What happened to the missiles of Tipu Sultan?

What happened to the missiles of Tipu Sultan?

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Why didn't anyone develop the missiles of Tipu Sultan further?

Neither British nor Marathas?

The British did develop the technology further. Captured Mysorean rockets were returned to the UK, and the Royal Woolwich Arsenal started a military rocket research and development program in 1801.

Tipu Sultan

The year 1799 marks a watershed on the Islamic calendar. It was the year that Napoleon landed his troops in Egypt. It was also the year that the British stormed the Fort of Srirangapatam, and the curtain fell on Islamic rule in India. The first event, the landing of French troops in Ottoman Egypt, confirmed the superiority of European arms and organization over the Ottomans. The second, the fall of Mysore, completed the political implosion of India and the consolidation of the British Empire. British arms did not conquer India. It fell apart through its own internal divisions and was handed over to the British by individual traitors.

Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore in South India as a contemporary of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Louis XVI, George III and Napoleon Bonaparte. In more ways than one, the paths of these historical figures crossed those of Tippu. It is an irony of history that the triumph of George Washington and the independence of America had an impact on the military fortunes of Tippu Sultan in far-away Mysore. After the British General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown (1781), he returned to England and was hired by the East India Company. It was Cornwallis who organized a sustained and determined political and military offensive against Tippu Sultan that finally contained the Sultan’s explosive energies.

Tippu’s life spanned a period when new ideas and new institutions transformed the landscape of Europe and North America, while Asia recoiled from within. It was the age of the Industrial Revolution. Starting with the invention of the steam engine in 1758, Europe forged ahead in consolidating its technological superiority over the rest of the world. It was the age of the American Revolution (1776) and the eloquent assertion of the rights of man by Thomas Jefferson. It was also the age of the French Revolution (1789) and the abolition of oppressive feudalism in continental Europe. Tippu’s existential vision reached out to the ideas in these momentous changes. But he lived in an environment that had lost its social, political and spiritual vitality, and he was done-in by his own people, while America and Europe moved forward to the modern age.

Tippu, son of Hyder Ali, was born in 1750 at Devanahalli and was named after Tippu Mastan Awliya of Arcot, to whose tomb his mother had made a pilgrimage. Tippu’s forefather Shaykh Wali Muhammed, a Sufi Shaykh of the Chishtiya order from the Punjab, was ordered south by his teacher to serve the area of Gulbarga near the modern city of Bangalore, where the tomb of Shaykh Gaysu Daraz (d. 1410) is located. Shaykh Wali’s grandson Fath Muhammed served, for a while, as a commander in the armies of the Nawab of Arcot during the reign of Aurangzeb (d. 1707). Fath Muhammed migrated further inland, and found himself in the service of the Nawab of Sira, where he married the daughter of the Shaykh of Tanjore. While living in the village of Devanahalli, a son was born to the couple, and he was named Muhammed Ali. This lad, growing up in a soldier’s family, showed his mettle early in his career, and soon found himself as a platoon commander in the service of the Raja of Mysore.

The political landscape of India changed while Fath Muhammed was in the service of the Nawab of Sira. Between 1680 and 1690, Moghul armies under Emperor Aurangzeb swept through southern India and extended their sway almost to the tip of the peninsula. Following the death of Aurangzeb (1707), there emerged no successor capable of holding the vast empire together. The provincial governors, while paying lip service to the lordship of the Emperor, asserted their independence. In 1722, Nizam ul Mulk, Asif Jah I, was sent to Golkunda (modern Hyderabad) as the governor of the southern provinces. The Nizam skillfully manipulated his affairs so that the governorship of the area became hereditary, and his descendants came to be known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. His official title was the subedar (provincial governor) of Deccan. This province was rich and vast, comprising an area larger than England, and included all territories contiguous to the modern metropolitan cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madras. It had an income of over 200 million rupees, which was roughly a fifth of the entire income of the Moghul Empire.

For administrative purposes, the suba (province) of Hyderabad was divided into two sub-districts, each one governed by a nawab (the literal meaning of the word in Farsi is a “deputy”. The English corrupted it to nabob.). The first sub-district was Sira, located 60 miles west of modern Bangalore. Sira was the administrative capital of Mysore and the coastal areas of Malabar, including the rich trading centers of Cochin and Mangalore. The other sub-district was Arcot, located 200 miles southeast of Hyderabad, which administered the coastal areas on the east coast included in modern Telangana and Madras.

Meanwhile, a strong power had emerged in western India. The Marathas, arising out of the hills around Poona, were welded into an effective fighting force by Shivaji. By 1720, they were in effective control of west central India and were elbowing their way east into the Nizam’s territories, pushing their way north towards the heartland of the Moghul territories. Like the Nizams of Hyderabad, the Marathas too evolved a hereditary line of succession called the Peshwas.

The political disintegration of the Moghul Empire was an opportunity for the European powers. The British East India Company, set up in 1600 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, had established its “factories” in three areas: Madras (1640), Bombay (1649) and Calcutta (1670). The French, following on the heels of the English, had their own Compagnie des Indes Orientales, and set up their “factory” at Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal, about 100 miles south of Madras. The global rivalry between the French and the British, which had intense moments in West Africa and North America, spilled over into the Indian Ocean and India.

The first opportunity for European intervention in Indian affairs came from Hyderabad. Following the death of Asif Jah I, disagreements arose among his descendants, and open warfare erupted. In 1749, it pitted Nasir Jung, second son of the Nizam, against Muzaffar Jung, a grandson. At about the same time, a struggle arose for the Nawabship of Arcot (modern Tamil Nadu) between Muhammed Ali and Chanda Saheb. These fateful struggles dragged in the French, the British and the Mysoreans. The British sided with Nasir Jung and Muhammad Ali, while the French championed Muzaffar Jung and Chanda Saheb. Since Mysore was a part of the suba of Hyderabad, Nasir Jung requisitioned a contingent of 15,000 troops from Mysore. Hyder Ali was a part of this contingent. He distinguished himself in combat, and upon his return, was made a regional commander by the Raja of Mysore.

The contests in Hyderabad and Arcot ended in favor of the British. The French Governor Dupleix was outwitted by the British Governor Robert Clive, and returned to France a disheartened man. A few years later, the British gained a decisive advantage in India as a result of their victory over the Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey (1757). The Anglo-French wars, fought on and off for twenty years on the global stage, came to an end with the Treaty of Paris (1763) by which the French washed their hands of India and essentially gave up their struggle in North America.

Meanwhile, the wheels of fortune turned. In 1761, the Afghan Emir, Ahmed Shah Abdali, at the Battle of Panipat, crushed the Maratha armies, which had penetrated as far north as Lahore in the Punjab. The Marathas, recoiling from the tremendous loss of manpower in the battle (some historians put this loss at over 150,000 men), recalled their armed forces dispersed over the subcontinent. Mysore, which had suffered periodic invasions from the Marathas, was a beneficiary. In 1762, the Mysore armies under Hyder Ali expelled the Marathas. By 1765, Hyder Ali had become the de-facto power in Mysore, while the Raja and his family receded into the background. The rising power of Mysore roiled the Nizam, the Marathas, and the British alike. In addition, the continuing contest for succession in Arcot provided plenty of opportunity for alliances and counter alliances. The result was a series of wars, with Mysore as the central player in the test of arms.

The first Mysore War was fought between August 1767 and March 1768, with the British championing the cause of the profligate Muhammed Ali, Nawab of Arcot, while Hyder Ali of Mysore championed the cause of Mahfuz Khan, elder brother of Muhammed Ali. The fickle Nizam at first supported Hyder but changed sides when he heard that the Marathas were planning an attack on him, and joined up with the British instead. It was in the First Mysore War that Tippu, at the age of seventeen, first showed his mettle. He was in charge of a regiment assigned to him by his father, Hyder Ali. Within a month of the start of hostilities, Tippu’s forces rode up to the very gates of Madras. On September 28, 1767, the British Governor Bourchier, the Board of Governors of the Company, as well as Muhammed Ali, the Nawab of Arcot, were in the Madras gardens when Tippu’s cavalry came charging up. Tippu would have arrested them all were it not for a small boat that happened to be in the waters off the gardens and provided them a narrow escape. The Mysore armies were victorious on all fronts, in the east near Madras, and in the west along the coast of Malabar. The war ended when Hyder Ali mounted a second assault on Madras in March 1768 and dictated peace terms to the Madras Governor. The Treaty of Madras (1769) called for a return of captured territories by both sides, and each side promised to help the other in the event of an attack from a third party.

