Bust the Myth
Who is afraid of Tipu Sultan?
the Sangh Swayamsevaks do not want the future generations to even
know that Tipu defeated the British army twice with his superior
planning and better techniques and who died in the battlefield
itself fighting the Britishers again with his sword in his
Bangalore: Hundreds of
Catholic Christians belonging to 17 Konkani Catholics
organizations Tuesday staged demonstration in front of Rev. Kittel’s
Statue, on M G Road opposing the move to name the proposed
university for minorities after great Indian warrior and freedom
fighter Tipu Sultan.
They instead demanded from the
government to name the university after Reverend Ferdinand Kittel
- a German by birth and a priest with the Basel Mission who was responsible for producing the first Kannada-English Dictionary.
The protest - led by politician and Catholic activist T J Abraham
and held under the banner of Konkani Catholic Sangh was
the first public demonstration by the Catholics opposing proposed
Tippu Sultan University.
The demonstrators were holding banners criticizing the stance of
Kannada literary giants like Prof. U.R. Ananthmurthy, Dr. Girish
Karnad, Prof. G.K.Govinda Rao and Sri.Bargur Ramachandrappa, who
had voiced their support to name the university after Tipu Sultan,
who fought against British occupation and laid down his life in
The protesters also planned to exert pressure on the
union government by holding a public demonstration in New
Delhi on March 18 and 19.
They also planned to meet and present memorandums to Prime
Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and AICC leader Rahul Gandhi, seeking
the withdrawal of the proposal of naming of the University after
T J Abraham had last month said naming the varsity after the
Muslim king like Tipu Sultan is an ‘insult’ to
“We welcome the
university in Srirangapatna and want it to be named after Rev
Kittel, who compiled the first Kannada-English dictionary and was
a strong Kannada activist", he had said while speaking at a press
meet on Feb 15.
Abraham said, "Tipu Sultan forcibly converted as many as 70,000
Catholics and Hindus to Islam along the state’s coast."
Tipu Sultan, if the Central government would name the university after
Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, then it would be
acceptable", he added.
Earlier in January, the Hindu Jana Jagruthi Samithi had also staged protest condemning the decision of the Union Government to set up
Sultan University at Srirangapatna.
"Naming of the University after Tipu
Sultan was highly deplorable", Ramananda Gowda, Convenor of the
Samithi said dubbing Tipu as "fanatic and
anti-Hindu ruler" who was responsible for "converting thousands of
Hindu families in Kodagu to Islam".
He further said that Tipu Sultan was
also responsible for destroying several temples during his tenure.
The Samithi said that setting up of a Muslim University was also
unconstitutional and criticized the Union Minorities Affairs
Minister Rahman Khan for his initiative in setting up five such
universities in India.
Some of the speakers at the protest also referred to the Aligarh Muslim
University saying, "Several students of this university had been
arrested on charges of disruptive activities in Kanpur, Delhi and
They alleged that setting up of a separate Muslim
university would "encourage disruptive activities".
As against the allegations leveled
against him by Abraham and Gowda, records show that Tipus Sultan
was actually a great Indian leader and was ambassador of
"Tipu was an apostle of Hindu-Muslim
unity, was fond of new inventions, and is called innovator of the
world’s first war rocket, who felt inspired by the French
Revolution", renowned author Subhash Gatade wrote in his one of
the recent articles.
"Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the then
President of India, in his Tipu Sultan Shaheed Memorial Lecture in
Bangalore called Tipu Sultan the innovator of the world's first
war rocket", he noted.
Two of these rockets, captured by
the British at Srirangapatna, are displayed in the Royal Artillery
Museum in London, he wrote.