BENGALURU – The Karnataka High Court on Thursday refused to stay the Congress government plans to stall the Tipu Jayanti celebrations on November 10, saying it won’t intervene in a policy matter. However, petitioners who had expressed their hurt at the celebration of a monarch have been asked to make their representations to the State government by Friday.
The order came after the advocate general who rose to defend the government in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Kodagu farmer pointed to the court that who to celebrate or felicitate is a matter of policy and there are “issues of locus, issues of maintainability” with the entire filing of this petition.
The Chief Justice S K Mukherjee agreed: “Whether he was a fighter or a despot or a philanthroper, it is not for us to say. We grant you (the petitioner) to give a representation to the Chief Secretary on this, and we direct the government to consider your representation by November 8.”
The last year, the Karnataka government decided to start celebrating Tipu Jayanthi on his birth anniversary every year as a state function. But the move has raised the shackles of different groups, primarily the RSS and the BJP who have argued that Tipu, the ruler of Mysore in the 17th century, was also known for forced conversions of people from other faiths. In Kodagu (Coorg) district in particular, his reign was met with deep hatred. Last year, protests against the celebration led to two deaths.
This petition in the High Court too was filed by a resident of Kodagu, who held that residents of Kodagu were hurt by such a celebration of an erstwhile monarch. His lawyers even argued that the executive order of the government was not in accordance with the Constitution.
They will now be submitted their plea to the Chief Secretary, and could go to court once again if they are dissatisfied with the government’s response on November 8, petitioner’s lawyer Pavan Chandra Shetty indicated.
However, it is unclear whether their representation will be restricted to not celebrating Tipu’s birth anniversary in Kodagu district alone, or apply to the entire State.
Story First Apopeared in NEws 18