The peace treaty was tested when the Marathas invaded Mysore the following year and the British, untrue to their covenant, refused to help Hyder Ali. The breach of faith left an enduring legacy of distrust of the British in the young Tippu. The Maratha armies raided all the way to Srirangapatam, but withdrew when the stout resistance of Tippu frustrated their assault. The next eight years were of intermittent warfare between Mysore with the Marathas and the Nizam. The victorious team of father and son (Hyder Ali and Tippu) extended the frontiers of Mysore to the shores of the Krishna River, pushing back both the Marathas and the Nizam. It was during this period, in 1773, that Tippu married Ruqayya Banu, daughter of an army general. Ruqayya Banu became the future queen of Mysore and was the mother of Tippu’s sons.

Global events overtook the military contests in India. In 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from England. War erupted, George Washington took command of the American troops and British resources were stretched to the limit. In one of these battles, a loyalist force under General Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown located on the Hudson River in modern New York state(1781). Cornwallis retired to England, where the East India Company hired him. It was Cornwallis who orchestrated a determined political and military campaign in the Third Mysore War (1789-1792) to contain Tippu Sultan. The French sided with the Americans in the War of Independence. In retaliation, England declared war on France, and seized the French colonies of Pondicherry (on the Bay of Bengal) and Mahe (on the Arabian Sea) in India. The seizure of Mahe on the Malabar Coast annoyed Hyder Ali since it was a primary conduit for the Mysore spice trade with West Asia and Europe.

At about the same time, the Marathas were upset with the British over their intervention in court affairs at Poona over succession issues. The Nizam, that perennial weathercock in Indian politics at that time, also viewed the British with disfavor because they had captured Guntur and given it to their satrap, Muhammed Ali of Arcot.

The confluence of these events resulted in an unusual alignment of Indian forces against the British. By now, the Indian potentates were alert to the machinations of the East India Company. They had seen how the British had brought the Bengal economy to its knees after the Battle of Plassey (1757), imposing unbearable taxes on local products while flooding the market with cheap British goods. They were alarmed at the British victory at Buxor (1764) over the combined forces of Bengal, Oudh and the Moghul Emperor, Shah Alam. They had also witnessed how the British had starved the Begums of Oudh to surrender their state jewels (1765). A blueprint for British domination over India was apparent. In 1780, an understanding was reached between Hyder Ali of Mysore, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Marathas, to “liberate” India from the British. The French, always on the lookout for another opportunity to get into Indian politics, warmly welcomed this treaty. The combined forces of Mysore and Hyderabad were to attack Madras while the Maratha forces would challenge the British in Bombay and Bengal.

The Mysore forces were the first in battle. The causes for war were provided by the refusal of the British to hand over border territories as agreed to in the Treaty of Madras and by their march over Mysore territories in their attack on French Mahe. In July 1780, Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan marched into Madras at the head of a host of 80,000 seasoned troops. Opposing them was General Munroe, who had earned his fame as the Commander of British forces that had defeated the combined armies of Bengal, Oudh and the Moghuls at the Battle of Buxor (1764). To support Munroe, a British brigade was marching up from the south under Colonel Bailey. Tippu caught up with Bailey in September 1780, and at the Battle of Pollipur, utterly demolished it. Colonel Bailey, along with 3,820 British officers and troops, was captured. It was the worst defeat the British suffered on Indian soil. And it was this engagement that made a legend out of Tippu Sultan. Meanwhile, the main Mysore army under Hyder Ali, bested General Munroe, forcing him to abandon his guns and beat a hasty retreat into Fort St. George in Madras.

The Battle of Pollipur demolished the reputation that the British in India were invincible, as was assumed since the Battle of Buxor. It showed that a disciplined Indian army was more than a match for the Europeans. It also demonstrated that the weapons of war of the Mysore Army were in no way inferior to those of the British. The Mysore Army, 88,000 strong, was organized into regular and irregular troops. A well-trained cavalry corps of 10,000 provided the mobile arm. There were 48,000 regular infantry and 30,000 irregular infantry troops. The regular army was organized into cushoons (divisions), risalas (regiments) and jukhs (companies). Each soldier was supplied with a scepter, a dagger, a musket, and rounds of ammunition. The field guns were of Indian design, cast in brass, and had a longer range than those of the British. This was made possible by the large foundries located near Srirangapatam, as well as precision boring of long barrels achieved with water operated boring mills. In addition, the army had a rocket corps. The Mysore rockets had a deadly range of 1,000 yards, and carried a cartridge filled with gunpowder. It is commonly assumed that by 1799, when Napoleon invaded Egypt, European arms were far superior to those of the armies of Asia. While it is true that the momentum was in favor of Europe thanks to the Industrial Revolution, the technological superiority of Europe over Asia in armaments for land forces was not fully established until after the fall of Mysore.

This credible military force was supported by the financial stability and economic prosperity of the kingdom. Control of the western coastline provided Tippu Sultan with access to the commercial centers of the Indian Ocean and to India. Exports included spices, sandalwood, ivory, iron, cloth, silk, brassware, woodwork, and diamonds. Imports included muskets, guns, wool and saltpeter. The balance of trade was almost always in favor of Mysore, so that accounts were current despite the heavy expenditures of war. Food was plentiful. Srirangapatam, Channapatna, Bangalore, and Bidnur were major manufacturing centers while the ports of Mangalore and Cochin were among the busiest in the Indian Ocean.

The Treaty of 1780 between Mysore, Hyderabad and the Marathas, marked a high point in the cooperation between Indian states. It was the closest that the British came to losing their hold on India before the Great Sepoy Uprising of 1857. The Treaty fell apart because India was in an advanced stage of political and social disintegration. None of the princes, except Tippu, had a global vision. And none, except Tippu, could foresee that the British presence was the beginning of a global European thrust that would swallow up India and Asia. The princes were more concerned with petty issues relating to minor adjustments of their borders, or of succession and pensions, than with the fate of India. Self-interest and intrigue, opportunism and ambition, not ethics, had become the guiding principle of politics. Ethical and spiritual decay had penetrated so deep into Indian politics that princes and generals alike were willing to sell their country for a pittance.

The ancient civilization of India, Hindu and Muslim alike, which had witnessed cycles of glory and decay, was at low ebb. Religious faith was no longer a sufficient binding force, and modern values such as nationalism were unknown. India was up against an expansionist Europe, whose social landscape was being transformed by nascent ideas, new technologies and efficient institutions. The British, with their global reach, had access to far greater resources than any Indian prince could muster. With their efficient intelligence apparatus, they were aware of the intrigues in the Indian courts, and took full advantage of it. The first to abandon the Treaty of 1780 was the Nizam. A mere promise from the British Governor General Warren Hastings that he would not swallow up the district of Guntur was sufficient to change the mind of the Nizam, and he switched sides. Not a single soldier left the city of Hyderabad to participate in the war. The Marathas were the next to quit the alliance when the British promised not to interfere in their internal affairs and to provide military assistance in recovering border territories from Mysore.

Undaunted, the Mysore armies fought, holding the British armies to a draw, in the eastern theater near Madras and in the western theater on the coast of Malabar. In the midst of the Second Mysore War, as the conflict of 1778-1782 is known, Hyder Ali died of cancer (December 1782), and Tippu succeeded him at the age of thirty two. Meanwhile, in far-away America, the War of Independence (1776-1783) ended with a triumph for the colonies. The French had joined the Americans (1778) against the British. In 1783, the French, with their support no longer needed by the Americans, concluded the Peace Treaty of Versailles with the British. Under the terms of this treaty, French and British forces were to disengage throughout the world. Accordingly, the French withdrew their support of Tippu Sultan. Tippu was at the time besieging the British at the port of Mangalore. With the Nizam and the Marathas in the British camp, and the fickle-minded French on the sidelines, Tippu saw that it was advantageous to conclude the war, even though the military advantage was with him. The Madras Treaty, negotiated through Tippu’s ambassadors Appaji Ram and Srinivasa Rao, was signed on March 11, 1784. It stipulated a mutual withdrawal of forces, and an understanding not to aid each other’s enemies. The British gained the evacuation of territories on the east coast, which were nominally under their satrap Nawab Muhammed Ali of Arcot, while Mysore gained by frustrating Maratha designs on its northern territories. More importantly, Tippu demonstrated that the British were vulnerable and their position in India was not as secure as had been assumed after the fall of Bengal (1757).

