In Karnataka, controversy surrounds former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s pledge to erect a 100-foot-tall statue of Tipu Sultan, responding to the demand from Congress MLA Tanveer Sait. The Karnataka government is alleged to have included lessons on Tipu Sultan in the curriculum, portraying him as a hero and emphasising his role in rebuilding Hindu temples previously vandalised.
The move to install the statue of Tipu Sultan has prompted strong protests, and the Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) has filed complaints, urging the immediate removal of the statue.
Why can't Tipu statue be built?Let them build,doesn't he deserve it?BJP twists history. What did they say about Narayana Guru,Ambedkar&others?They say false things: K'taka LoP Siddaramaiah on Cong MLA Tanveer Sait's statement of plan to install 100-ft statue of Tipu Sultan(12.11) pic.twitter.com/iDYLQcXJhn
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2022
The controversy echoes a similar incident in 2021 when the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation faced criticism for attempting to name a garden in Govandi, Mumbai, after Tipu Sultan. Rukhsana Siddiqui, a Samajwadi Party corporator, had suggested the name, citing Tipu Sultan’s role as a “freedom fighter.” However, the proposal was dropped following opposition from the BJP.
In Anantapur, the Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) has expressed concerns over the reported installation of a Tipu Sultan statue, allegedly in violation of Supreme Court orders. The LRPF formally lodged a complaint addressed to the Municipal Commissioner of Anantapur Municipal Corporation, copying key state officials.
The LRPF alleges that a pedestal was clandestinely constructed at the proposed site near Srinivasa Hospital, Subhash Road, Iron Bridge Circle, Anantapur town. On November 23, 2023, prayers were reportedly performed at the location by a group, including the Deputy Mayor of Anantapur city.
In the complaint, the LRPF highlighted the Supreme Court’s judgement (Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No:8519/2006 dated 29-09-2009) and a Government of Andhra Pradesh order (G.O. Ms. No.18 dated February 18, 2013) related to such installations. Copies of the complaint were sent to the Commissioner & Director of Municipal Administration, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The controversy intensifies as political and civic groups engage in a heated discourse over the appropriateness of honouring Tipu Sultan in public spaces, raising broader questions about historical representation and sensitivity.
According to LRPF, it has come to their attention through media reports and local sources that certain groups are making attempts to install Tipu Sultan’s statue at a public location opposite Srinivasa Hospital, near Sunnapu Veedhi, Subhash Road, Iron Bridge Circle, Anantapur town, Andhra Pradesh. The LRPF alleges that a pedestal was secretly constructed at the site during nighttime hours. On November 23, 2023, prayers were purportedly conducted at the location by a group of individuals, including the Deputy Mayor of Anantapur city, with the intention of erecting Tipu Sultan’s statue.
Expressing concern over the reported activities, LRPF has formally requested immediate action from the concerned authorities, emphasizing the alleged violation of the Supreme Court’s order in this matter. The LRPF’s plea highlights the urgency of addressing the situation to ensure compliance with legal directives and uphold the sanctity of public spaces. Copies of the complaint have been forwarded to key officials, including the Commissioner & Director of Municipal Administration, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) has shared a video link showcasing prayers at the site intended for the construction of Tipu Sultan’s statue, alleging a violation of the Supreme Court’s order on erecting statues in public places. The LRPF emphasized the illegality of such installations, citing the Supreme Court directive that explicitly prohibits permission for any statue or structure in public utility spaces.
In addition, LRPF highlighted the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s order (G.O. Ms No.18 dated 18-02-2013), reinforcing the Supreme Court’s stance on the matter. The LRPF called on authorities to take stringent action against the groups involved in constructing the pedestal for the proposed Tipu Sultan statue in Anantapur City, asserting that it constitutes a clear violation of G.O. No. 18 and is contemptuous of the Supreme Court’s orders.
The LRPF urged authorities to issue a clear notice to halt any further construction of statues in public spaces, emphasising the need for compliance with legal directives to preserve the sanctity of public utility areas.
In a separate note, the LRPF expressed concern over the reported statements made by Rahul Gandhi during a rally in Washim district, Maharashtra, last November. Gandhi allegedly referred to Savarkar as a symbol of the BJP and RSS, casting aspersions on his contributions to India’s freedom struggle. The LRPF criticised the trend of glorifying individuals with contested legacies as heroes, while diminishing the sacrifices of recognised freedom fighters like Savarkar and Maratha king Shivaji, viewing it as an attempt to manipulate history for political purposes.
According to Islamic scriptures, idol worship is prohibited and considered contrary to Islam. However, certain segments of the Muslims in Bharat tend to alter their arguments based on convenience. The question arises as to why there is a specific interest among Muslims to designate Tipu as their hero instead of emphasizing other Muslim kings. We possess a multitude of freedom fighters like Ashfaqulla Khan, Abid Hassan Saffrani, and more. Why aren’t they given the same recognition and prominence?
Whereas Tipu is known for mass murder with lot of reference available in the history. The official documents related to the negotiations carried on by Tipu with the French and Other Foreign States which were printed by order of the Governor General in Council, Calcutta. 1799.
Additionally, it should be noted that Tipu is not associated with Ananthapur, which is situated in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. This Rayalaseema was renowned for its prosperity during the Vijayanagar empire, with historical accounts suggesting that diamonds and various gems were openly sold on its streets during that era.