Kolkata: A descendant of Tipu Sultan on Thursday accused the BJP and other outfits of playing "dirty politics" over the erstwhile Mysore ruler's birth anniversary celebrations and said he would seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the matter.
Shahzada Anwar Ali Shah, a descendant of Tipu Sultan, also lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for "maligning the country's image internationally by portraying the monarch as a tyrant and intolerant".
"It's not only unfortunate but dangerous that certain representatives of the BJP, VHP and other fringe groups are playing dirty politics over Tipu Sultan, who was one of the first freedom fighters in the country," Shah told IANS.
"On one hand, Modi is visiting foreign countries and presenting India as an ideal destination for investments, and on the other, his own party people are maligning the country's image by trying to distort history and give a bad name to a historical icon," said Shah, who lives in the city's Tollygunge area.
Shah, who claims to be a kin of Tipu Sultan's youngest son Ghulam Mohammad who was brought to Kolkata in 1806, called for a reality check on Tipu Sultan's "anti-Hindu" stance.
"This is not about Tipu Sultan alone. It's about time the prime minister looked as to why so many people are returning their awards and expressing concern over the growing intolerance," he said.
"What kind of message is the PM now carrying to London when such a thing is happening in the country? I think Modi should intervenes in this matter to ensure that our martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice for the country are not belittled. It's prime minister's job to ensure that martyrs like Tipu are not dishonoured," he said.
Shah said he would meet Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and also call on the prime minister in Delhi.
The Karnataka government's decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary on November 10 created a huge controversy as right-wing groups led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP opposed the move.
Eminent playwright Girish Karnad received a death threat and had to apologise after he advocated the renaming of Bengaluru international airport after Tipu Sultan. The airport is named after city founder Kempe Gowda.