The intrigues of the Indian courts provided the British plenty of opportunity to further their designs on Mysore. Not only were the Indian states quarrelling with one another, the Marathas, the principal power in central India, were divided among themselves. The vast Maratha territories were divided up between competing chiefs, Sindhia in the north, Holkar in the south, Bhosle, Gaekwad and Nana Farnawis in central India. To unseat Tippu, the British started secret correspondence with the Rani of Mysore, who had never given up her claim to her husband’s throne. They also incited the Nayars of Travancore to rebel against Tippu’s authority.

On a broader front, Mysore relations with the Nizam and the Marathas were always tense because neither the Nizam nor the Marathas recognized the independence of Tippu Sultan, and both claimed the territory of Mysore as their tributary. Between 1784 and 1787, Tippu waged a series of defensive operations against both of these Indian powers, which resulted in the addition of all the territories up to the Krishna River to his dominion. To counter Mysore, the Nizam and the Marathas sought a mutual alliance. When that floundered over conflicting territorial claims, they turned to the European powers for help.

As early as 1785, the Maratha court in Poona made overtures to the Bombay government for a military alliance, but was rebuffed because the British were not ready to take on Tippu as yet. The Marathas then made overtures to the French and the Portuguese but this was of no consequence. The British, licking their wounds from the loss of the American colonies, were reluctant, at this time, to get involved in hostilities on behalf of the Indian princes. In addition, they were reluctant to break the Treaty of Versailles and provide a pretext for the French to get back into the Indian game.

The situation changed with the arrival of Cornwallis in 1785 as Governor General of the East India Company. The loss of the American colonies had freed British manpower and material resources. These resources were now focused on India and on the Indian Ocean. Cornwallis had made a name for himself in the war against the Americans in their War of Independence, although his surrender to George Washington on October 19, 1781 at Yorktown had tarnished that image. As soon as he arrived in India, Cornwallis started preparations for a final confrontation with Tippu Sultan. Methodically, he proceeded to build a military-political alliance to surround and destroy the Kingdom of Mysore.

It was during this period (1786-1787) that Tippu Sultan sent embassies to the Turkish Sultan in Istanbul, Louis XVI of France, the Shah of Persia, the Sultan of Oman, and Zaman Shah of Afghanistan. With a singular passion for expelling the British from India, he tried diplomacy and sought alliances throughout the Islamic world and the Indian subcontinent. Through his ambassador to France, Tippu sought a military alliance as well as help with artisans and military engineers. The reply of Louis XVI was polite but evasive. A similar overture to the Dutch for a defensive alliance in 1788 was rejected. In his representations to the Turkish Sultan, he pleaded for military help against the British and sought the title of Padashah. Muslims around the globe looked upon the Sultan as the Caliph of Islam and its guardian. Only he could bestow legitimacy on the sultans and emirs of Asia and Africa. Tippu was successful in earning the title of Padashah from Istanbul but there was no military help. The reasons for this lay in the European politics of the time. The French Revolution (1789) was soon to engulf France, challenging the authority of kings and despots and most of the European monarchs were about to lose their thrones. The Turkish Sultan, not unaware of these changes and as insurance for his own survival, was careful to cultivate the British as a bulwark against the French. In addition, the Russians were aggressive on the northern Ottoman borders, and the Porte in Istanbul was in no position to help an Indian Padashah in his struggle against the British in far-away India.

Tippu’s relations with Persia were cordial. In 1781, during the Second Mysore War, his father Hyder Ali had asked for help from the shah and had received a contingent of 1,000 troops. But post-Safavid Persia was a minor player on the world scene and was itself on the defensive against the Russians in Azerbaijan. Tippu scored some success with the Sultan of Oman who controlled the coastline of Arabia and East Africa with a credible navy. But after some initial success, British diplomacy successfully isolated Mysore, and concluded a Treaty of Friendship with the Sultan of Oman (1798).

The Nizam and the Marathas viewed the rising power of Mysore with jealousy and suspicion, and Cornwallis had little difficulty in forging a confederacy with them against Tippu. Hostilities began when the Raja of Travancore bought two small principalities from the Dutch. These principalities, Cranganore and Ayakotteh, had been held by another raja, the Raja of Cochin, before the arrival of the Europeans. The Portuguese occupied them in 1511, and lost them to the Dutch circa 1600. By 1780, the Dutch were a waning power in India and had their hands full at home with an incipient revolution. By the sale of these two towns, they wished to raise cash to defray the cost of fending off the French in India, but they desired to do so in such a manner that it would embroil Tippu and the British in conflict. The Raja of Cochin had become a tributary of Tippu, and Tippu desired to buy these towns for himself. When the Dutch sold them instead to the Raja of Travancore, friction increased between Mysore and Travancore. As a further provocation, the Raja built fortifications through territories nominally under the control of Mysore. Tippu moved against the Raja, who had an alliance with the British. This provided an excuse for Cornwallis to commence hostilities. Tippu Sultan’s overtures to the French and the Turks for military alliances were construed by the British to be directed against them. It is also possible that Cornwallis had a personal stake in the war, to retrieve his reputation after his losses to the Americans at the Battle of Saratoga and his surrender to George Washington at Yorktown. The British feared a repeat of their North American experience in India. In America, French assistance had helped the colonies win their War of Independence (1776-1783) under General Washington. Was it not possible that the Indians would prevail if they followed the example of Tippu Sultan?

Cornwallis went about his task methodically. In March 1790, he entered into a treaty with the Marathas to attack Mysore from three directions: the Bombay army from the sea, the Marathas from the north, and the Madras army from the east. Not all the Maratha chiefs were sanguine about British aims, but the hawks in Poona prevailed. In July of the same year, the Nizam entered into a similar treaty with the Company. His goal was to recover territories he had lost to Mysore in previous wars. To complete the encirclement of Tippu, the British incited the Nayars of Malabar, the Bibi of Cannanore and the Raja of Cochin.

Tippu initiated a diplomatic counter offensive of his own to the Marathas and the Nizam to support him against the British or at least to remain neutral in the clash of arms. To the Marathas he offered gifts. To the Nizam he appealed in the name of God and the Prophet. But the Marathas were embroiled in their own internal politics. Their internal politics delayed their entry into the war. Some Maratha chiefs, like Sindhia, considered a prolonged Anglo-Mysore conflict as a means to furthering their own ambitions to conquer Rajasthan and the Punjab. As for the Nizam, nothing mattered except his own immediate self-interest. Similar overtures to the French bore no fruit because the French had their hands full with their Revolution (1789). They offered plenty of advice but no military help.

In the game of diplomacy, the British carried the day, and a four-pronged attack against Mysore began in 1789.

The British fielded more than 30,000 troops, including 600 British officers. The Nizam provided 20,000 troops, while the Maratha armies numbered about 30.000. A supply chain of over 42,000 bullocks and several hundred elephants backed these armies. Cornwallis moved to Madras from Calcutta and personally took command of the operations.

