A Bengaluru-based businessman, who’s a descendant of Tipu Sultan, has demanded an unconditional apology from Union minister Anantkumar Hegde for describing the 18th century brave ruler as a “mass rapist” and “brutal killer.”
Sahabzada Mansoor Ali Tipu told PTI that he intended to meet Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy and may also file a complaint with the police.
“On behalf of the descendants of Tipu Sultan, I am lodging a complaint against Hegde for calling our forefather a mass rapist and brutal killer,” he said.
Ali said he would seek necessary action for Hegde’s “uncalled for” comments on Tipu, who fought against the British.
“Being a Union minister, he should not have made such irresponsible comments against a ruler who is revered as a hero in Karnataka. I seek an unconditional apology and necessary action against Hegde for his comments,” he said.
The saffron party has been carrying out campaign to discredit Tipu’s contribution in the freedom struggle despite credible historic evidence conclusively establishing his bravery against the British rulers in Mysore.
Not so long ago, a ring worn by Tipu had gone udner the hammer in Britain. The ring, that fetched over 1 lakh British pounds had the name of Hindu God ‘Ram’ inscribed on it in Hindi. The ring is thought to have been taken from him by a British general as he lay dead.
Interestingly, those busy trying to discredit Tipu have had the history of colluding with the British to hard India’s freedom struggle movement. Individuals idolised by the BJP such as Savarkar and his ilk had written mercy petitions vowing not to ever oppose the British rule in India. Nathuram Godse, another figure reverred by the BJP and groups sharing its Hindutva ideologies had murdered India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Alleging that Hegde’s comments could stoke “communal sentiments”, he demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi drop him from his council of ministers. “The tweets of Hegde are distasteful and hurt not only family sentiments, but also the sentiments of the country. PM Modi should sack him as Union minister,” he said.
Ali, who said he was a 7th generation descendant of Tipu Sultan, added that he was in touch with others in the family, including Bakhtiar Ali in Kolkata, who is contemplating taking legal action against Mr Hegde.
Hegde had stirred a row after he requested the Karnataka government not to include his name in programme invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebrations. “(I have) conveyed (to) Karnataka government not to invite me to the shameful event of glorifying a person known as a brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist,” Hegde said in a Tweet on October 20.
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) October 20, 2017
The BJP leader had also written to the Chief Secretary and Uttara Kannada deputy commissioner, asking them to direct the state government not to include his name in the programme invitations to mark the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan.
In 2016, Hegde had controversially alleged that Tipu Sultan was “against Kannada language and anti-Hindu”. Subsequently, Hegde was arrested for threatening to disrupt celebrations in the Uttara Kannada district.
The government’s decision to celebrate the day on 10 November last year had been criticised by the BJP and RSS, who termed the act of the Congress as “minority appeasement”.
The Siddaramaiah-led government is all set to celebrate Tipu Jayanti despite widespread protests and violence that had marred celebrations in the last two years.