Kannada litterateur Girish Karnad has apologised for his remarks on naming the Bangalore international airport after city founder Kempe Gowda even as protests against him spread in Karnataka.
“I did not intend to hurt anyone. I apologise if I have hurt anyone’s feelings, as I was only expressing my opinion about Tipu Sultan on his birth anniversary,” Karnad told reporters in Bangalore on Wednesday after protest demonstrations were held and rallies were taken out against him in many cities and towns across the state.
Besides the opposition BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Bajarang Dal and other political, social and religious organisations criticised Karnad for saying on Tuesday at a function that the “airport should have been named after Tipu than Kemp Gowda, as the 18th century ruler was a patriot and a freedom fighter”.
Jnanapith award winner Karnad was addressing a gathering of about 300 people at the state’s secretariat (Vidhana Soudha) here at a function the state government organised to celebrate the 265th birth anniversary of Tipu.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists burnt chief minister Siddaramaiah’s effigies and blocked Bangalore-Mysore highway in Srirangapatnam.
The protesters were demanding action against the chief minister for organising Tipu Sultan Jayanti and compensation to a 50-year-old VHP supporter who died during Tuesday’s protests.
Several Hindu organisations are protesting Tipu Sultan’s 265th birth anniversary being celebrated in the Congress-led Karnataka government. Christians too joined Bajrang Dal and RSS cadres in protests in Manguluru, claiming Tipu Sultan harassed Christians.