Many Delhi ‘news’ anchors would like us to believe that an 18th century Muslim ruler is the single most important issue for 21st century Indians.
The idea here is not just to garner TRPs but also to serve as an extended propaganda arm of the Bharatiya Janata Party. You see, in the Old Mysore Region, Tipu Sultan has been BJP’s pet project. The region constitutes about 60-odd assembly segments where the party remains weak.
The powerful voter base of Vokkaligas and Muslims here has traditionally voted for either the Janata Dal Secular or the Congress. So how does BJP make a dent? In a hilarious bid to woo Vokkaligas this electoral season, the BJP revised history and floated the theory that the cruel Tipu Sultan (read a Muslim) was killed by two brave Vokkaliga soldiers (read Hindu).
The formula is simple: Galvanise Hindu pride against evil Muslims for sure shot electoral success. Except, this hasn’t quite worked. When we traveled in the region, people spoke of price rise, gas cylinder rates, corruption in government, irrigation of farm lands, roads, and infrastructure, as key issues on their mind. They didn’t know much about the BJP’s fantastical fable around Tipu’s death.
In fact, right outside Tipu’s summer palace, people were emphatic in their disapproval of BJP’s communal politics and pointed at a healthy symbiotic relationship with Muslims. You can watch more on this fascinating turn of events in our report from Old Mysore, in partnership with our friends from The News Minute.