Rationalist and Kannada writer K S Bhagwan said that erstwhile ruler Tipu Sultan was the only king in the history who was more misunderstood than understood. This misunderstanding of such a great persona, he said, was conceptualised by people who hated Tipu for his pro-farmer and pro-downtrodden policies.
“Tipu belonged to a religion which propagates equality and justice. All the accusation against him of forcefully converting people in to Islam and killing Hindus are baseless,” Bhagwan said during a discussion programme on Tipu Sultan organised by Karnataka Dalit Welfare Trust, Mysuru, on Sunday.
Bhagwan said that Tipu believed in equality for all and was hailed for his pro-farmer policies. He had carried out development works for which we should always remember him. “If he would have converted people in Malabar and Kodagu, he would have done the same with people in his territory. There would have been more Muslim population in these regions,” he pointed.
Bhagwan added saying Tipu was accepted as a nationalist and secular king by many but was opposed by a section of society.
Echoing the same sentiments, former minister and social activist B T Lalitha Naik hailed Tipu for his people-friendly policies and his belief in equality for all, irrespective of their caste and religion. “If at all he had killed people, he would have done it during the time of war and it is common for a king to kill people who go against him. But this alone can’t be cited to describe his persona,” she said.
She also called upon politicians to read the life of Tipu Sultan and asked them learn from his principals and policies. “If his values, principles and policies are adopted in the present scenario, inequality, casteism and corruption can be rooted out effectively,” she added.
Tipu son of the soil
Rubbishing claims labelling Tipu as an anti-Kannada, Naik said that Tipu was son of the soil and he in fact propagated Kannada language. “There were claims that Tipu enforced Persian and Urdu languages on people. If that would have been the case, people in and around Srirangapatna would not be speaking Kannada. Tipu in fact learnt Kannada from a Brahmin guru and had command over it,” she said.
A book – ABVP Terrorism – written by young writer Harohalli Ravindra was also released on the occasion. Speaking about the book, University of Mysore professor Mahesh Chandra Guru lambasted ABVP for its ‘hidden agenda’ of propagating Hindutva on pretext of nationalism. “ABVP is not a student wing, it’s a group of people who are hell-bent on dividing the country. Its hidden agenda is to Sanskritise and saffronise education which in coming years would make student religious fanatics rather nationalists,” he opined.
He also sought a ban on ABVP calling it an ‘anti-national’ force which was disturbing the harmony in India.
Former Mysuru District Government Employees’ Association president Puttaswami, retired professor Shabbir Mustafa and Trust president Shantaraju were present.