By A Staff Writer
SRIRANGAPATNA: On May 15th, Rangayana theatre troupe of Mysore
presented a play 'Tipuwina Kanasu', Dreams of Tipu. The play
was directed by Basawalingaya and the Script was written by Dr. Girish Karnad.
BANGALORE: The much publicised Tipu Sultan bi-centenary proved to be a damp squib. First the celebration could not be held on May 4, the day of martyrdom of Tipu. Next, the organisers lost the enthusiasm midway and botched up preparations. Third, local factors came into play and the celebration committee could not take cognizance of them in time, leading to loss of their cooperation.
The Karnataka government had decided to officially observe the occasion with multifarious programmes. A 70-member committee had been set up six months ago. It was headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah. Mr. R Roshan Baig, minister of state for Tourism and Wakfs, Mr. Nage Gowda, minister for major irrigation who hails from Mandya district (Srirangapatana constituency) and Ms. Leeladevi R Prasad, minister for Kannada and Culture were among the prominent members of the committee.
The occasion became an issue with Hindutva lobby and ran into rough weather with the threats from Bajrang Dal to disrupt the functions. They held that Tipu had forcibly converted many Hindus to Islam and hence such a person didn't deserve any tribute. However, the threats didn't have much impact on the event. While the government issued stern warning, the Congress had condemned the threat. The BJP too did not cooperate with the hate-selling lobby.
What was more shocking was the way in which the government underplayed the event. Rs. 55 lakh was sanctioned for the functions out of which, Rs 15 lakh was to be utilised for constructing roads in Srirangapatana. The official function was first scheduled for May 4 but could not come off. Reason cited was that preparations were not adequate. But then there was long silence. The people were informed about the official function on the morning of the May 15 when all leading dailies carried half-page advertisements. It was said the programme was botched up due to differences between Siddaramaiah, Nage Gowda and Roshan Baig.
The advertisements boasted of having invited many prominent personalities including Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry. The other names included that of cine-star Sanjay Khan and many leaders from the state. It is said that invitations were shot off only the previous day and perhaps the authorities only completed the formality of sending formal invitations.
The programme went on in a hotch-potch manner. Mr. Paloli Mohammed Kutty, Kerala minister for Local Administration, was the only dignitary from outside Karnataka. Except for the stage that contained some paintings and pillars reflecting the heritage of Karnataka, nothing seemed worthy of the 55 lakhs. Contrary to expectations, only Chief Minister J H Patel, Governor Khurshed Alam Khan, Roshan Baig, Nage Gowda, Leela Devi R Prasad and Paloli Mohammed Kutty were the dignitaries present on the dais. The list of absentees includes Deputy CM Siddaramaiah, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and H K Patil and BJP leader K S Eshwarrappa who were all invited. Two prominent Swamijis from the state Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suthur Veera Simhasana Mutt, Mysore and Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Maha Samstana dominated over the show. All leaders spoke at length about Tipu's secular credentials. None of the Muslim representatives were invited. Shockingly, a majority of the committee members were not even aware of the functions.
A thin crowd of 2,500 participated in the function. Security was beefed up in view of the Bajrang Dal threat and as many as 1,600 policemen were pressed into service. No trace of the militant outfit could be seen in and around Srirangapatana creating doubts about the seriousness of the threats.
The bi-centenary celebrations that was making news since four months ago was a two-hour affair. However, the only good gesture was the sanctioning of Rs 2 crore for building a Tipu Memorial Residential School at Srirangapatana by the chief minister. Governor Khurshed Alam Khan who spoke on the occasion congratulated Patel for the same. He said that it was nice to see that after 200 years of negligence, Tipu was at last remembered. He stressed that the proposed school should give equal importance to Urdu and Kannada languages. He urged the state government to form a research committee that can look into the contribution of the great warrior and clear misunderstandings about historic facts.
