Rajnath Singh invokes Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda; translator blanks it out
The names of Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda — characters introduced in a play a few months ago and projected as being responsible for the death of Tipu Sultan — were invoked on Saturday for the first time in the ongoing election campaign.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who addressed a public meeting and campaigned for the Krishnaraja candidate T.S. Srivatsa, made a reference to Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda and went on to add that Mysuru was also the land that produced such heroic persons.
But the former MLC G. Madhusudhan, who was translating, ignored both the personalities and rounded up Mr. Rajnath Singh’s observation in a single sentence that “this land is blessed to have produced many eminent personalities”.
The two characters of Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda were introduced in a controversial play ‘Tippu Nijakanasugalu’ (Real dreams of Tipu) written by Rangayana director Addanda C. Cariappa. The two characters were depicted in the play as responsible for killing the 18th Century ruler in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War contrary to the established version of Tipu’s death being attributed to a gunshot by an unknown British soldier.
The play drew criticism on the grounds that it was an attempt to rewrite history and drive a wedge between the Vokkaliga community and the Muslims by the BJP for political gains. The community members took exception to it. An arch gate — welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Mandya to inaugurate the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway — was named after the two characters but after an outcry, was renamed after the late Balagangadharnatha Swami of Adichunchanagiri Mutt.
The BJP had since then desisted from invoking their names during the campaign.