary Dalit woman who died fighting his father, Hyder Ali, when he invaded the Chitradurga Fort.
BJP president Amit Shah too attacked the Siddaramaiah government for minority appeasement and underlined BJP’s opposition to the annual celebration when he launched the campaign for the April-May 2018 elections in the state.
However, President Ram Nath Kovind delivered a solid blow to the anti-Tipu stance of the saffron party when, in October last year, he reignited the controversy around Tipu by deviating from the BJP’s stance and said, “Tipu Sultan died a historic death fighting the British. He also pioneered the use of Mysore rockets in warfare.”
Kovind said this while addressing the Karnataka Assembly.
Congress members thumped their desks in appreciation as the President mentioned Tipu’s name, much to the embarrassment of the BJP members present in the Assembly.