A social media post that claims ‘Karnataka High Court has declared Tippu Sultan as a Jihadi and not a freedom fighter’ is being shared widely. Further, the post claimed that ‘Tippu Sultan massacred, raped, and converted Hindus’, attributing these comments to Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Tippu Sultan was Jihadi ; He massacred, raped, and converted Hindus to Islam – Karnataka High Court.
Fact: While hearing a PIL questioning the Karnataka state government’s decision to celebrate Tippu Jayanthi back in 2016, the then CJ Subhro Kamal Mukherjee opined that ‘Tippu was not a freedom fighter, but a monarch who fought the opponents to safeguard his interests.’ The Karnataka high court did not make any remarks related to Tippu Sultan’s atrocities against Hindus. However, the court disposed of the petition after arguments. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
While hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by South Kodagu based K P Manjunatha, challenging the then Karnataka government’s move to celebrate Tippu Jayanthi back in 2016, the Karnataka High Court questioned the state government’s logic behind celebrating the birth anniversary of Tippu Sultan. Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, who presided over the hearing further observed that ‘Tippu was not a freedom fighter, but a monarch who fought the opponents to safeguard his interests.’
However, after the hearing of both sides of the case on 03 November 2016, the court disposed of the petition by directing the petitioner to make a representation to the state chief secretary to consider the objections raised by him against Tippu Jayanthi celebrations in Kodagu. The court did not make any remarks against Tippu in this judgement as being alleged in the post.
The government went ahead with the Tippu Sultan Jayanthi celebrations that year. These ceremonies angered the local Kodagu people, who believed that Tippu Sultan had massacred their ancestors in 1785. Protests have been going on in the Kodagu district every November since former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced in 2015 that the state would celebrate Tippu Sultan’s birthday.
However in July 2019, the then newly formed B.S. Yeddyurappa government has decided to stop the Tippu Jayanthi celebrations in the state. Accordingly, an order was passed by the Kannada and Culture Department.
To sum it up, the Karnataka High court did call Tippu Sultan a Jihadi or rapist as claimed in this post.