Fresh row over celebrations at Hubballi Idgah Maidan
- The Idgah Maidan in Hubballi, which has been seen as a mini Ayodhya and played a crucial role in the rise of the BJP in Karnataka, is yet again threatening to become a communal flash point in the coming days.
Hubballi: The Idgah Maidan in Hubballi, which has been seen as a mini Ayodhya and played a crucial role in the rise of the BJP in Karnataka, is yet again threatening to become a communal flash point in the coming days.
Following the celebration of the Ganesh festival at Idgah Maidan, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) sought permission for the celebration of Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary.
The BJP had stopped the celebration of Tipu Jayanthi after it came to power in 2019. There were then a flood of requests by Hindu organizations to celebrate Holi, Rati-Manmatha festivals, Onake Obavva Jayanthi and Kanaka Jayanthi at Idgah Maidan.
The authorities are also concerned over edited videos of Idgah Maidan being circulated on social media which show the Bhagwa flag hoisted there. It is shown as being renamed after freedom fighter Kittur Rani Chennamma.
This has come after a request by the AIMIM to celebrate Tipu Jayanthi. The Hubballi-Dharwad civic agency and the police are in a fix over the development as confrontations are feared, said sources.
The movement for hoisting the national flag at the Idgah Maidan gathered speed when the Anjuman-e-Islam (AeI), a local Muslim body, refused permission to hoist the Tricolour in 1992.
The then Congress government backed the AeI and maintained that the national flag could not be hoisted on disputed land. BJP leader Uma Bharti was arrested on her way to Idgah Maidan, following which thousands of people gathered and the protest turned violent. Four persons were killed in police firing and over a hundred injured.
The issue was resolved after the JD (S) came to power in the state under the leadership of H.D. Deve Gowda. The government convinced the Anjuman-e-Islam management to hoist the Tricolour at the controversial site in 1995.
As per a Supreme Court ruling, the ground is now the property of the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation and the Anjuman-e-Islam has been given the right to conduct prayers there twice a year.