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High - power panels set up to oversee arrangements.

Naheed Ataulla

Noted Hindi film actor Dilip Kumar, ghazal singers Ghulam Ali and Begum Abida Parveen will be among the celebrities present at the three-day inauguration of the governrnent's year-long programmes to mark the death bicentenary of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna on May 4.
Preparations have been on in full swing for sometime now with the government constituting an executive and high-power committees headed by Tourism Minister
R. Roshan Baig. The government's endeavour is to highlight the various facets of the "Tiger of Mysore" as a befitting tribute to his resistance of the British onslaught.
Speaking to The Times of India Mr Baig said one such major highlight would be the staging of the Jnanpith award winner Girish Karnad's Kannada play Tipuvina Kanasugalu (Dreams of Tipu) at Srirangapatna on May 4. The play originally written by Mr Karnad for BBC Radio will be presented by Nataka Karnataka Rangayana theatre repertory.
The play assumes significance as it will be performed against the backdrop of Dariyadaulat Bagh at Srirangapatna. Nearly a decade ago theatre personality Ebrahim Alkazi had staged his play Tughlaq with Delhi's Red Fort as the backdrop.
Mr Baig said the formal inauguration will be preceded by a "Sadhbhavana yatra" from Devanahalli, where Tipu was born, to Srirangapatna on May 4 morning. The yatra would focus on the farmans (orders) of Tipu such as his interest in ecology and thrust on religious tolerance.
An international seminar on Tipu is slated for May 5 in Bangalore to be attended by history scholars from England, France and Sydney. Former vice-chancellor of Mangalore University B. Sheikh Ali, who has done extensive research on the warrior, and
Ms Suman Venkatesh of Bangalore University, credited with translating letters and farmans of Tipu from French into English, will present papers.
According to the Tipu Commemoration Coordination Committee Liaison Officer Mohammed Azam the government is contemplating erecting a "Tower of Glory" with the orders of Tipu inscribed on it. This tower would be on the lines of towers
-"Minar-e-Azmath" - put up in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in memory of poet Allama Iqbal.

It is learnt that Chief Minister J H. Patel, who chaired the first meeting last year, was emphatic that the government should observe the bicentenary in a fitting manner. "History repeats itself but Tipu will not be repeated," he is reported to have said.
To avoid any criticism and ensure that the commemoration is held in every corner of Karnataka, the government has enlarged the representation of members on the committee.
In Thiruvananthapuram, the BJP has strongly opposed the government's decision to organise programmes in memory of Tipu as they feel "it would hurt the sentiments of the people of Kerala." In the home turf of Tipu, nobody has so far opposed the government's elaborate programme.

--- The Times Of India, Monday, April 19, 1999