Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde has asked the top officials of the Karnataka government to not include his name in the programme invitations for Tipu Jayanti.
In a letter addressed to the chief secretary of the state and the deputy commissioner of Uttara Kannada district, Hegde directed them to not invite him to the "shameful event" to mark the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan on 10 November. Making the request public on Twitter, Hedge said Tipu Sultan was "knwon as (a) brutal killer, wretched fanatic and mass rapist".
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) October 20, 2017
The Times of India reported that Hegde, a five-time MP for Uttara Kannada, has vehemently opposed the state-sponsored celebrations of Tipu Jayanti since its inception in 2015. However, protocol mandates that his name be included in invites for all government events held in the district, the report said.
The letter, dated 14 October 2017 and shared by Hegde on Friday, was penned by Hegde’s personal secretary who added, "The instructions may be brought to the notice of all departments in the State celebrating Tipu Jayanti."
In 2016, Hegde had said he condemned state government celebrating Tipu Jayanti "despite stiff opposition" from a section of the people, according to The Hindu. Tipu, he claimed, was "against Kannada language and was anti-Hindu", the report said.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah condemned Hegde's letter, saying he should have not written it considering the fact that he is a member of the central government.
As part of govt he shouldn't have written it: Karnataka CM on A.Hegde's letter asking to not include his name in Tipu Jayanti celebration pic.twitter.com/rrsiBDIh8C
— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2017
It is being made into a political issue. There were 4 wars against British & Tipu fought them all: Karnataka CM on Tipu Jayanti celebration pic.twitter.com/omBFJJcUSz
— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2017
This is not the first time Hegde's comments have led to a controversy. In March 2016, the RSS member had sparked a controversy over his reported remarks allegedly linking Islam to terrorism.
"Until we eradicate Islam from the world we will not be able to eliminate terrorism from the world... Islam is a bomb placed to disrupt world peace. As long as there is Islam there will be no peace in the world," News18 had quoted him as saying.
For his inflammatory speech in Sirsi town, Hegde was booked under Section 295 A (intent to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
In January 2017, Hegde was once in the news for assaulting doctors, after CCTV images of the incident went viral. Hegde was reportedly furious at the staff of the private hospital for not extending proper treatment to his mother. He was booked for causing damage to property in medical facility, and under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Bangalore Mirror reported.
The outspoken politician has previously also faced multiple cases of rioting and inciting violence. In 1993, he was first accused of rioting, unlawful assembly and promoting enmity, when he was alleged to be involved in the Bhatkal riots, The Indian Express reported.
Updated Date: Oct 21, 2017 13:30 PM