Bengaluru, Nov 13: Karnataka has been hit by a massive protests at different parts of the state. Two Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers died when pro and anti-Tipu Sultan groups clashed in Kodagu district on Nov 10.
Tipu Sultan, a controversial king, was also known Tiger of Mysore. He was the son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1783 to 1799.
Tipu died at the age of 48 and was succeeded by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. Despite his several works which helped Karnataka to become a developed state, Tipu faced criticism for his atrocities towards Hindus, including the conversion of Hindus to Islam.
Why controversy over Tipu Sultan irked protesters suddenly?
- Karnataka government-led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah earlier in 2014 announced that Nov 10 will be celebrated as Tipu Jayanti.
- Many people were disappointed with the announcement and vowed to disrupt the programme.
- Despite several warnings by Sangh Parivar outfits in Karnataka, the state government organised the event on Nov 10, 2015.
- It was Tipu Sultan's 266th birth anniversary.
VHP workers died:
- VHP and Sangh Parivar clashed with police and other groups who were supporting the government's decision of celebrating Tipu Jayanti.
- Two workers succumbed to their injuries which they got during the clash in Madikeri on Nov 10.
- The massive protest erupted when Sangh Parivar group came to face-to-face with a Muslim group who took out a procession to mark the state government's Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations.
- VHP and its supporters observed bandh in many parts across Karnataka on Friday, Nov 13.
- Though the bandh did not affect normal life in Bengaluru and other major cities, Madikeri witnessed total shutdown.
- However, senior police officials refused to accept allegations that the VHP workers died of injuries due to lathicharge.
- Senior officers claimed that VHP workers died as they fell off a 20-feet wall.
Why was Girish Karnad dragged into the controversy?
- Jnanpith winner Girish Karnad, a noted artist, landed in the controversy with his statement on Tipu Sultan.
- Karnad suggested that Bengaluru airport should be named after Tipu Sultan.
- His statement irked many, especially the Vokkaligas as currently the airport is named after Kempe Gowda, one of its eminent member from 16th century.
Death threat to Karnad
- After facing criticism, Karnad apologised for his statement.
- He also clarified that it was his personal opinion and he did not intend to hurt anyone's sentiment.
- Meanwhile, an unidentified person on Twitter threatened Karnad.
- The person claimed that Karnad too will face death like MM Kalburgi.
- Police, who do not want to take any risk, tightened security for Karnad.