Karnataka government’s decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ has triggered fresh controversy with the RSS and its affiliate groups vehemently protesting against it.
The RSS has vowed to disrupt the celebrations calling the famous ruler of Mysore a ‘tyrant.’
V Nagraj, an RSS pracharak said, “You can go through recorded history, his own statements, and what was written on his sword. On his sword it was clearly mentioned it was meant to kill the kaffirs.”
While the debate over whether Tipu Sultan was a tyrant or one of the first freedom fighters who gave grief to the British rulers rages on, the famous historian, Irfan Habib, on Tuesday, reminded what the former President APJ Abdul Kalam had written about Tipu in his book, Wings of Fire.
— S l Habib (@irfhabib) November 10, 2015
Kalam, a remarkably revered personality for the BJP whose ideological mentor is the RSS, had mentioned an interesting experience while visiting NASA facility in Maryland(USA) as part of a training program on sounding rocket launching techniques.
He wrote in his book, “Here, I saw a painting prominently displayed in the reception lobby. It depicted a battle scene with a few rockets flying in the background. A painting with this theme should be the most commonplace thing at a Flight Facility, but the painting caught my eye because the soldiers on the side launching the rockets were not white , but dark-skinned, with the racial features of people found in South Asia.
“One day, my curiosity got the better of me, drawing me towards the painting. It turned out to be Tipu Sultan’s army fighting the British. The painting depicted a fact forgotten in Tipu’s own country but commemorated here on the other side of the planet. I was happy to see an Indian glorified by NASA as a hero of warfare rocketry.”
Kalam’s awe for the famous ruler of Mysore aside, the historians of eminence too have showered praises on Tipu for his contribution to promote communal harmony.
Historian NV Narasimhaiah said, “Tipu brought sericulture to Karnataka, banned intoxicating liquor. There was a practice in Kerala that lower caste women were not allowed to wear blouses. When Tipu learnt this, he supplied the blouses.”
“Tipu Sultan was known for his self-respect and patriotism. He said, ‘I can’t be a servant of the Britishers, I can’t surrender to you’,” he added.
It seems not all BJP lawmakers appear to be in agreement of the RSS’ understanding of Tipu. Abdul Azeem, a BJP lawmaker, said, “Tipu Sultan was very secular and gave equal treatment to Hindus and Muslims. Not only mosques but also temples were looked after.”