The Third Anglo-Mysore war lasted a full two years and it may be divided into two phases. In the first phase, during 1789-1790, Tippu Sultan’s Mysore armies attacked the British garrisons in Coimbatore and Tamil Nadu and forced them to retreat. Cornwallis was about to give up his quest to subdue Mysore when the Marathas entered the war in the summer of 1789 under Parashuram Bhau along with a large contingent of British troops from Bombay. Parashuram’s intial advance to the South was slow due the determined resistance of Tippu’s forces. The fort of Dharwad in Central Karnataka withstood a vicious siege by the combined Maratha and British armies for several months and fell only after food supplies ran out. From Dharwad, Parashuram advanced south towards Shivamogga and Tumkur laying waste the land and committing large scale atrocities against the native Kannada population, men and women. The low-caste Dalits were his special target. These atrocities are documented, along with historical references, elsewhere in these series in an article entitled “Maratha raids into Southern India, 1639-1791”

The entry of the Maratha Confederacy into the war tilted the balance of military power against Tippu Sultan. The Fort of Bangalore fell in 1791, after a desperate and prolonged resistance. From Bangalore, the confederate armies proceeded south, and overcoming stiff resistance from the defenders, lay siege to Srirangapatam. With his military options exhausted, Tippu sought terms of peace. The British, too, were exhausted and their treasury in India was empty. Besides, the British troops were needed at home to meet the growing challenge from revolutionary France. The parties signed the Treaty of Srirangapatam in 1792, by which Tippu Sultan was forced to give up half his kingdom and agreed to pay 30 million rupees to the confederates. Until the amount was paid, he was obliged to give two of his children, Abdul Khaliq and Moeezuddin, as hostages to the British. The taking of children as hostages by Cornwallis was an act of banditry, not of chivalry in war, and it was not known in India. But then, the East India Company was in India to extract money, not to practice a soldier’s code of ethics! The Marathas were in the fray for loot too. During the war, Maratha armies raided far and wide into Southern India and a large number of Hindu temples in Southern India were attacked. The well-known sacred Sringeri Shankaracharya Mutt in Tamil Nadu was sacked in 1791, the temple was looted of its gold and silver and many Brahmins killed. These are the contrarian events which the modern-day majoritarian historical narratives in India must take note: a universalist, far-sighted and inclusive Muslim king from Mysore was defending Hindu temples and the Brahmins who were attacked by the raiding Hindu Marathas from a neighboring kingdom as late as 1791!

The Third War of Mysore contained the military power of Mysore. The British won this war through their superior intelligence apparatus and diplomacy. They were more successful than the Mysoreans in exploiting the internal politics of the Indian courts to their advantage. Cornwallis also proved to be a match for the Sultan in sheer tenacity, and refused to give up even when his army was almost crippled by disease, pestilence and the monsoons. After the war, Tippu reorganized his kingdom, introduced administrative and military reforms, paid back the hostage money within a year, and by 1795 the kingdom was well on its way to recovery.

But the British feared even a Tippu Sultan reduced in strength. Cornwallis tried to renew the confederacy of 1791 with the Nizam and the Marathas, but was unsuccessful because these two Indian states were at each other’s throats, fighting a bloody war over territory in Kardla (1795) in which the Marathas were victorious and the Nizam was thoroughly humiliated. Realizing his vulnerability to the Marathas on the western front, the Nizam threw himself back into the arms of the British.

The eruption of the French Revolution provided a fresh opportunity for Tippu Sultan and set the stage for a final showdown with the British. The American Revolution had provided a model for the overthrow of the monarchies in India. The powerful writings of French philosophers like Voltaire had paved the way for a changed intellectual paradigm. In July 1789, a French peasant mob stormed the Bastille, freeing the political prisoners. Their leaders declared the sanctity of the political rights of man and demanded the abolishment of oppressive feudalism. In October of the same year, a Paris mob took over the royal palace, and forced Louis XVI to adopt their revolutionary manifesto. Special privileges of the feudal lords were abolished, universal male suffrage introduced, representative government established, public education encouraged, and promotion by talent and merit instituted in place of influence and birth. The Revolution turned bloody when it sought to regulate the Church. In the ensuing turmoil, Louis XVI and the French nobility went to the guillotine. What had started as a revolution based on Voltaire’s rational thought had turned into a bloody dictatorship by 1792. As the Revolution spread across Europe, France was militarized with a million Frenchmen under arms. England declared war on France (1793), and a dashing artillery captain named Napoleon Bonaparte rose to become the commander of the revolutionary forces and, ultimately, the head of the French state.

Tippu Sultan was aware of these revolutionary changes sweeping Europe. The cry of “liberty, equality, fraternity” was in consonance with his own existential vision for India. Among all the rulers of 18 th century India, only Tippu could see the possibility of a free India, without the domination of Europe. And towards this possibility, he directed his energies, and in the final stage, gave his life for it. On a different plane, he saw the threat to Islamic civilization from European domination and sought to alert the Turks in Istanbul, the Arabs in Oman and the Afghans in Kabul to this danger. It was this vision, backed by a single-minded determination to achieve it, more than the inherent capability of a small state like Mysore that made the British fear him.

The French Revolution considered it a global mission to liberate the world from the oppression of despots. The monarchies of Western Europe fell one after the other, even as the consolidation of the revolution turned it into a dictatorship. In 1798, after overrunning all of Western Europe (except England), Napoleon landed in Egypt, and easily defeated the Turkish garrisons there. His global plan was to march from Egypt to Syria and from there to Iraq, sail from Basra to the west coast of India and evict the British from the Indian Ocean. Aware of these galactic changes, Tippu Sultan sent an ambassador to Napoleon in 1798, with a proposal for a joint attack on the British in India. The grand plan was for Napoleon to land on the Malabar coast, and after evicting the British from Madras, advance upon Bombay, and proceed from there to Bengal. Thus Tippu’s vision embraced not just Mysore, but the entire Indian subcontinent, and the Islamic world beyond.

Tippu also sent a similar proposal to the Ottomans in Istanbul and to Zaman Shah in Kabul. The Turkish sultan, himself under pressure from Napoleon’s armies, rejected Tippu’s request, and instead advised him to cooperate with the British against the French. Zaman Shah responded positively and moved with a large force from Kabul taking Lahore in 1798 on his way to Delhi. But British diplomacy fanned Shi’a-Sunni disturbances between Persia and Afghanistan, Persian forces moved towards Qandahar and Zaman Shah had to withdraw from Hindustan to tend to matters at home.

Napoleon, impressed with the reputation and determination of Tippu Sultan, wrote to him in 1799:

“From Bonaparte, Member of the National Convention, Commanding General, to the Most Magnificent Sultan, our greatest friend, Tippu Saheb: You have already been informed of my arrival on the Red Sea, with a large and invincible Army, full of a desire to deliver you from the yoke of England. . . . I request you to inform me by way of Muscat and Mocha as to your political situation . . . I would further wish you could send some intelligent person to Suez or Cairo, someone in your confidence, with whom I may confer . . . May the Almighty increase your power and destroy your enemies”.

The letter was to be delivered to Tippu through the Sheriff of Mecca, but was intercepted by agents of the British in Aden and never reached Mysore. Meanwhile, Napoleon was defeated by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar (1799), and the Ottomans stopped the French in Syria. Napoleon withdrew to France. Mysore became a casualty of the Napoleonic Wars. Convinced that Tippu would never give up his dream to rid India of the British, they resolved to eliminate him. The aggressive new Governor General Wellesley needed no fresh provocation to renew hostilities. A new alliance was struck with the Nizam, who was always ready to grab at any straw thrown at him by the British. But the Marathas, alarmed at the growing power of the Company, refused to join this time. More importantly, the Company’s agents “bought off” most of the senior officers of Tippu Sultan. The finance minister Mir Saadiq was a principal turncoat. Others who were under varying degrees of British influence were the divan Poornayya and the army commanders Qamruddin and Sayyid.

The Third Mysore War had greatly reduced the boundaries of Mysore and provided more convenient jumping off points for an invasion. Treason at the highest level denied the Sultan accurate information about enemy troops. In March 1799, a force of 20,000 Company troops, and an equal number from the Nizam, backed by a host of support and supply troops invaded the land of Tippu Sultan and quickly overran the Fort of Bangalore. Resistance from the Mysore infantry was stiff, but by April 4, 1799, the invaders reached the capital of Srirangapatam and laid siege to it.

It was a hot summer day on May 4, 1799, a day of infamy in the history of India and of shame in the history of the Muslims. The sun beat down mercilessly on the Deccan Plateau. Heat waves rose from the baked soil, creating ghost like mirages in the air. There was an eerie silence in the Fort of Srirangapatam, the capital of Mysore. The birds had retired into their nests to escape the heat. Even the beasts in the surrounding forests had withdrawn from the mayhem of war. Tippu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, had just returned from inspecting his troops, and was sitting down to his midday meal with his infant son.

