BJP spokesperson Ganesh Karnik said that remarks of Vishwanath, MLC, on Tipu Sultan are his personal.
Distancing itself from the newly nominated party MLC AH Vishwanath’s comments hailing controversial 18th century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, the BJP’s Karnataka unit on Thursday termed it as personal, made in his individual capacity. It also clarified that the BJP cannot and will not accept Tipu Sultan as a noble ruler.
“The remarks of Vishwanath, MLC, on Tipu Sultan are his personal (comments), made in his individual capacity. The BJP distances from these remarks,” party spokesperson Ganesh Karnik said in a statement.
The BJP is of the unanimous and considered view that Tipu Sultan is a “fanatic bigot” and his rule was “tyrannical”, he said.
History bears testimony that he killed thousands of Hindus in Kodagu district and Christians in Mangaluru in his bid to establish Islamic rule, the BJP leader said.
“Tipu Sultan was zealous in converting people by the threat of sword. Tipu Sultan had made Persian as the official language of his kingdom and hence he was against Kannada. BJP cannot and will not accept Tipu Sultan as a noble ruler,” he added.
In a statement contrary to the party’s stand, Vishwanath on Wednesday had hailed Tipu as a “son of this soil” who fought against the British for freedom.
When pointed out that his party BJP has a different view on Tipu, the MLC had said it was a different matter.
“Tipu Sultan does not belong to any party or caste or religion. Tipu Sultan is the son of this soil, so he should not be belittled, by limiting him to any religion.”
On controversy relating to plans to remove lessons on the ruler from school textbooks, he had said, that was not the case, and “we have to read about Tipu Sultan.”
Soon after coming to power in Karnataka, the BJP government had scrapped the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, an annual government event the party had been opposing since 2015 when it was launched during the Congress rule led by Siddaramaiah.
Some party legislators had demanded that chapters from school textbooks glorifying Tipu have to be dropped.
The BJP and right-wing organisations have been strongly opposing Tipu, calling the erstwhile Mysuru king a “religious bigot.”
Vishwanath, a former Congress Minister, who was later in the JD(S), had defected to the BJP after rebelling against the then ruling coalition, along with several other legislators. He had subsequently lost the December bypolls on a BJP ticket from Hunsur assembly constituency, which had fallen vacant following his disqualification. He was last month nominated as a member to the legislative council.