Kolkata: Tipu Sultan’s descendants on Thursday expressed their displeasure over the BJP-led Karnataka government's plans to remove a lesson on the 18th-century Mysuru ruler from middle school history textbooks.
Saying that the move was politically motivated, Shahid Alam, a descendant of Tipu Sultan, said that the news of the proposal had come as a rude shock to the family. ”He was a freedom fighter. So, why will someone remove him from the textbooks? We are really hurt and we personally feel that no one can lower the status of Tipu Sultan,” he told News18 in Kolkata.
He further said, “I would like to question a section of politicians, why they want to hide Tipu’s contribution to the freedom struggle from the students. If required, we will write a letter to them for taking such steps, which will hurt us.”
Prince Mooniruddin and Prince Golam Muhammed were two of Tipu’s sons, who were deported to Kolkata by the British. Shahid Alam is a co-trustee of the Prince Golam Mohammed’s wakf estate.
Another of Tipu Sultan’s descendants, Anwar Ali Shah said, “I personally feel that parties and leaders are using Tipu's name for their political interest. They use Nathuram Godse for political mileage even though he killed Gandhi ji. Then they celebrate Gandhi Jayanti also. I don’t want to demean our great ruler Tipu by giving much importance to the decision taken by the Karnataka government. Removing his name from textbooks does not mean his contribution was nothing.”
“Tipu Awam Ke Dil Mein Hain (He is there in people’s heart). We are planning to write a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a request to start a Tipu Jayanti celebration in Kolkata,” he added.
This is not the first time that Tipu Sultan’s mention in the school textbooks has become a cause of controversy. Last year, the Karnakata government decided to not celebrate his birth anniversary and issued a circular. The decision had invited mixed reactions from across the political spectrum.
Tipu Jayanti celebration is observed in the month of November every year after it was first declared an annual event by the previous Congress government under Siddaramaiah in 2015.