Bengaluru, Oct 25: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday hailed freedom fighter Tipu Sultan saying he died a “historic death” fighting the Britishers, days after a Central Minister called the former Mysore ruler a “brutal killer and mass rapist”.
The President in his address at a joint session in the Karnataka Assembly to mark the diamond jubilee (60th year) celebrations of Vidhan Soudha, the state legislative building, asserted “Tipu Sultan died a historic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development of Mysore rockets (iron-casted rockets for military use)”.
Highlighting the contributions of Karnataka’s former rulers, politicians and scientists in the development of the state and the country, Kovind talked about Tipu Sultan, leading to loud applause from a majority of the legislators.
Recently, Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anantkumar Hegde has described Tipu as a “brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist”, ahead of the state’s Tipu Jayanti celebrations to mark his birth anniversary on November 10.
Not only this, Hegde also asked the state government to drop his name from the official invites related to the functions.
However, the President’s praising remarks over Tipu Sultan did not go down well with the BJP.
As on other hand BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of the state K.S. Eshwarappa alleged that the ruling Congress party had “forced” the President to speak on the former Mysore ruler .
“The speech was a deliberate attempt by the Congress party to make the President praise Tipu Sultan,” Eshwarappa told media.
In response to this, Karnataka Working President of the Congress Dinesh Gundu Rao stated the BJP was only “insulting” the President by criticising his speech.
“They (BJP) are only insulting our country’s President,” Rao told reporters.
Since 2015, the ruling Congress is celebrating Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary, which led to violent demonstrations by right-wing organisations in the Mysore region and other parts of the state.
Known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, Tipu Sultan ruled the Mysore from 1782-1799 after his father Haider Ali.