Suddenly, there was an uproar from the western side of the fort. Volleys of gunfire could be heard, mingled with shouts of a thousand men in mortal combat. A soldier rushed to the Sultan, offered a military salute, and informed him that the British forces had breached the western wall and had invaded the island capital. The Sultan rose up, put on his kamarband and regal turban, mounted his Arabian horse, and rode into battle with his bodyguard. Dust rose from the hooves of the horses as the soldiers disappeared into the far distance and joined the battle lines.

The Sultan mounted a rampart and surveyed the field. The waters of the Cauvery River, which flowed around Srirangapatam, creating a natural moat around the fort, were low from the summer heat. To the west were 6,000 British soldiers of the Madras Army under General Harris supported by an equal number of hired Indian Sepoys. To the north were an additional 2,000 British soldiers under General Stuart from the Bombay Army and hundreds of Indian support troops. Farther out were more than 20,000 troops from the Nizam of Hyderabad, who had joined the British, despite the call of patriotism and faith. Supporting these large armies were more than 40,000 bullocks, which served as beasts of burden, hauling supply carts for the invaders.

Harris had advanced upon Srirangapatam on April 4. The march was the opening act of an historical drama, which was to change the history of India and of the British Empire. Wellesley, Governor General of the British East India Company, had instructed Harris to accept nothing less than surrender from Tippu. On April 20, Harris submitted these terms to the Sultan:

  1. Surrender to the East India Company the entire Malabar Coast in western India.
  2. Surrender more than half of Mysore territories to the British.
  3. Pay 20 million rupees as war indemnity. (In 1799 a Mysore rupee had the purchasing power of more than 6,000 Indian rupees today).
  4. Expel all Frenchmen from the kingdom (The French had arrived to help Mysore against the British).
  5. Surrender four of Tippu’s sons as ransom until the indemnity was paid.
  6. Accept a British Resident in Srirangapatam. (The last stipulation, if accepted, would have made Tippu Sultan a satrap of the British Crown).

These humiliating terms were totally unacceptable to the Sultan who is often quoted as saying, “To live like a tiger for one day is preferable to living a hundred years as a jackal”. The terms were rejected and Tippu decided to defend the liberty of his people to his last breath.

A noble vision requires noble men to achieve it. This was not to be. The ethical rot that had consumed Bengal in 1757 was now gnawing at Mysore. Muslim civilization was in an advanced stage of decay. It now produced traitors and sycophants in abundance, and very few mujahids and ghazis. Neither was the rot confined to the Muslims. Indian society, always at the brink of fragmentation, had lost the cohesion to resist a foreign invader. Traitors, Muslims and Hindus alike, men who had sold themselves to the enemy for a petty jagir (land grant) or a paltry pension, surrounded Tippu. Critical information was withheld from the Sultan. The three principal Mysore commanders operating to the rear of the British forces, Qamruddin, Poornayya, and Sayyid, were all in collusion with the British. On April 6, Major General Floyd, second in command to General Harris of the Madras Army, had marched from the east, along the Cauvery River, to link up with the Bombay Army under General Stuart advancing from the west. Qamruddin, in command of the Mysore Calvary, had galloped on Floyd’s flank the entire distance but did nothing to impede the enemy. A second Mysore Army Corps under Poornayya was silent during the entire conflict. A third Corps under Sayyid was in open league with the British. Indeed, except for General Ghaffar, who commanded the southern ramparts within the Fort, all of the leading figures on the Mysore side were working with the British.

The principal figure in this infamous group was Mir Saadiq, finance minister at the Tippu court. As early as October 1798, he had written to the British agents in Madras that he was willing to place himself under their protection. During the fateful siege of 1799, he played a crucial role in the fall of Srirangapatam. By May 3, heavy and sustained bombardment from British guns had opened a breach in the western wall of the fort. That night, under pretext of inspecting the damaged fort, Mir Saadiq spent his time at the western ramparts. Curiously, at the same time, an English scout under Lt. Lalor, forded the CauveryRiver and examined the same ramparts. Historians of the Mysore conflict have inferred that the two met at this breach and agreed that the British should assault the Fort on the afternoon of May 4 th .

At 1 pm on May 4 th , Mir Saadiq, the finance minister, directed Mir Nadim, the Qiladar (captain of the fort), to arrange for salary payments to the troops defending the fort. The troops were withdrawn from the western sector. At 1:30 pm, Mir Saadiq ascended the ramparts near the breach and waved a white handkerchief, signaling the British that a general assault could begin. Mysore historians are unanimous that Mir Saadiq was a traitor to his sultan and played a crucial, perhaps a decisive, role in the fall of Srirangapatam.

The Sultan threw himself into the thick of battle, calling on the Mysore defenders to hold their ground. The Mysore flag with the blazing sun at its center, and tiger stripes radiating out, shone with added pride that summer afternoon. The British had already broken through the lightly defended outer ramparts, from where Mysore troops had been withdrawn at the instigation of Mir Saadiq. From there, in an enveloping movement, the British had advanced along the northern and southern rims of the fort. The appearance of the Sultan held the lines along the northern rim. In the fray, the Sultan himself received three bayonet wounds. But the enemy threw additional troops into the battle. Altogether, 4,376 British and several thousand Indian troops were involved in the assault. The southern battlements, commanded by Sayyid who was in league with the British, offered little resistance, and the southern assault succeeded in breaking through to the palace, located towards the center of the island. The Sultan was now hemmed in. Undaunted, he led his stead forward. Loyal troops charged, cutting down the invading forces. An enemy bullet pierced the Sultan’s stomach. He fought on, like a wounded tiger, surrounded by mortal enemies. Another round hit his shoulder, and the force of the round knocked him off his horse, and his turban fell. The wounded prince stood his ground on foot, his sword glistening in the afternoon sun, surrounded on all sides by red coats. The afternoon wore on, even as the lonely Sultan held off one charge after another. It is said among the Muslims of Mysore that the angels themselves stopped to marvel at this prince of valor. At last, the brave soldier fell, exhausted by thirst, enfeebled by blood loss from his wounds.

The sun was now about to set not just on the Fort of Srirangapatam but on India itself. As the Sultan lay semi-conscious, a British soldier reached for Tippu’s diamond-studded kamarband, hoping to claim it as his war booty. But the Tiger was only wounded he was not dead. Out came the Sultan’s sword and in one swoop he inflicted a gashing wound on the intruder’s arm. Enraged, the soldier shot the Sultan in the temple and his soul departed to join up with those who had inherited the legacy of Hussain, grandson of the Prophet and the martyr of Karbala.

An epoch ended in the history of the Islamic people, and a new epoch began. The sun set on the age of soldier-kings. With him disappeared “the pride of India and the shield of the Caliphate”. Alone among the princes of India, Tippu had valiantly defended his independence against the encroachments of of a foriegn power. From a global Muslim perspective, he was the only soldier-king in modern times, who stood his ground and lay down his life defending his realm against an aggressive and expansionist Europe. The age of merchants was about to dawn, in which the trader-barons of England would be the kingmakers of Asia.

It was dark when a search party of the victorious British found the body of the Sultan. When General Harris heard of the death of Tippu, he is said to have exclaimed: “Today, India is ours!” When news spread that the Sultan had fallen, a loot of Srirangapatam began. The British fell upon the defenseless inhabitants of the capital. Throughout the night of May 5th, they indulged in an orgy of slaughter, looting and fire, which continued well into the following day. Every single house in the island city was plundered. Turbans, daggers, jewelry, furniture, anything of value-and sometimes of no value-was taken. The Sultan’s palace was ransacked, and everything in it was looted, down to the linen on Tippu’s bed. The throne of Mysore was broken up and melted down for its gold. The famous huma bird, studded with diamonds and rubies that had adorned the throne was claimed by one of the colonels. The total amount of loot that day exceeded 2 million English pounds, which was more than twice what was extracted by the British from the Begums of Oudh in 1764. This amount would be equal to 2 billion US dollars at today’s market prices. Untold amounts of jewels were stolen. The booty was divided up among the troops, with the British officers often shamelessly disagreeing among themselves about their portion of the loot. As time went on, the remnants of the Sultan’s treasures were dispersed. There is hardly an old army barrack in the British Isles today that does not boast a piece of booty from Tippu’s capital. Items that were unusual, or priceless (such as the diamond and ruby studded huma bird), made their way to the royal museums.

