Tipu Express to Wodeyar Express: Tipu Sultan family says they are not surprised

Tipu family wonders why even Congress is quiet after train is renamed following BJP MP Pratap Simha's request.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Oct 08, 2022 | 8:12 PM Updated Oct 08, 2022 | 8:12 PM

The renamed Tipu Express. The board now shows Wodeyar Express

The renaming of Tipu Express as Wodeyar Express with effect from 8 October (Saturday) by the Southwestern Railways did not come as a surprise to the family of Tipu Sultan.
Sahebzada Mansoor Ali, a seventh-generation descendant of Tipu Sultan, told South First that he was not surprised but added, “Our sentiments have been deeply hurt as our great grandfather Tipu Sultan’s heritage is being pruned and trimmed with one decision after the other after the BJP came into power.”.
It all started with the scrapping of Tipu Jayanthi. After this, information about the 18th century ruler, hailed as the Tiger of Mysore, was edited out and removed from school textbooks.
Then came a controversy that the Masjid-i-Ala, a mosque located inside the Srirangapatna Fort in Mandya district in the state, was built after a temple that stood at the very spot was destroyed, though there was no clinching proof for the claims.
However, Tipu’s family, who are at present residents of Kolkata, and their trust Mysore Family Waqf Estate, which is in charge of Tipu’s monuments in Karnataka, are thankful to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for taking care of them as they are protected structures of national importance.
But the family is sure that the Karnataka state government under the BJP is definitely attempting to erase the identities of Muslim rulers.
Mysuru-KSR Bengaluru: Wodeyar Express on Saturday after the train was renamed (South First)

Mysuru -KSR Bengaluru Wodeyar Express on Saturday after the train was renamed (South First)

Tipu Express named on 15 April 1980

Ali recalled that the Mysuru-Bengaluru train was named Tipu Express on 15 April 1980 by the then Chief Minister Devraj Urs.
Indira Gandhi visited Srirangapatna during the Emergency in the mid-1970s and came to pay her respects at the memorial tomb of Tipu Sultan. Mrs Gandhi was at that time accompanied by Prince Hyder Ali, who was a fifth-generation descendant of Tipu .
At that time, a proposal was made that something — a research centre, library, museum, or garden — be named after Tipu Sultan, and it was forwarded by the chief minister to the PMO. “It was the time of the launch of the fastest train on a single-gauge track from Mysore to Bangalore, a stretch of 139 kilometres that would be covered in a span of 3.5 hours. It was named after Tipu Sultan,” Ali said.
Around two months ago, BJP Member of Parliament Pratap Simha sent a proposal to the Railways Ministry to rename Tipu Express as Wodeyar Express. Everything was done arbitrarily without any consultation with the family and there was no public demand for the change of name as well, Ali said.

Congress quiet over Tipu Express renaming

Our family members have respect for Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and his clan, as he had himself built the doors for Tipu’s memorial tomb in Srirangapatna, Ali said.
“I don’t have a problem with the name Wodeyar, but why did they rename Tipu Express,” he asked.
Tipu’s extended family members wonder why even the opposition Congress is being quiet.
Along with the Tipu Express renaming, another train — the Talguppa-Mysuru Express  — has also been renamed as Kuvempu Express honouring the renowned Kannada poet.
Simha, on Friday, thanked both the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board for expediting his request.
A couple of months ago, Simha had written to the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board recommending changing the name of Tipu Express, saying that during the time Tipu had ruled Mysore, there was no railway network or trains. It was the Wodeyar royals who had invested so much to connect Mysore with Bengaluru with a  train and the credit should go to them, he said in his recommendation.
Meanwhile, even those who like the Wodeyars were not amused as an existing old train was renamed. “The Railways could have named a new train in Wodeyar’s name instead of naming an old train that had Tipu’s name already,” a person who wished to remain anonymous said.