Bengaluru: Karnataka Minister for Muzarai Shashikala Jolle on Saturday said the state government has decided to rename the 18th-century temple rituals of Mysuru-Tipu Sultanera as ‘Salaam Arathi’, ‘Salaam Mangalarathi’ and ‘Deevatige Salaam’ with local nomenclature.
However, she clarified that the rituals were not interrupted.
“It has been decided that Deevatige Salaam will be renamed as Deevatige Namaskara, Salaam Arathi will be called Arathi Namaskara, and Salaam Manalarathi as Mangalarathi Namaskara. This is based on the views of the senior Agama Pundits of our department. A circular will be issued,” said Jolle.
Stated that during the meeting of “Karnataka Rajya Dharmika Parishat”, some members pointed out that the devotees demanded to change the names of these rituals, she said that this was discussed at length in the meeting.
Rituals will continue according to tradition, only their names will be changed to include words from “our language”, she added.
Several Hindu groups had earlier demanded to drop such rituals associated with Tipu Sultan at the Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple, and the Melkote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, among others.
The move is said to be in line with the ruling BJP’s stance on Tipu Sultan.
While the BJP and some Hindu organizations see Tipu as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”, several Kannada groups call him “anti-Kannada”, stating that he promoted Persian at the cost of the local language.
In 2019, the saffron party government canceled the annual “Tipu Jayanti” (birth anniversary celebrations) organized by the administration across the state since 2015 (under the Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime).
Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the former kingdom of Mysuru and was considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company. He was killed in May 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna against British forces.
However, he is a controversial figure in the Kodagu district, as the Kodavas (Coorgis), a martial race, believe that thousands of their men and women were captured and held captive during his occupation and subjected to torture, death, and forced conversion to Islam.
He was also accused of executing the Mandyama Iyengars in the temple town of Melukote in Mandya district on Deepavali because they supported the then Maharaja of Mysore.
However, the extent of such suppression is disputed by several historians who see Tipu as a secular and modern ruler who took over the power of the British.