The Union Government's decision to ban the book on Prophet Mohammad entitled The Satanic Verses, by an internationally renowned Muslim scholar, Mr. Salman Rushdie, has been described as a shameful surrender to the minority lobby of fanatic Muslim leaders like Shahabuddin, Sulaiman Sait and Imam Bukhari. Similarly, the internationally acclaimed film on Jesus Christ titled Last Temptation of Jesus Christ has been banned in India so that the religious feelings of the tiny though powerful Christian community may not be hurt. But what about the religious sentiments of seventy crore Hindus in India? Neither the socialist and secularist Union Government nor the secularist political parties of different hues show any respect for Hindu sentiments. Why? Because they do not mind hurting the religious feelings of seventy crore Hindus in India.
Otherwise, how could a secular, democratic Union Government approve and allow Doordarshan to project a fanatic Muslim king - Tipu Sultan - who was only a usurper, as a national hero? It was Tipu Sultan and his fanatic Muslim army who converted thousands of Hindus - Thiyyas, Nairs and tribals - to Islam all along the invasion route, and occupied areas in North Kerala, Coorg, Mangalore and other parts of Karnataka. Besides, over 8,000 Hindu temples were desecrated and/or destroyed by his Muslim army in Malabar, Cochin, Coorg, Mysore and Tamil Nadu.
Even today, one can see large concentrations of Muslims and ruins of hundreds of destroyed temples in North Kerala as standing evidence of the Islamic brutalities committed by Tipu Sultan in Kerala. But the Union Government seems to want to distort Kerala history and project this fanatic Tipu Sultan as a national hero like Chhatrapati Shivaji and Rana Pratap Singh!
Let the advisers of the Union Government read history of Kerala written by Sardar K.M. Panicker, K.P. Padmanabha Menon, and others to understand the brutalities committed by the fanatic Muslim army of Tipu Sultan in Kerala. Let them also know how valiantly the Zamorins of Calicut had fought a relentless war against the Portuguese and the Dutch who wanted to establish their supremacy on the west coast of Kerala. Another respected Hindu king, Pazhassi Raja of North Malabar, who fought a long guerrilla war against the powerful British General, Wellesly, and defeated his army, had to sacrifice his life in order to uphold the heroic and patriotic traditions of the Hindu Rajas of Kerala.
But the Union Government has not issued even a postal stamp or published any authentic book on account of these heroes of Kerala.
Tipu Sultan was only a usurper. He fought a war of expansion against Cochin and Travancore after running over the lands of a weak Zamorin. He could not succeed in his ambition and became a cripple because of the joint resistance by Cochin and Travancore armies. Simply because Tipu Sultan died in Srirangapatanam while escaping in the night from the fort which had been surrounded by the British army, does not make him a national hero. He fought an imperialist war in South India seeking the help of the French Army.
To project Tipu Sultan as a national hero is not only a distortion of South Indian history, but also an insult to the seventy crore Hindus, especially of South India.
Organiser, April 2, 1989