Bengaluru: After the row over Tipu Jayanti, the Karnataka government’s plans to celebrate the bygone era of Bahmani Sultanate’s culture and art has become a new bone of contention between the ruling Congress and the BJP.
While BJP expressed objections to the proposed “Bahmani Utsava” (festival) calling the Bahmani rulers as ‘killers’ of Hindus and destroyers of temples, Kalaburgi district in-charge Minister Sharan Prakash Patil maintained it will be a one-day celebration.
“Who are Bahmani Sultans? Who killed lakhs of Hindus, who burnt thousands of villages, who raped Hindu women, who destroyed temples… now Congress is celebrating their festival… more dangerous (sic),” BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje said in a tweet.
Patil said it has been decided after consultations with literary figures and others to hold the ‘utsava” in Kalaburgi.
However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was not aware of “Bahamani Utsava” celebrations.
“I do not know. What you are saying is news to me. I don’t know, I will enquire,” he said.
Bahmani Sultanate was a Muslim Kingdom that ruled parts of Deccan region from around 1347-1527, with what is known now as Kalaburgi and Bidar as its capital.
They had constantly fought with the Vijayanagara rulers for supremacy over the entire Deccan region.
Talking to reporters, Karandlaje alleged that the Congress government’s plan to celebrate the “Bahmani Utsava” was with an intention to strengthen its vote bank by creating communal violence in Kalaburgi and Vijayapura regions.
“Why are such ideas coming to you. No one had an idea to celebrate Bahamani sultans’ utsav till now…it has been centuries after their period, why such ideas are coming to you. You are trying to create violence in the state with an eye on votes,” she told the Congress.
Hitting out at the BJP, Patil said, “They have given a statement we are celebrating jayanti, it is not jayanti it is a utsava. They are trying to give political colour to it, keeping election in mind…they have lost their mind.”
The Siddaramaiah led Congress government has been celebrating the birth anniversary of the 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan since 2015.
The BJP has been strongly opposing glorification of Tipu Sultan, saying he was a “religious bigot” who unleashed atrocities on the Hindus.