Mysore Swami Lauds Tipu's Fight: However, in a citizen's ceremony held at Tipu's mausoleum in Gumbaz on May 7, the chief swami of Mysore's JSS Mutt, Shri Shivaratri Deshkendra Mahaswami Suttur Mutt regretted that the government could not organise the bicentenary ceremony in a befitting manner. He said Tipu laid down his life for the nation. Had he succeeded in rooting out the British in 1799, the nation would have been celebrating the 200th anniversary of independence. He lamented the decline in patriotic feelings among Indian citizens and said the Indian politicians were plundering the nation and lacked the integrity of the former rulers. While referring to the contributions made by Tipu Sultan Shri Shivaratri Deshkendra Swamiji of Suttur Math said "What better example one needs, that Tipu Sultan gave away his two sons as hostages to the Britishers in order to secure peace and wellbeing of his people; go down into the history and see a single such example" then you will understand what a great martyr he was. Recalling that Tipu had imposed total prohibition on Mysore, the swamiji said the most befitting commemmoration of Tipu's death bi-centenary would be to introduce nation -wide prohibition.
Father Joseph Roy, bishop of Mysore, informed the gathering that Tipu Sultan had requested the Bishop of Goa to dispatch missionaries to carry out religious duties and teach rituals to the common worshippers. He regretted that none of the Mysore's streets or squares were named after Tipu Sultan.
SRIRANGAPATNA: On May 4th, Moulana Abdul Karim Parekh inaugrated Hazrat Tipu Sultan Research Centre at near Gumbaz.
Moulana Abdul Karim Parekh addressing the gathering at Srirangapatna, Ganjam on May 8, 1999
Dr. Suman Venkatesh releasing the books containing correspondence
between the French and Tipu Sultan translated into English from French.
BLOW : G. Mohideen Sultan ( insert), the Chief, Chef of Windsor Manor
Sheraton Hotel prepared over 27 recipes of exotic foods and delicacies
of Tipu Sultan's era. The decor of Banquet hall and the costumes
of waiters were all done to give that Royal splendour. The lunch was
hosted by the welcome Group for the delegates attending the two day seminar.
BANGALORE : A two day seminar was orgainsed on 5th and 6th of May at Kannada Bhavan to commemorate the bi-centenary of Tipu Sultan. Mr. B.A. Cutinho IAS, Secretary to Government Information Tourism and Youth services and by Mrs. Usha Ganesh IAS Secretary ITY entrusted Dr. Suman Venkatesh of Bangalore University to organise the seminar. Dr. Suman said invitation to 44 intellectuals from India and abroad were sent, out of which 24 responded.
Though the meet was confined to intellectuals, the outcome of the entire meet was positive, and the speakers included Prof. B. Shiek Ali, Prof. Iqtidar, H.Siddiqui, Prof. A.R. Kulkarni, Prof, Nikhilesh Guha, Dr. S.A.Bari, Pr. S.U. Kamath, Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal, Dr. Gayathri, Dr. Venktesh, Prof. Lafont from France, Mr. Rabin Walsh, Prof. Christopher Beyeler and Prof. Christian Peter also from France. Prof. A.R. Khamruddin, Prof. Dayanand Patel, Dr. H.R.R. Bhat, Prof. Anirudha Ray, Samuel Strandberg from Sweden, Anne Buddle of Scotland presented their papers on Tipu. The papers covered various aspects of Tipu's reign such as its secular character, religious tolerance, trade and commerce, coinage, international relations, industry and defence and military capabilities of Tipu's reign. On the occasion books containing correspondence between the French and Tipu Sultan translated into English from French by Dr. Suman were released, the books have been printed by the Department of Information and Publicity, Govt. of Karnataka.
During the programme the lunch was hosted by welcome group i.e. Windsor Manor Hotel with its unique menu specially prepared for the occasion. The programme was attended by R. Roshan Baig Minister for Wakf & Tourism, Former Minster Moienuddin, Rural Development Minister M.P. Prakash and Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar.
Photo Exhibition by ASI
SRIRANGAPATNA: On May 15th, Mr. R. Roshan baig, Minister of Wakf and Tourism inaugurated the Photo Exhibition at Gumbaz organised by Archeological Survey of India.
Several photographs of monuments, weaponary, armoury, coins, dress, incriptures, manuscripts were displayed
SRIRANGAPARNA : On May 4th, Moulana Abdul Karim Parekh inaugrated Hazrat Tipu Sultan Research Centre at Gunjam near Gumbaz."
SRIRANGAPATNA: On May 8th, Jagatguru Sri. Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math released the kannada book "Sheer-e-Mysore Tipu Sultan" written by Shoukat Ali.
On May 8th, Al-Ameen Society hosted a website on Tipu-Sultan,
www.tipusultan.org. The website is projected on the wide
screen for the audiance to have glimse of the website.