The Nizam, left out of the spoils of war, asked for his portion. The British denied the request saying that it was their soldiers who had conducted the final assault. On second thought, General Harris noticed that the tigers in Tippu’s zoo had not been fed for three days because of the pressures of war. They were restless and hungry. Harris offered the hungry tigers to the Nizam’s general, an offer that was politely declined.

It was not until the afternoon of the fifth of May 1799 that the looting stopped. The British Code of Arms called for a proper burial for a noble foe. The Sultan’s body was mounted on a carriage, drawn by sixteen horses, and was carried to the Gumbaz, where his father lay buried. Leading the procession were British troops from the same regiments that had stormed the Fort. Prayers were said, and British guns saluted the vanquished foe, as Tippu’s body was laid to rest. Alone among the many princes, padashas, nawabs, rajas and potentates that the British vanquished in their relentless expansion around the globe, Tippu Sultan had won their respect as a worthy foe. To this day, British historians refer to this prince of soldiers as “Tippu Saib”, honoring a Sultan who held the British Empire at bay for forty years.

Those who had betrayed the Sultan received their due reward from the Company. Qamruddin and Poornayya hurried back to the capital upon hearing the news of Tippu’s death. Qamruddin was given a jagir, and no doubt had plenty of time to ruminate on the aftermath of his betrayal. Poornayya became the divan (prime minister) for the infant Raja who was installed on the throne of Mysore by the British. Sayyid fell on the day of the battle in the mayhem of war. As for Mir Saadiq, he was dragged down from his horse as he rode away after tipping off the British and was slain by a Mysore soldier. For generations, the Muslims of Mysore have invoked the curse of God upon his grave.

Tippu had, with singular determination, resisted the advance of the British. His death, and the fall of Srirangapatam removed the last hurdle from British ambitions to control the vast subcontinent of India and Pakistan. With Tippu’s last breath, Muslim power in the subcontinent also breathed its last. The kingdom of Mysore was divided up. The rich spice-trading coastline of Malabar was absorbed into the Bombay dominions. The Nizam received the districts of Cuddapah and Kurnool. A truncated and landlocked Mysore was left for the Rajas, and a British Resident installed to oversee the affairs of the princely state. Tippu’s sons were expelled to Calcutta, where they received a pension for a while, but gradually melted into the poverty stricken milieu of Bengal. The only remaining armed power on Indian soil, the Marathas, could not withstand British pressure for long, and succumbed four year later in 1803. By 1806, the British Army was in Red Fort in Delhi. With the vast resources of the subcontinent at their command, the British embarked on building their empire, on which it was said at one time, the sun never set.

Transcript: –

Tipu Sultan: The Whitewashing Of A Tyranny in South India – Sandeep Balakrishna – Tipu Jayanti

Tipu Sultan was a junior contemporary of the last powerful Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. What Aurangzeb did in a span of 50 years throughout most of India, Tipu did the same thing in just 4 states, in a span of about 17 years, in South India. The barbarian Tipu Sultan tied naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants, and made the elephants move around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. We have Tipu’s own words, “With the grace of Prophet Muhammad and Allah, almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. Only on the borders of Cochin state, a few Hindus are still not converted. I am greatly determined to convert them very soon. I consider this as Jihad to achieve that objective.”

Hello and welcome and at the outset let me say that it’s a really great pleasure and a delight to address this august gathering. Lot of respected elders from whom I’ve learnt, like Dr Elst & Sangrinu Mukherjee, other people like Dr. Shankar Sharan, they’re all in the audience. It’s a matter of great honour for me, and I would also like to express my gratitude to Srijan Foundation, Rahul Dewan and his brilliant team for extending this warm welcome to me.

So after the intro, I’ll get straight to the point. So because the topic of my address relates to history, we can begin with some main concepts. I promise not to take long time on this and kind of bore you.

So quickly, this relates to the manner in which we regard history itself, as an academic discipline, as a way of understanding the world and more importantly as a way of understanding ourselves. So much of the way in which we are taught history and how we regard history, comes from our formal education, needless to say, from our school and college. But this education does not teach us how our ancestors, how our forefathers, regarded history. Or what, loosely speaking, or what is the native conception of history. Or what is the rooted Indian conception of history. This none of our schools and our so called education teaches us.

So as all of you know, the Indian word for history is “itihasa”, which can be split into 3 parts. Iti + ha + asa, which literally means “it happened thus”. So, I’ll illustrate this with a couple of examples. In our tradition, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and sometimes even the Puranas are collectively known as itihasa. So in North India, all of you are familiar, that its very common that you take it for granted to hear terms like Ramkatha, Ramayankatha, Bharatkatha and variations thereof. So here we need to focus on the word katha, which stands subconsciously, nobody needs to teach this to us. We know it subconsciously, that the word katha, while it stands for story, its implied meaning is actually itihasa. Which can loosely be understood as history, but we will look at that in some detail later.

The other important way to understand the word itihasa is that in our tradition itihasa is recited. It is recited as points, it is recited as, it is set to tune, it is sung as songs. Which is completely distinct from merely being read, in the form of a book or whatever narrative.

So, for example, at least I’m from South India, from Karnataka. So we celebrate Sita Kalyana, which is, Sita Ram ka shaadi, and we also celebrate Parvati Kalyana, which is Parvati’s marriage with Shiva and all kinds of, you know folklore which revolves around stories from our Puranas, from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Stories, Kathas, Upkhatas, Episodes, Sub-Episodes from our, what is known as itihasa. But how are these things done?

Ramkatha, Sita-Ram Kalyana, how are these done? They are celebrated as festivals. They are celebrated as festivals in our temples, in various mathas, on different actual festivals like Navratri, you name it. So this conception of history, what does it symbolize? It symbolizes a living tradition and most importantly, it symbolizes a long line of civilizational and cultural continuity. This does not come by just memorizing some facts, like you know Rama was born on such and such day and he did this and he did that and he fought this war at some random time in history. It is not just some memorization of events and dates.,

One can also compare this, contrast this, with say from example the Greek epics. Iliad, Odyssey. All these stories, these epics in the west, they came from the west, what is their fate now? What is their condition today? They are not celebrated it is not a living tradition. It was completely cut off. So Iliad, Odyssey, all these things are just studied in universities and schools and colleges only out of academic interest. It is no longer a living tradition. So when you contrast this, you will understand the full significance, when I say you know what I mean by itihasa.

So, long story, in our tradition, history or itihasa, is not merely a collection of facts, it is a value. Now, a man is thirsty and there is water. So for example, this gentleman is thirsty and there is some water there, I fetch water and give it to him, and he quenches his thirst with that action. That journey between thirst, between being thirty and actually fulfilling it is the meaning of the word value.

So then we come to stuff like bowls of history, and I will give a disclaimer saying that, you know, whatever I said so far does not mean that I reject a, you know, study of history as a scientific study of our past. Whichever country it may be.

So a honest history from that perspective must lead to 2 things. First, it is a truthful understanding of our past. And second, is to imbibe within ourselves the courage to face the truth of the past, to digest past mistakes and learn from them. This is because we cannot build a robust society and a robust country based on false and distorted readings of the past. Or based on the foundations of false history or distorted history, and as far as I See it, there is no such thing as a goal of history so to say, because the trajectory of the historical establishment, I hate to use that word but anyway. The trajectory of the Indian history establishment, started with you know, having something called a purpose or a goal of history. And as far as I’m concerned, the quest for the truth is only the goal of history, that’s the only goal and nothing else. Such goals have led to a massive politicization of history, especially in India, more so in India. All of you here in this room, I’m sure understand and are aware of the consequences that this kind of politicization of history in India has taken us how far.

So in that period, in 1948/49, the likes of you know, eminent historians like Romila Thapar, they were not anywhere around the scene. So what happened to the study of Indian history from then on till now? It’s a well-known story and I don’t need to repeat it, but putting it in one line. The enormous politicization and the downfall of history as a discipline, it has been near total and all of you are familiar with Arun Shourie’s book on eminent historians, their technology, lying, fraud.

