Tipu Sultan Row: Girish Karnad Offers Apology

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Bengaluru: The Congress state government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birthday dubbed by many as a minority appeasement bid has drawn widespread flak. Protests continued in Bengaluru over the issue – and the main target was Jnanpith awardee, Girish Karnad.

Mr Karnad’s admiration of Tipu Sultan – and his suggestion that Bengaluru’s airport be named after Tipu instead of city founder Kempe Gowda – upset right-wing groups. The noted playwright later south to end the controversy, saying, “”If anybody has been hurt by my remarks, I apologise… what will I gain by doing it (by giving such comments).”

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Basavaraj, state organisation secretary of the Vishva Hindu Parishad or VHP was part of a protest at the Town Hall. “Kempegowda is the nadaprabhu (ruler of the land) of Karnataka. He has insulted our nadaprabhu. We are condemning Girish Karnad. He is not a writer, he is only Siddaramaiah’s man.”

Anger also flared over the death of a VHP worker during a bandh on the issue called by the BJP in Kodagu district on Tuesday. The police say he fell accidentally to his death while running from a lathi charge.

R Ashok, BJP leader and former home minister told NDTV, “100 per cent it is a murder. They made this murder. It is purely communal clashes – the failure of the government, no security arrangements no intelligence. It is a pre-planned murder. BJP is demanding a CBI enquiry or the judicial enquiry.”

But Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ruled out such a probe. He said, “There is no need for a judicial inquiry. I have already ordered inquiry into the incident by regional commissioner of Mysore region. Already there is a government order to give Rs. 5 lakh for any person who dies in a communal clash. Tipu Sultan is a patriot, freedom fighter – and he is most secular man. That is why I have celebrated.”

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