Railways renames trains after Wodeyar and poet Kuvempu; removes Tipu’s name
The demand from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to change the name of the Mysuru-Bengaluru train from Tipu Express to Mysuru Wodeyar Express was started in 2015 and it became an agenda of Karnataka BJP during the Siddaramaiah’s government.
Recently Mysuru MP Pratap Simha wrote a letter to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav to change the name of Tipu Express to Wodeyar Express and name the Mysore-Talaguppa train to Kuvempu Express.
The South Western Railway (SWR), Hubballi on Friday issued a notification regarding the renaming of the Mysuru-Bengaluru Express train and Talguppa-Mysuru Express train.
It was Siddaramaiah’s Congress government which started to celebrate Tipu’s birthday in 2015, making BJP convert it into a communal issue. State BJP strategically tried to use this issue to show Siddaramaiah as an anti-Hindu politician. Later, controversy over Tipu’s birthday started and gave Siddaramaiah the anti-Hindu image.
It was in the 1980s when the Congress government named the train Tipu in recognition of his contribution as a king. Now the BJP has changed the name From Tipu to Wodeyar Express.
The Wodeyar dynasty refers to Mysuru kings. Their contribution to Karnataka in starting various projects has been recognised while changing the name. Also, Tipu had gone went against the Wodeyar dynasty to rule Mysuru.
At the same time, the Mysuru-Talaguppa train has been renamed Kuvempu Express. Kuvempu was a famous playwright, poet and literate. Though Kuvempu was against the caste system, his ‘Vokkaliga’ caste is electorally important in Karnataka.
By this move, the BJP government has fulfilled its election promise to woo Hindus in general and the Vokkaliga community in particular.