|High - power
panels set up to oversee arrangements.
Noted Hindi film actor Dilip Kumar, ghazal singers Ghulam Ali and Begum Abida Parveen will
be among the celebrities present at the three-day inauguration of the governrnent's
year-long programmes to mark the death bicentenary of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna on May
Preparations have been on in full swing for sometime now with the government constituting
an executive and high-power committees headed by Tourism Minister
R. Roshan Baig. The government's endeavour is to highlight the various facets of the "Tiger
of Mysore" as a befitting tribute to his resistance of the British
Speaking to The Times of India Mr Baig said one such major highlight would be the staging
of the Jnanpith award winner Girish Karnad's Kannada play Tipuvina Kanasugalu (Dreams of
Tipu) at Srirangapatna on May 4. The play originally written by Mr Karnad for BBC Radio
will be presented by Nataka Karnataka Rangayana theatre repertory.
The play assumes significance as it will be performed against the backdrop of Dariyadaulat
Bagh at Srirangapatna. Nearly a decade ago theatre personality Ebrahim Alkazi had staged
his play Tughlaq with Delhi's Red Fort as the backdrop.
Mr Baig said the formal inauguration will be preceded by a
"Sadhbhavana yatra" from Devanahalli, where Tipu was born, to Srirangapatna on
May 4 morning. The yatra would focus on the farmans (orders) of Tipu such as his interest
in ecology and thrust on religious tolerance.
An international seminar on Tipu is slated for May 5 in Bangalore to be attended by
history scholars from England, France and Sydney. Former vice-chancellor of Mangalore
University B. Sheikh Ali, who has done extensive research on the warrior,
Ms Suman Venkatesh of Bangalore University, credited with translating
letters and farmans of Tipu from French into English, will present papers.
According to the Tipu Commemoration Coordination Committee Liaison Officer Mohammed Azam
the government is contemplating erecting a "Tower of Glory"
with the orders of Tipu inscribed on it. This tower would be on the lines of towers
-"Minar-e-Azmath" - put up in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in memory of
poet Allama Iqbal.
It is learnt that Chief Minister J H. Patel, who chaired the first
meeting last year, was emphatic that the government should observe the bicentenary in a
fitting manner. "History repeats itself but Tipu will not be
repeated," he is reported to have said.
To avoid any criticism and ensure that the commemoration is held in every corner of
Karnataka, the government has enlarged the representation of members on the committee.
In Thiruvananthapuram, the BJP has strongly opposed the government's decision to organise
programmes in memory of Tipu as they feel "it would hurt the sentiments of the people
of Kerala." In the home turf of Tipu, nobody has so far opposed the government's
--- The Times Of India, Monday, April 19, 1999