Appreciating Imran Khan for his interest in Indian history, Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, on Monday raked up politics over Tipu Sultan by saying that Khan 'reads and cares' when the Pakistani Prime Prime Minister remembered the Mysore monarch on his death anniversary on May 4, adding that 'It's disappointing that it took a Pakistani leader to remember a great Indian hero'.
On the death anniversary of historical figure Tipu Sultan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, paid his tributes praising him for choosing freedom over a life of enslavement.
Taking to Twitter, Khan said that he admires Tipu Sultan:
This isn't the first time Imran Khan praised Tipu Sultan's valour. Earlier in March, amid the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, The News International quoted Khan as saying, "We'd heard about the two kings. But our hero is Tipu Sultan, who used to say that a lion's life for a day is preferable to a hundred years of a jackal."
"Let us peek through the chronicles of history to see and analyse what had actually made Imran Khan compare Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, to Mughal King Bahadur Shah Zafar," he added.
Even last year, in the lead up to the Karnataka assembly elections, Pakistan had issued high praise for Tipu Sultan over whom there had been a controversy in the state in 2015 when the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had decided to celebrate Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary, describing him as a freedom fighter. Then, BJP leaders had opined that he was a 'tyrant' who oppressed and slaughtered Hindus. Two persons lost their lives in the protests that ensued against the Congress government's move.
Following Pakistan's praise, the BJP had linked the move to the then-upcoming state polls:
"It's so curious coming at a time when the Congress party is also celebrating the same historical figure who is identified by many as a murderer of many sections of south Indians. And now, Pakistan celebrating him sounds like a signal to the people of India or a community that this individual represents a religion because there is no connection between Pakistan and Tipu Sultan except religion", GVL Narasimha Rao of the BJP had said then.
Tipu, the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali and Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa, is famous in history for his innovation in coinage and for the introduction of a new land revenue system that had literally stimulated the growth of Mysore's silk industry. Mysore was considered as an economic power with high wages and living standards during Tipu's eventful reign. He was named "Tipu Sultan" after a revered Sufi saint, Hazrat Tipu Mastan Aulia of Arcot, a town in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.