Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy will not be attending the Tipu Jayanti celebrations organised at the Vidhana Soudha—Karnataka's state assembly building. In the invitation for the event, the CM's name is absent and deputy CM G Parameshwara will instead be there on his behalf.
There are seemingly two wildly different speculations as to why the CM will not be at the event—prevailing superstitions surrounding the Sultan of Mysore and political pressures.
Tipu Sultan, known as the Sultan of Mysore is a polarising figure in the history of Karnataka. Regardless of how he is seen or portrayed in historical text, in the modern day, issues concerning him are believed to be cursed by many.
According to a report by ET, his sword, for example is often claimed to cause the downfall of Vijay Mallya who famously brought the sword back to India from the UK, who ironically, is hiding out in the UK. He himself said that it brought him bad luck.
This also extends to celebrating the Sultan's birthday, according to a report by News18, where people believe that commemorating Tipu Jayanthi will spell bad news for those involved.
Actor Sanjay Khan, for example, was almost killed on the sets of his film, The Sword of Tipu Sultan. On the political side, former CM of Karnataka Siddaramaiah—formerly a JD(S) man—is believed to have lost his position of power only after he also started to celebrate Tipu Jayanti.
On the political front, the JDS has famously stayed away from Tipu Jayanti for years. Kumaraswamy has been silent about celebrating the festival since the time he was in the opposition and now, as the CM, he is still not going to be a part of it, notes the report.
"Gowda family is a firm believer in fate and ancient beliefs. They fear that celebrating Tipu can be bad for them. The JD(S) was not at all interested in Tipu Jayanti. They are celebrating it this year only because of coalition compulsions," a close aide of the Gowda family said.
Throughout the state, JDS seems to have opted out of Tipu Jayanti and the entire celebrations seems to be spearheaded by the Congress party only. Kumaraswamy, however, has reportedly said that his government will take a firm stance against the BJP if they create law and order problems on the day.
"Siddaramaiah was misled by some elements. He started Tipu Jayanti celebrations. He did not even consult his cabinet colleagues. If we stop now, certain interests will brand us as anti-Muslim. If we go ahead, the BJP will exploit it and pit Hindus against us," said a senior unnamed Congress minister, notes the report.