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Karna govt mulling removal of lesson on Tipu from school text

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday indicated his government'splans to remove the lesson on Tipu Sultan from middle school history textbooks and said he does not believe the controversial18th century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom was a freedom fighter.
"Tipu - we are going to drop everything and even in text book also (lesson regarding him) appeared that also we are thinking to cancel," he told reporters here in response to aquestion, days after BJP MLA Appachu Rajan demanded removal of the lesson saying it carried "wrong information".
Yediyurappa said he does notbelieve Tipu Sultan was a freedom fighter. "....we will look into it, we will examine it (demand for removing the lesson from text book)," he added.
The move was slammed by opposition Congress which said removing the lesson was like "distorting history".
State Primary and Secondary Education MinisterSuresh Kumar had on Monday asked officials to look into thedemand by Ranjan and sought a report in three days.
The Minister in a note has asked the Managing Director of Karnataka Textbook Society to call a meeting ofhistory textbook drafting committee and to invitethe MLA to discuss about the need for the lesson.
Ranjan had last week written to the minister demanding that the lesson on Tipu Sultan be removed.
Speaking to reporters later, he alleged Tipu had converted thousands of Christians and Kodavas forcibly to Islam,run his administration in Persianlanguage and was not a freedom fighter.
Meanwhile, opposing the move to remove the lesson, Leader of Oppositionin the state assembly Siddaramaiah on Wednesday called the BJP "bigot".
"Removing lesson on Tipu from text book is like distorting history. Tipu fighting British is true or false? History should not be distorted, we have to teach children history and learn from it... BJP is a bigot," he told reporters in Bagalkote.
State Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao asked: "Is Yediyurappa an expert to remove lesson on Tipu?".
Soon after coming to power, the BJP government in Karnataka in July had scrapped the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, an annual government event the party hadbeen opposing since 2015 when it was launched during theCongress rule, led by Siddaramaiah.
The BJP and right wing organisations have beenstrongly opposing Tipu, calling the erstwhile Mysore king a "religious bigot".
Tipu was considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company.
He was killed in May, 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna against the British forces.
Tipu Sultan, however, is a controversial figure in Kodagu district as Kodavas (Coorgis), a martial race, believe thousands of their men and women were held captive during his occupation and subjected to torture, death andforcible conversion to Islam.
He was also accused of execution of Mandyam Iyengars at the temple town of Melkote in Mandya district on the day ofDiwali as they supported the then Maharaja of Mysuru.
However, the scale of such suppression is disputed by several historians and they see Tipu as a secular and modern rulerwho took on the might of the British.
While BJP and some Hindu organisations sees Tipu as a "religious bigot" and a "brutal killer", a few Kannada outfitscall him "anti-Kannada", saying he had promoted Persianat the cost of the local language.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 6:05 PM IST

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