On Thursday, the Karnataka unit of the BJP had reportedly distanced itself from the comments of MLC AH Vishwanath after he had hailed tyrant Tipu Sultan as the ‘greatest freedom fighter.’ The party has made it clear that the controversial remark was made in personal capacity and did not reflect the stand of the party on the 18th-century ruler.
Tipu Sultan was the greatest freedom fighter this country saw. He triggered the freedom movement in the country. The country has to respect to such eminent personalities: BJP MLC AH Vishwanath in Bengaluru yesterday pic.twitter.com/WlBpZIlFz9— ANI (@ANI) August 27, 2020
Vishwanath had defected to the BJP last year after his stint in both the Congress party and the JD(S). Following his disqualification, he lost from the Hunsur constituency during by-polls held in December. Later, he was nominated to the Legislative council.
BJP MLC demands statues for Tipu Sultan
While speaking to reporters on August 26, Vishwanath had said, “Kithur Rani Chennamma, Belawadi Mallamma, and Tipu Sultan are the greatest freedom fighters which this country witnessed. Kithur Rani Chennamma, Belawadi Mallamma, Sangollu Rayanna in North Karnataka, and Tipu Sultan in the South – these are the greatest personalities who triggered the freedom movement in the country. India has to give respect to such eminent personalities.”
He had also advocated building statues of the tyrant in Belagavi Suvarna Soudha, besides including chapters about him in textbooks. Vishwanath further reiterated, “Tipu Sultan does not belong to any party or caste or religion. Tipu Sultan is the son of this soil, so he should not be belittled, by limiting him to any religion.”
BJP cannot accept Tipu Sultan as ‘noble’ ruler; seeks explanation from MLC
Reacting strongly to the controversial remarks, BJP spokesperson Ganesh Karnik said, “The remarks of Vishwanath, MLC, on Tipu Sultan, are his personal (comments), made in his individual capacity. The BJP distances from these remarks.” He emphasised that Tipu was a fanatic bigot who killed thousands of Hindus and Christians in Kodagu and Managaluru district respectively in order to propagate and establish Islamic rule in his kingdom.
Karnik further added, “Tipu Sultan was zealous in converting people by the threat of sword. Tipu Sultan had made Persian as the official language of his kingdom and hence he was against Kannada. We cannot and will not accept Tipu Sultan as a noble ruler.”
On Thursday, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel reiterated, “I came to know about his statement on Tipu through media. I will seek an explanation. It is his personal view. The BJP, which has been critical of Tipu’s rule, sticks to its stand.”
Karnataka government halts deletion of chapter on Tipu Sultan
Earlier, the Karnataka government had reportedly halted its decision to drop chapter on Tipu Sultan from the class 7 curriculum in the State. Besides, the chapter on the ruler has also been retained in the syllabus for class 6 and class 10.
As per reports, the Education Minister S Suresh Kumar informed that the proposal to drop the chapter on the 18th-century tyrant of Mysore will be finalised after estimating the remaining days in the current academic year. An official statement, regarding the issue, read, “On the instructions of primary and higher education minister, the announcement on the revised syllabus (is) on temporary hold. After reviewing the trimmed lessons, details will be announced on the website.”