The textbook committee in Karnataka has said that chapters in school textbooks on Tipu Sultan cannot be removed from textbooks, Times of India reported. The statement comes two days after Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said that the ‘tyrant’ will be removed from textbooks.
“I am yet to see the letter Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan had sent to the government and which was forwarded to the committee,” Baragur Ramachandrappa, head of the textbook committee, was reported as saying by TOI. “But I can say in my personal capacity that Tipu cannot be erased from history textbooks.” The controversy erupted after Ranjan wrote a letter to the state education minister saying that Tipu Sultan is not portrayed in the right manner in textbooks. Thus, he asked all references to him be removed from them.
“Textbooks provided to students between classes I to X are supposed to only be informative. There may be a lot of opinions for and against Tipu. But this must be reserved for students when they reach PUC level and above,” Ramachandrappa reportedly stated.
Following the statement by Yeddyurappa, Karnataka BJP tweeted saying that “textbooks must be rewritten to portray the real Tipu Sultan to our Children”. They added that children “should be made aware of the Tyrant’s cruelty against Hindus & his anti-Kannada rule.”
Compared to the opinion that all references to Tipu Sultan be dropped from textbooks, the stance adopted by Karnataka BJP appears much more logical. The Islamic tyrant is part of our history. Regardless of his actions, students at schools must be taught the facts about his reign. If we don’t teach our children the authentic version of history, someone will else teach them a distorted version of it.
The reasonable course of action is not expunging a Jihadist from the pages of our textbook but teaching our children about the atrocities he committed. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Those who don’t learn an accurate version of history and therefore, are not in a position to take reasonable lessons from it, are bound to suffer the same fate.
It is true that the version of history that is taught to our children at school is heavily ‘secularized’ so as not to hurt religious sentiments. The proper response to it is teaching them the accurate version of it. If Tipu Sultan is dropped entirely from textbooks, our children will continue to suffer from ignorance; ignorance that will eventually come back to hurt them.
By all reasonable measures, Tipu Sultan was a Jihadist genocidal megalomaniac. The Mandyam Iyengars observe a day of mourning during Diwali to this day after Tipu massacred 800 men, women and children in cold blood over two centuries ago. Amusingly enough, the Islamic barbarian was proud of the actions the secular camp says he either never committed or must be viewed in the proper context.
Tipu Sultan boasted about the fact that he had managed to convert lakhs and lakhs of Hindus to Islam. He was proud of the fact that he was doing it for Allah and Islam. During the course of his reign, he destroyed many many Temples and slaughtered and converted hundreds and thousands of Hindus.
These are facts, our children must learn our history so that they could truly appreciate the monumental resistance put forth by our ancestors so that they could live the life they are living today. We cannot run from our history. As painful as these events are, these things happened and they are a part of our history. We cannot deliberately shut our eyes to them and wish them away. If we do, it will be a terrible disservice to our own ancestors and our civilization.
The glorification of Tipu Sultan is borne of a combination of motivated desire to gain political mileage from a certain community of the electorate and a malicious desire to undermine our Hindu Civilization. We can be pretty certain that certain people love Tipu Sultan for the very atrocities he committed against Hindus.
Therefore, it is imperative that our children learn the authentic version of our history, so that they are wary of those who celebrate him and his reign. Tipu Sultan’s legacy also exposes the farcical nature of Indian secularism. If secularism is dependent on the glorification of genocidal Islamic fanatics in a Hindu majority country, then perhaps we ought to consider whether secularism is worth preserving at all.
There’s a good reason why the Jews have holocaust museums. Quite obviously, it’s not due to their fondness of Adolf Hitler. These museums serve to remind their people and everyone else of the genocide they suffered so that they can guard effectively against such morbid hatred in the future, so that what happened during Hitler’s reign never happens to them again.
There’s another significant reason why students in Karnataka must be taught about Tipu Sultan’s reign. Despite the million he atrocities he committed, despite the genocide he perpetrated against Hindus, despite the rapes, pillage and rampant slaughter, despite the Jihad, the Vijayanagara Empire still towers over his legacy in every manner. And the great land of Karnataka is still an inseparable part of the Hindu Civilization despite the vicious Jihad that was waged by Tipu Sultan and others before him.
Therefore, there’s true pain and sorrow in our history. But there’s hope too. And our children must learn history from a proper perspective in order to appreciate the monumental struggle of our ancestors against depraved Jihadists. If we don’t teach our children accurate history, someone else will teach them a distorted version. It’s as much a battle of minds as it is one of arms. For far too long, the minds of our children have been corrupted by distorted history in textbooks. Now, it’s time to right that wrong. And the way forward is not removing tyrants from textbooks but teaching our children the authentic version of history.