Karnataka Minister for Muzarai Shashikala Jolle on Saturday said the state government has decided to rename the temple rituals like ‘Salaam Arathi’, ‘Salaam Mangalarathi’ and ‘Deevatige Salaam’, with local nomenclatures. These rituals date back to the era of the 18th century Mysuru ruler — Tipu Sultan.
She, however, clarified that the rituals were not being discontinued.
“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 opinions of senior Agama Pundits of our department. A circular will be issued,” Jolle said.
Stating that during the ‘Karnataka Rajya Dharmika Parishat’ meeting, some members pointed out that there were demands by devotees for the names of these rituals to be changed, she said it was discussed at length in the meeting.
The rituals will continue as per tradition, while only their names will be changed to include words from “our language”, she added.
There were earlier demands by several Hindu groups to drop such rituals linked to Tipu Sultan at Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple, Melkote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, among others.
The move is said to be in line with the ruling BJP’s stand on Tipu Sultan.
While the BJP and some Hindu organisations see Tipu as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”, a few Kannada outfits call him “anti-Kannada,” citing that he had promoted Persian at the cost of the local language.
The saffron party government in 2019 had scrapped the annual ‘Tipu Jayanti’ (birth anniversary celebrations) that was being organised by the administration across the state since 2015 (under Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime).
Tipu Sultan was a ruler of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysuru and considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company. He was killed in May 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna against the British forces.
However, he is a controversial figure in Kodagu district as Kodavas (Coorgis), a martial race, believe thousands of their men and women were seized and held captive during his occupation and subjected to torture, death and forcible conversion to Islam.
He was also accused of execution of Mandyam Iyengars at the temple town of Melukote in Mandya district on the day of Deepavali, as they supported the then Maharaja of Mysuru.
However, the scale of such suppression is disputed by several historians, who see Tipu as a secular and modern ruler who took on the might of the British.