Historian’s Statement on Shankaramurthy’s Remarks on Tipu Sultan on 25th September 2006


We view with dismay the remarks about Tipu Sultan attributed to Shri D.H. Shankaramurthy, Minister for Higher Education, Government of Karnataka. He has added to the existing list of Tipu Sultan’s alleged faults (urged for so long by the British and the Sangh Parivar) that he replaced the Kannada language by Persian in all government work, and so was “anti-Kannada”, and that his memory must therefore be spurned by all patriotic people of Karnataka. If the Minister were to look into Tipu Sultan’s letters and orders (e.g. India Office Manuscript, I.O. 4685, folios 130a, 152a, 159a-b, etc.) he would find numerous references to various officials and clerks appointed for keeping records in Kannada and Marathi in the treasury and other government offices, and, wherever named, the persons holding the posts are found to be mostly Hindus. It is highly irresponsible of a minister holding the charge of Higher Education in one of India’s most advanced states, to indulge in such reckless disregard of historical truth.
The Minister reportedly wishes the name of Tipu Sultan  to be expunged from all textbooks. Such a



desire suits only those who have scant respect for the memory of India’s long fight against foreign invaders or colonial rule. It is inconceivable that the people of Karnataka, and of India, can consign to oblivion a man like Tipu Sultan, a true martyr, whom they have held up as a hero, while the British regarded him as their most redoubtable opponent. The integrity of History textbooks needs to be protected against all such ignorant and partisan onslaughts on them as the one that the Minister of Higher Education in Karnataka has been reported to have undertaken.

R.S.Sharma, A.R.Kulkarni ,D.N.Jha, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, J.V.Naik ,V.Ramakrishna ,Shireen Moosvi, M.G.S.Narayan, Ramkrishna Chatterjee, B.P.Sahu, Kesavan Valuthath ,Rajan Gurukkal
Aditya Mukherjee, K.K.N.Kurup,K.M.Shrimali, Suraj Bhan ,Irfan Habib, Arjun Dev, Iqtidar Alam Khan,
Biswamoy Pati, S.C.Mishra ,Suvira Jaiswal, R.Gopinath ,R.P.Bahuguna ,R.C.Thakran, G.P.Sharma, Amar Farooqui ,R.P.Rana ,H.C.Satyarthi ,S.R.Singh, Ishrat Alam ,K.L.Tuteja ,Nalini Taneja