prepared by ashok sharma
Politicising(राजनीतिक रंग देना) a divided legacy(विरासत)
Historical figures, especially monarchs(राजा), do not fit nicely into contemporary( समकालीन) political compartments(विभाग). Arguments over whether a particular king was 'secular( धर्मनिरपेक्ष)' or 'communal(सांप्रदायिक)', a benign(दयाशील) ruler or a tyrant(क्रूर व्यक्ति), must remain academic. Making one's own reading of the complex personality of an 18th century king as the basis for taking on political rivals(प्रतिरोधी) will only lead to needless( अनावश्यक) conflicts(झगड़ना). In Karnataka, the attempt by groups to rally around the twin images of Tipu Sultan as tyrant(क्रूर व्यक्ति) and freedom fighter has led to communal tension and the unnecessary loss of two lives. An inexplicable(व्याख्या न करने योग्य) decision by the Karnataka government to celebrate(कीर्तिगान करना) the birth anniversary of the erstwhile(भूतपूर्व) ruler of Mysore for the first time this year set off(उत्तेजित करना) protests( विरोध करना) by right-wing(believing in or supporting tenets of the political righ) groups, which have been questioning for some time the narrative that Tipu was a great king and warrior. The State government will have to introspect(आत्मनिरीक्षण करना) whether kings, whose legacy (पैतृक सम्पत्ति)will inevitably(निस्सन्देह) be a mixed bag of ruthless(निर्दयी) conquests(विजय ) and whimsical(अद्भुत) benevolence( भलाई), need to be feted(स्वागत करना) in official functions. A protest at Madikeri in Kodagu district against the government organising Tipu's anniversary celebrations led to violence. An elderly Vishwa Hindu Parishad functionary died, and a 23-year-old Muslim man succumbed (शिकार होना) to a bullet injury. The police claim the VHP man suffered a fall while fleeing(भागना) violence, while his supporters say he was hit by a stone. The State government has blamed the BJP and groups allied ( समवर्गी) to it for the violence.
It is fairly clear that the use of history to further political agendas leads to communal divisions. Eminent(प्रख्यात) playwright(नाटककार ) Girish Karnad's remark that the international airport at Bengaluru, named after the city's 16th-century founder, Kempegowda, could have been named after Tipu Sultan provided fodder(चारा ) to Tipu's detractors(आलोचना करके कलंकित करने वाला) as well as to groups looking to assert(दृढ़तापूर्वक कहना) themselves in Karnataka. Although Mr. Karnad has clarified he was merely( मात्र, सिर्फ, महज़) making an observation about the suitability of Tipu's name for the airport, as it is situated at the sultan's birthplace, his critics(आलोचक ) are unlikely(असम्भव) to be placated(संतुष्ट करना). History shows rulers governed by the order that prevailed( प्रचलन) in their times, one that involved the persecution(अत्याचार) of enemies and the plunder( लूटपाट करना) of conquered( विजयी होना) territories(क्षेत्र). Kings can be judged either by the quality of their administration and the reforms, if any, they brought in, or by their conduct(बर्ताव ) and conquests(जीता हुआ देश). Just as such kings will have descendants( वंशज) vouching( उत्तरदायित्व लेना) for their good governance and personalities, there will be descendants( वंशज) of their victims( पीड़ित ) testifying (प्रमाण प्रस्तुत करना) to their ruthlessness(क्रूरता ) and intolerance(असहिष्णुता, अनुदारता impatience with annoyances). It is unacceptable(अस्वीकार्य) for this divided(विभाजित) legacy(विरासत) to be used to divide people.