Girish Karnad
Writer Girish KarnadIANS

Writer and playwright Girish Karnad has received a death threat after he said that the Bengaluru Kempegowda airport should be named after Tipu Sultan, the 18th century Mysore king whose birth anniversary was celebrated by the Karnataka government on Tuesday. 

Karnad had said during a function at Vidhan Soudha that the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru should be named after Tipu Sultan.

"Airports have been named after Subhash Chandra Bose, and in Mumbai it is named after Shivaji Maharaj, but the Bengaluru airport is named after Kempegowda. While Kempegowda deserves all respect as the founder of Bengaluru, he was not a freedom fighter. The Bengaluru airport should be named after Tipu Sultan," Girish Karnad had said, stoking a controversy and protests in the city. 

He has now received a death threat, with someone posting on Twitter that he will meet the same end as rationalist MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead in Dharwad in Karnataka in August. 

The tweet, posted by an account named 'Intolerant Chandra', said -  "Girish Karnad will meet the same end like kalburgi if he enrages kannadigas by replacing in Kempe gouda with Tipu Sultan (sic)".

The tweet was later deleted but the police has reportedly said that they will take action against the user. 

A police complaint was also filed against Karnad by the Human Rights and Non- Corruption Committee, which has demanded his arrest, according to The Times of India. 

Girish Karnad has been accused of "insulting Hindus and the Vokkaliga community (Kempegowda belonged to it) and disrupting social harmony". 

The celebration of the Tipu Sultan Jayanti in Karnataka sparked major protests and clashes in the state, with violence reported in Madikeri where a man was killed after being hit by a bullet.