Skip to content
November 15, 2015 / subramanyam

Politics over Tipu Sultan

By writing this article I am not saying that Muslims vote en bloc or vote for a single party.  It is a common perception in this country that the Muslim vote goes en bloc to the parties. This assumption was proved true in many elections.  Hence I am using this assumption to arrive at my conclusions.  I would be one of the happiest persons if this assumption is proved false.  I am writing about my suspicions and speculations in this article.

Finally, the Congress government in Karnataka did celebrate Tipu Jayanti.  They were protests, debates and deaths on this issue, but that did not deter these people from going ahead with the celebrations.   Tipu’s birthday happens to be on 20th November. These people celebrated it on 10th November.  10thNovemeber was the eve of Deepavali and it would be

interesting to know that a few Hindus in Karnataka call it a day of mourning.  Yes, it was on the day of Deepavali that Tipu Sultan  killed 700 Iyengars in Melkote.  The Iyengars of Melkote donot celebrate Deepavali till date because of that massacre.   (Tipu Sultan was a tyrant who massacred  Hindus and Christians. You can find the details here.  )

Wasn’t the Government aware of this? If yes, why did they commit the blunder?  Why did they choose to ignore the  feelings of Iyengars in Melkote?   Why did they choose to ignore the protests of people in Coorg?   Why did they choose to ignore the protests of the Catholic Church?  Why did they ignore the protests of their own party men from Kodagu? If the state government and local congress leadership was doing  a mistake why was the central leadership of the party silent?  This, for sure cannot be an accident.

We all know that Congress is searching for its vote bank again.  So this can be seen as another routine Muslim appeasement drive by the party.  However, this time they are risking more political capital on this than before.  To me, the reason is not just garnering the Muslim vote in Karnataka but an attempt to establish themselves as the benefactors of Muslims all over India.

Here are the reasons for me to believe so .

1. The Muslim vote in India is quickly going away from the Congress.  The MIM party is expanding its presence in states like Maharashtra and is able to attract a good chunk of the Muslim vote.  Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF is increasingly becoming the preference of Muslims in Assam.  The Muslims of Bengal are trusting Mamata Banerjee more than the INC.  Lalu and Mulayam command more respect in the Muslims of North India than the Congress.   There was a time when the Congress party was sure of the Muslim vote in all these regions.  It was so sure of the vote that it took the Muslim community for granted and did little to get them out of the poverty.

I suspect that the party is nervous about its future and is desperate on winning back the loyalty of Muslims.  The rise of parties of  founded and headed by Muslims must be making the Congies very unsure of its share of the Muslim vote.  These parties are expanding and are finding acceptance and support all over the nation.  I believe that this is the reason why the  party wants to come up with events of this sort and portray itself as a party that cares for Muslims.

2. The other thing is the Assembly elections that we have in 2016.  Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry go to elections in the next year.  Congress has got huge stakes in all the states except Tamil Nadu.   Congress is ruling in Assam and Kerala. It is the second largest party in West Bengal and Puducherry.  If they lose this election they cannot hope of getting back any time soon.

3. All these states have a sizable Muslim population.

In Assam,  38 of the 126 seats have a sizable Muslim population.  Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF is making huge inroads here and this is affecting the Congress. While  the Congress is trying for an electoral tie-up with AIUDF, the reports say that the latter is not very interested in it.

In Kerala, the party has bigger problems.  The recent municipal elections showed some major reversals for the party.  The state has a 27% Muslim population  and the Muslims of Kerala have traditionally been with Congress.    With the BJP and Hindutva entry,  the party wants to consolidate on the Muslim vote and then try its luck in 2016.  The Muslims of Kerala have ties with Muslims of Mangalore and these people from both the areas are seen to be pro-Tipu. So all this brouhaha over Tipu Jayanti  might help them there.

In West Bengal, the recent estimates put the Muslim population close to 2.4 crores.   Many believe that Mamata might just walk away with this vote.  Congress has won 42 seats in the last election and must be wishing to at least repeat the same performance this time.  In that case, the Muslim vote is  key.

I think it is because of all these reasons that they have brought up the name of Tipu Sultan now.  The fact that they have gone ahead and done the birthday celebrations after such resistance gets them some credibility in the eyes of  the admirers of Tipu.  (Again, I am not saying that all Muslims are admirers of Tipu.  Going by the responses on the internet, it seems that many people in that community have a good regard for him. )  They (Congress) are trying to prove that they and  nobody else care for the Muslims.  By doing this, they will definitely have one more weapon to get the minority vote in the nation.

All these are my suspicions and feelings, these might or might not happen.  I personally feel that these things might happen and hence am writing this article.  However, if my suspicions come true, I wish that the Muslims do not fall for the tricks of the Congress.  In case my suspicions are not true, well I would have misread the whole event of Tipu Jayanti.   To me, the latter does not seem true.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: