Tipu Sultan true secularist: Siddaramaiah

Amid right-wing Hindu groups, including the RSS, threatening to disrupt the Karnataka government’s plans to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Saturday described the former Muslim ruler as a “true secularist”.

The assertion by Siddaramaiah came a day after the RSS announced that it would support an anti-Tipu agitation on November 10 on the grounds that “he had persecuted and converted Hindus living in his kingdom”. Karnataka Minister for Minorities Qamarul Islam had announced last week that the government will celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birthday on November 10.

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Tipu Sultan was secular and he fought the British rulers in three wars. In a way, the freedom struggle began with the Mysore wars between Tipu and the British,” said Siddaramaiah, adding that the opposition to the celebration of the former Mysore ruler’s birth anniversary is an agenda of communal forces.

“Tipu Sultan Jayanti should have been celebrated by the state long ago but has got delayed. This is a conspiracy by the RSS and other communal forces. It is an attempt to disturb harmony in the society,’’ said Siddaramaiah, who hails from the Mysore region. BJP MP from Mysore, Pratap Simha, is among the opponents of celebrating Tipu Sultan Jayanti.