So, but in practical terms, this politicization of history simply means this. At least 3 generations of our children have learnt this distorted history, false history, about their own country and culture. And some specimens, some human incarnation, which are the products of this distorted history, include the world famous Swara Bhasker and her gang.

So what have been some consequences of this kind of distorted history, and some major themes, is that India never had a great civilization and culture. All great elements of Indian civilization and culture was a gift of alien invaders, starting with the Aryans who came from outside. Native Indians were barbaric, they were regressive, they were cowardly, they were spineless, they were weak, and therefore they were invaded repeatedly.

And this kind of absolute nonsense is taught from early school level right up to university. We should not be surprised, we should not be sad, that when these kids grow up, they choose to migrate out of India. Your own education teaches your own kids that their own culture, their own country, and they, specifically them as Hindus, in general, are a bunch of buffoons, idiots, weaklings and completely uncultured people. This is what our textbooks teach our children.

So, to pull of this kind of distortion, this kind of sweeping generalization about an entire civilization, you’re talking about real people. To pull off this kind of industrial scale distortion, its history has to be distorted on an equally industrial scale. And nowhere is this distortion most glaring, than in writing about the history of the nearly 1000 year-long Muslim rule of India.

So here are some of the defining characteristics of medieval Muslim rule in India, I don’t need to dwell at it, most of you know this. So it was characterized by all round oppression of Hindus, constant assault on their way of life, their women being abducted at will, desecration of their traditions, customs, institutions, large scale temple destructions, forced conversions, jaziya and so on. It was an Islamic law, I think during Khilji’s period, that the Kafir would be stopped for no reason by a Muslim official, who would sit on the horse and his (the Kafir’s) mouth would be made to open, and this official would spit inside his mouth, and he had to shut up and swallow it and not show any sign of disgust on his face. This was law.

So, all the current historical distortions that we are familiar with in the last 70 odd years, are aimed precisely at white washing, hiding and even denying, these brutal, uncomfortable historical truths which were actually realities. Our Ancestors lived this life on a daily basis.

So this same principle of historical distortion is at work in the case of Tipu Sultan, the Tyrant of Mysore. So Tipu Sultan was a junior contemporary of the last powerful Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. What Aurangzeb did in a span of 50 years throughout most of India, Tipu did the same thing in just 4 states, in a span of about 17 years, in South India.

“Your Majesty would soon proceed to prosecute a Holy War against infidels, should those infidels Brahmins (that means he is referring to the Marathas), direct their power, the hands of the heroes of the faith of our Muslim soldiers in this part of the world, shall be raised for their punishment. We should unite in carrying on a Holy War against these infidels. Delhi, the seat of government of the Muhammadan faith, has been reduced to this state of ruin, so that the infidels all together prevail now. We should unite in carrying on a Holy War against the infidels and free these regions of Hindustan, in the service of Islam.”

So this was Tipu Sultan’s letter to the Afghan king named Zaman Shah, written sometime in 1794/95. This letter was part of Tipu’s invitation to Zaman Shah to invade India, and establish the Sword of Islam in the country, and free it from the darkness of the Kafirs.

So this letter is just one tiny sample of hundreds of such letters that Tipu wrote to various people. Like the Caliph in Turkey, and also to the French, whom he invited to occupy India and then they would, he dreamt of sharing the spoils of the conquest. So, over the last 40 odd years and upto the present time, this Islamic bigot Tipu Sultan has been hailed in the following terms, he was a “freedom fighter”, he was a “tiger”, he was a “liberator”, of what? I don’t know. He was a “patron of Hinduism”, he was a “tolerant ruler” and even more hilariously, one Kannada article in a mainstream newspaper, described Tipu as a “rocket scientist”. I’m not kidding you! I’m not making this up!

So, lets puncture these myths one by one. We begin with something called sword of Tipu Sultan. So Tipu Sultan’s rehabilitation as a freedom fighter, roughly begins with a secular, I don’t know, eminence, okay. With a secular eminence named Bhagwan S Gidwani, who wrote a novel named “The Sword of Tipu Sultan”, most of you are familiar with this title. So this novel was not based on any sort of history, but it was based on this guy, Bhagwan S Gidwani’s imagination running really wild. So “Sword of Tipu Sultan”, was made into a TV series by Sanjay Khan, most of you might have seen that, it was telecast on Doordarshan. And after a few weeks, it evoked widespread outrage, and a lawsuit was filed against Sanjay Khan by the Bombay Kerala Samaja.

So this fake image of Tipu Sultan as a freedom fighter, was later escalated by the dear departed, by the late Girish Karnad, who wrote a dream called “Tipuvina Kannasugadu”, which means Tipu’s dreams. Which was again heavily borrowed from Gidwani’s novel.

And in 2011 & 2012, there was a proposal by the then union minister for minority affairs, named Mr. Rahman Khan who unfortunately happens to be from my state. It was submitted to the Central Government. The aim of the proposal was to establish an Islamic university near Srirangapatana, named in Tipu’s honour. So Srirangapatana was the seat of power from where Tipu ruled. So this same Rahman Khan, has also taken a DPS School, Delhi Public School franchise in Bangalore.

But apart from all these guys, guess who else has honoured Tipu? Pakistan. (audience member says President of India, Speaker replies “Also! So we will come to that in the Q&A). So Pakistan has named one of its missiles in the honour of Tipu, and the other missile names include Ghaznavi, Ghori, Abdali and Babur.

The Kerala oral tradition remembers Tipu’s “visit” to the Malabar as the “Military March”, where he literally burnt down Kozhikode and several parts of Malabar, right down to the ground. All that was left was ashes. So the Kerala local legends remember this “military March”.

And then we come to the actual historical records, for those who are interested to research more on Tipu. Then that is another irony. Look around you, there is a wealth of historical records that still exist, which show the exact opposite of what Tipu is portrayed. And some of these records are written by Tipu’s own contemporaries and by his own biographer.

So, I’ll give you a partial list. Haider Ali & Tipu Sultan by Lewin B Bowring, Mysore Gazetteer Volume 1 & 2, Selected Letters of Tipu Sultan by Colonel William Kirkpatrick, Nishan-e-Haidri by Mir Hussain Ali Kirmani, who was Tipu’s official biographer, The Malabar Manual by William Logan and some British archives at Fort St.George and Fort St.Williams.

So inspite of availability of all these tonnes of documents, these are primary sources that tell you the real story of that period. It is astonishing that Tipu is still hailed as a patriot and Tiger and whatever. This notion, this image of Tipu still persists.

So another key feature of Tipu’s rule was the large scale destruction of Hindu Temples. If you look at the Malabar Manual, it gives you the detailed list of all such temples. I have listed only about 56 in my book, just the major ones that were destroyed. So Lewis writes in the Mysore Gazetteer and I quote, “In a vast empire of Tipu Sultan, on the eve of his death, there were only 2 Hindu temples having daily functional pujas. Only two. Tipu also Islamized every facet of his administration by A) Giving Muslim names to original Hindu cities and towns. Sakleshpur was called Manjarabad and thankfully it was changed back.

So he changed the units of measurement of weights, distance and time, so that it corresponded to some aspect of Prophet Muhammad’s life. He founded a new calendar, and he named each year after a synonym given to Muhammad. And he changed the official administrative language of the Mysore kingdom from Kannada to Farsi. So that Farsi was not real Farsi, and I will come to that in a bit.

Other key features is the complete devastation of Mysore state’s economy through reckless and expensive unprovoked military campaigns. He appointed incompetent officers to key posts, and the only qualification to occupy these bureaucratic posts, was that you had to be a Muslim and bonus, if you were a Hindu who converted, you got a fast track promotion.

And all his attacks I just mentioned, I’ll add some other places which he attacked. Travancore, Nizam of Hyderabad, Gutti, Aduni in Andhra Pradesh, Coorg, Malabar, Bijapur, Raichur, the Krishna-Godavari belt. He also had a habit of repeatedly dishonouring war treaties and peace treaties with the British and other rulers of South India.

