Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday confirmed his government would continue to celebrate Tipu Jayanti despite violence in the previous years and opposition from the BJP.
"We will continue the programmes that were started by the previous government. Because they (BJP) object doesn't mean we should stop," the chief minister said on the sidelines of Karanataka formation day celebrations in Bengaluru.
Tipu Jayanti celebrations had caused a stir in the state last year, with clashes erupting in various districts. In 2015, two persons were killed in Madikeri when a group taking out a procession was stalled by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists.
This time too, the Tipu Jayanti Virodhi Horatta Samiti has condemned the move, even though the matter is sub-judice.
Last year, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Karnataka High Court, challenging the October 24, 2017, circular issued by the Department of Kannada and culture for celebrations of Tipu Jayanti throughout the state.
The petitioner cited decrease in Kodava race due to Tipu’s legacy and the communal clashes as reasons to stop observing the birth anniversary of the former Mysuru king.
The Karnataka High court had asked the state to file its objection to the PIL before November 2018. However, the state failed to file its objection, forcing the court to impose a Rs 1,000 fine on the state government on Wednesday. The court will hear the case next on November 9.
BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, meanwhile, said the move to celebrate the day was in fact a conspiracy to divide people.
“What is the need for this celebration when CM could not go for Valmiki Jayanti celebrations… Valmiki who has written the Ramayana. Instead, he wants to celebrate Tipu who killed so many Hindus? This shows his priority," he said. Congress MLA Roshan Beg hit back, saying the BJP rakes up this issue as they want to polarize people.