Tipu Sultan statue controversy: It won’t be wrong to say that BJP has jolted Congress in a big way. So much so that the grand old party of India is finding it hard to find an issue to oppose it. Naturally, they resort to old tactics of appeasement politics. Sadly, even that is turning into an Achilles heel for them. It is quite apparent from the Tipu Sultan vs Kempegowda battle brewing in Karnataka.
PM Modi unveils a massive statue of Kempegowda
Few days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave another gift to Bengaloreans. He unveiled a massive 108-ft long statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda. Kempegowda was a chieftain of Vijayanagar Empire. He is also credited with laying the foundation of modern-day Bengaluru in the 16th century. Fittingly, the statue is known as the “Statue of Prosperity”.
It is conceptualised and sculpted by Ram V Sutar, who sculpted the Statue of Unity. The statue is built with 98 tonnes of bronze and 120 tonnes of steel.
Of course, the idea would not sit well with the opposition parties. To counter the statue of Kempegowda, Congress is planning to install a100-foot statue of Tipu Sultan. It was announced by Senior Congress MLA and former minister Tanveer Sait.
Tanveer is planning to call a meeting to sort out the legal and other regulatory hurdles in the way of installing statue of Tipu Sultan. The Congress MLA is so stern that he is ready to defy guidelines of Islam for Tipu. Islam does not permit establishing statue, but enthusiastic Tanveer doesn’t care.
Why should he care? He has support from possibly the biggest leader of Karnataka Congress. Siddaramaiah, the former Chief Minister of State was asked about the opposition to Tanveer’s proposal by Sri Ram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik. Siddaramaiah opined that BJP twists history and Tipu Sultan deserves a statue.
Frankly, what Tanveer is doing is nothing more than a political stunt as the man has been caught disrespecting Tipu Sultan in the past. A Tipu Jayanti function was organised in Raichur in 2016. Tanveer was also present there. Interestingly, while people were busy commemorating Tipu, Tanveer was busy watching porn on his mobile phone. Clearly, he does not have an ounce of respect for Tipu.
He is not wrong though. No one in their right mind would respect that kind of person. He was a religious fanatic and a dictator, who attempted the ethnic cleansing of Kodavas and other Hindu Communities of southern India. Even Karnataka High Court has refused to term him as a freedom fighter, the favourite phrase of Marxist distorians to describe Tipu.
Kannadigas know about Congress’ push to declare Tipu as secular and modern. Deep inside Kannadigas hate Tipu Sultan more than maybe any leader whom they believe imposes Hindi over them. People of Karnataka are well aware of all this. That is why, when Girish Karnad proposed to rename Kempegowda airport as Tipu Sultan airport, he even received death threats. The man had to apologise, a rare sight in modern day narcissism driven politics.
Kannadigas simply can’t replace Kempegowda from their heart. Kempegowda was the one who built Bengaluru by erecting towers at 4 corners of the city. He provided financial as well as military assistance to people settling there. Kempegowda is credited with building 1,000 lakes in the city for drinking and agriculture needs of Bengloreans. Bengloreans have commemorated him well by naming the international airport, a bus stand, the main metro station and even a road after him.
Congress is making a futile attempt by trying to push Tipu against him. They are only withering away with whatever credibility Tipu has left in the eyes of unaware Karnataka citizens. BJP may or may not get the votes of Vokkaligas through Kempegowda’s statute, but Congress will definitely lose Hindu votes if they continue to side with Tipu.
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