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President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday said the erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan died a "historic death" fighting the British and called him a "pioneer" in the development of Mysore rockets in warfare.
"Tipu Sultan died a historic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development of Mysore rockets," Kovind said addressing the legislators in the Karnataka assembly at a joint session to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of Vidhan Soudha, the state legislative building.
Recalling the contributions of former Mysore and Karnataka rulers, soldier, politicians and scientists in the growth of the state and the country on the whole, the President spoke of Tipu, leading to a majority of the legislators breaking into loud applause.
The President's words on Tipu Sultan come just few days after Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, had called Tipu a "brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist", ahead of the state's Tipu Jayanti celebrations to mark the erstwhile ruler's birth anniversary on November 10.
The ruling Congress in the state began celebrating Tipu's birth anniversary since 2015, which led to violent protests by the right-wing organisations in the Mysore region and other parts of the state. The BJP in the state has been opposing the celebrations calling Tipu "anti-Hindu and anti-Kannada".
Known as the 'Tiger of Mysore', Tipu Sultan ruled the Mysore kingdom from 1782-1799 succeeding his father Haider Ali.