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Following an alleged backlash, BJP workers who raised a bow praising Vokkaliga chiefs Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda – the party claims the duo killed Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan – at the entrance of Mandya city in Karnataka, have replaced their names with name of seer. The arch was erected ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mandya where he is unveiling several development projects, including the Mysuru-Bengaluru expressway, on Sunday.
The controversial Mahadwara arch, the entrance to the city, was replaced with the arch of the late Vokkaliga seer Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji late on Saturday night.
While historians have noted that Tipu Sultan fought against British rule, the BJP and its supporters allegedly tried to plant a narrative that he was a “mass murderer” of Hindus and demolished temples to build mosques. While Mandya district, with its main Vokkaliga community, is a strong stronghold of the JD(S) and the Congress, the BJP has made several attempts to make inroads in the region with its Hindutva ideology.
Historians say that Tipu Sultan was killed by the British during the Anglo-Mysore war in 1799, but recently a controversial book, written by Addanda Cariappa, has claimed that he was killed by Vokkaliga chiefs Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda.
Karnataka Higher Education Minister CN Ashwath Narayan had also sparked a row recently after he spoke at a rally in Mandya and asked people to “finish” Congress leader Siddaramaiah the way “Vokkaliga chiefs Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda had finished Tipu Sultan”.
Siddaramaiah responded by saying that he respected Tipu Sultan as did warrior queen Kittur Rani Chennamma, freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and others. He later sought the minister’s resignation saying Narayan had “no moral right to continue in the Cabinet”. The minister later claimed that his comments had been misinterpreted and expressed regret if they hurt the Congress leader.
What historians say
According to NS Rangaraju, a retired professor of ancient history and archeology at the University of Mysore, “Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda were soldiers of Hyder Ali who rescued and protected Tipu and his mother from the clutches of the Marathas in one of the wars . However, during the fourth Anglo-Mysore War – when Tipu died – it was actually an agreement between one Lakshmananni, the British, Marathas and the Nizams that led to the detailed planning of the attack against Tipu, including the time, the place and others. strategies. This is because Tipu’s army was so powerful and impenetrable that no two individuals could kill him without effort.”
Tipu Sultan was the son of Hyder Ali, a professional soldier of humble origins, who started as a junior officer in the army of the Wodeyar king of Mysore and rose rapidly before eventually taking power in 1761.
Tipu was born in 1750 and, aged 17, took part in the first Anglo-Mysore War. After that he fought against the Marathas and in the Second Anglo-Mysore War 1780-84. Hyder Ali died during the war and Tipu succeeded him in 1782. The war ended with the Treaty of Mangalore according to which Tipu had the upper hand. He engaged the forces of the British East India Company in four rounds of fighting during 1767-99.