23 October, 2020

Political Tug-O-War Over Tipu Sultan Leaves Students, Teachers In The Lurch

Calls for the ouster of Tipu Sultan from textbooks cause controversy...yet again

Political Tug-O-War Over Tipu Sultan Leaves Students, Teachers In The Lurch

The President hailed once hailed Tipu Sultan as heroic and a pioneer in warfare; India Post has a commemorative stamp on him; and governments have organised international seminars on the sultan who ruled Mysore from 1780 to 1799. Yet, he sits uneasily in Karnataka’s school textbooks, with the B.S. Yedi­yurappa-led BJP government delibe­rating calls to remove ­references to him from history chapters.

Last month, Appachu Ranjan, the BJP MLA of Madikeri in Kodagu (or Coorg), wrote to primary and secondary education minister S. Suresh Kumar that Tipu is glorified in textbooks despite being a reviled figure in Kodagu and adjoining Mangalore because of the massacres and religious conversions on his watch in the region. The minister has asked for a committee to examine the matter.

But this wasn’t the first time such a ­demand has cropped up—when the BJP was in a coalition government in 2006, the higher education minister at the time said that references to Tipu ought to be deleted from ­sch­oolbooks because he was...



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