Mangaluru, Nov 9, 2017: “A terrorist cannot be celebrated” said noted social activist, Robert Rosario. Speaking at a press conference to protest the Tipu Jayanthi celebrations that are scheduled to be held tomorrow across Karnataka, Rosario said that it was wrong of the government to use public money to celebrate a controversial historical figure. “ If chief minister Siddaramaiah wants to use his own money to celebrate 10th November in a private way, we have no problem but to celebrate a mass murderer publicly is wrong. This is purely for votes from the muslims.”
For the past two years, the Karnataka government has conducted Tipu Jayanthi in a lavish way. Photos of ministers have been circulating on the internet, showing them holding up swords and wearing replicas of Tipu’s headgear. “After near 300 years, why have they suddenly decided to celebrate his birth now?” questions Augustine Rodrigues.
The reason behind the Kanara Christian community in Mangalore anger is that it has been well documented that Tipu killed nearly 60,000 of their people over 15 years. Many Christians were forced to convert and those who refused were killed. Tipu believed that many of them were colluding with the East India Company, his arch enemy.
The Kanara Christians say they have repeatedly asked the government to call off the celebrations that is hurtful to them, but to no avail. What is even more galling for them is the fact that prominent Kanara Christians such as Ivan D’Souza, J R Lobo and Oscar Fernandes have not protested against the Jayanthi. Even religious leaders from the community have not raised their voices to stop the celebrations.
“Let him be confined to textbooks. He should not be brought to the Vidhan Soudha” said Mr Rosario.
Bertram Pinto, Gerald Towers and Gilbert D’silva were present at the press conference.