So I’ll read out a long-ish quote just to show you a very brief glimpse into the nature of Tipu’s aggressions and invasions. Here is an eye witness account by Father Bartholomew, “First a core of 30,000 barbarians who butchered everyone on the way, followed by the field gun unit, Tipu was riding on an elephant behind which another army of 30,000 soldiers followed. Most of the men and women were hanged in Calicut, first mothers hanged with their children tied to their necks. The barbarian Tipu Sultan tied naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants move around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. Temples and Churches were ordered to be burnt down, desecrated and destroyed. Hindu women were forced to marry Muhammadans and similarly their men were forced to marry Muhammadan women. Those Christians and Hindus who refused to be honoured with Islam, were ordered to be killed by hanging immediately.”

And then we have another eye witness account by a German Christian missionary named Guntest, and he says, “Accompanied by an army of 60,000, Tipu Sultan came to Kozhikode/Calicut in 1788 and razed it to the ground. It is not even possible to describe the brutalities committed by that Islamic barbarian from Mysore.”

So now we come to Colonel William Kirkpatrick. After the fort of Srirangapatana fell to the British, lot of stuff was recovered from what belonged to Tipu. Out of that was a bunch of letters and Kirkpatrick, compiled all of them and published them. He published about 2000 selected letters. These were letters, that Tipu wrote to himself every morning, sitting on the shit-pot. Sorry for the language.

Kirkpatrick writes about the importance of these letters and I quote, “The importance of these letters consists in the vivid illustration which they afford in the talents and disposition of their extraordinary author, who is here successively and repeatedly delineated in colours from his own pencil, as the cruel and relentless enemy, the intolerant bigot or furious fanatic, the oppressive and unjust ruler, the perfidious negotiator.”

So they say that its always the best when it comes directly from the mouth of the horse. So we have Tipu’s own words, “With the grace of Prophet Muhammad and Allah, almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. Only on the borders of Cochin state, a few Hindus are still not converted. I am greatly determined to convert them very soon. I consider this as Jihad to achieve that objective”. This Tipu wrote in a letter to one of his military officers named Syed Abdul Dulai, in 1788 because he was so happy that he had burnt down Calicut to the ground.

Another letter, “I Have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over 4 Lakh Hindus were converted to Islam. I am now determined to march against the accursed Raman Nayar.” Now its important to remember that Raman Nair was the chieftain of a relatively small kingdom, a bunch of principalities. He and his Nair army beat back Tipu Sultan twice. In one battle he fell down from his palki and literally ran like a coward to save his life. So he wanted to take revenge on Raman Nair.

And then one more letter, during the siege of Nargun in 1786, “In the event of your being obliged to assault the place (that is Nargun), every living creature in it, whether man, woman, old or young, child, dog, cat, owl or anything else must be put to the sword”. One more, “the exciters of sedition in the Coorg country not looking to the consequences have raised their heads. Immediately we proceeded with the utmost speed and made prisoners of 40,000 Coorgs. Then we carried them away from their native country and we raised them to the honours of Islam”. Which means they were forcibly converted.

So, Tipu called his own kingdom as Khudadat Sarkar, meaning Government of Khuda or Allah. And as we have seen he left behind a bankrupt economy and more importantly, for everybody who says that Tipu is a great hero and some kind of reformer, here is a data point. Under Haider Ali, before Haider Ali died, the military force of Mysore was more than 1,20,000. Tipu reduced it to just 50,000 during his late battle. That’s the 4 th Karnataka war. So Tipu reckless war also left behind large scale death and destruction in all of South India, spice trade was totally destroyed in Kerala.

We’ve seen all that, and more importantly, he caused a permanent change in the cultural character of several cities, most notably in Karnataka. For example, I spoke to you about changing official language from Kannada, it was written in official documents. For Mysore state it was written in two languages, Marathi and Kannada. Tipu changed this to Farsi and his whatever language policy, that resulted in a bastardized language called Urdu. But that is not Urdu. It’s a horrible love child born out of wedlock of Urdu, some kind of Arabic, some kind of Farsi and some kind of Hindi and some kind of Kannada.

So if anybody knows this Urdu in Karnataka, you might get this joke. I think Vijay will get this, “Kathe Ko Puraladalko, Merveninge Karasu”. It means, “put a garland around a donkey’s neck and bring it out in a procession”. So this is the language that Tipu invented and changed the cultural character. From a patriot national hero, freedom fighter, these are the more enduring myths without basis in history and a survey of that period, shows a struggle for both economic and military power between the French, the British, the Marathas and Tipu Sultan in largely the theatre of South and Western India. This includes parts of Maharashtra also.

So Tipu’s stated goal in his own words was to bring Islam to the infidel land under the sword of Islam, as the selected letters of Kirkpatrick show. For all his celebration as some kind of a great freedom fighter he cultivated deep friendships with the French, to conquer entire India and share the territory equally. And he invited, we saw in the beginning, I told you about his letters to the Afghani king Zaman Shah. He also sent similar invitations to the Turkish caliph and the important point to note is that in Tipu’s time, it was the East India Company who fought wars in India. It was not the British crown that directly fought wars in India. It was a commercial enterprise, named East India Company. And the whole of India was not united under one single rule, under a central rule or whatever you want to call it. But all of India was not united politically under one umbrella.

So the notion of Tipu Sultan fighting for India’s freedom does not arise. So if Tipu is a freedom fighter, why do we hesitate to call Marathas who also fought the British? Why do we hesitate to call them freedom fighters? If Tipu is a freedom fighter, then Siraj-ud-Daula is also a freedom fighter. If Tipu is a freedom fighter, then Nizam of Hyderabad is also a freedom fighter. All of these fought both for their own dominions, for economic and military supremacy, and not for any notion of independence or freedom of India.

Why is Maharaja Ranjit Singh not regarded as a freedom fighter? He fought some of the most decisive battles against the British. It was they who gave him the name Lion of Punjab. For the first time after nearly 300 or 400 years, Afghanistan had Hindu population, had Hindu rule, all because of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

So I will look at some closing notes. I will say that the whitewashing or distorting of historical truths leads to friction in our own times, because all of you know that to sustain one lie, you have to speak thousands of lies. On the other hand, it is better that we face unpleasant historical truths because, at the most what will you do? You might punch each other in the face? At the most nothing beyond that will happen. But we can sit together at the table and see how we can move forward.

So accepting bitter historical truths and learning constructive lessons from them will always help avoid repeating such brutal history. The biggest example of this kind of truthful approach or lessons learned from history in modern times is, the various holocaust museums in Germany and other parts of the world.

With that I think I can conclude this part of the session and many thanks to Srijan Foundation and the entire team. Thank You.

Tipu’s rockets: Zooming across time

The starry showers that light up the night sky during Deepavali or other celebrations are a sight that has brought us joy since time immemorial. Whether in their use as firecrackers, or as missiles during wars, rockets have a history that dates back to the earliest days of human civilization. And even though we have references to similar missiles in India as far back as the age of the epics, scientists and historians trace the origin of rockets to another ancient civilisation, in China.

Mysore Rockets used in a battle at Guntur in 1780. Pic:

In a talk titled "Tipu’s Rockets, the Iron Duke and modern Rocketry" at Bangalore’s Visvesvaraya Technological Museum on the 18th of January, Dr Roddam Narasimha, well known aerospace scientist and former chief of NAL, revealed that the earliest use of rockets was in China. These were sometimes erroneously called &lsquofire arrows’ and there are records of their use as early as 1232 AD, he explained.

Dr. Narasimha’s talk brought out many interesting facts related to rockets. They were also used in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries but with the invention of cannon, the use of rockets as a weapon of war gradually waned away. The technology must have found its way to India, though one does not have any chronicled evidence of when or how that happened, he said. What we do know is that rockets were used in Indian warfare, especially during the Mysore and Maratha wars the chief aim, however, of such use was more to scare the enemy rather than effect heavy casualties.

Rocket designs by Sir William Congreve. Pic: wikimedia commons

However, by the late 1700s, this weapon had become very effective, thanks chiefly due to experiments by Hyder Ali of Mysore and his son Tipu Sultan. The rocket boys, as the English called them, caused heavy casualties and in one war (at Polilur), destroyed the ammunition of the English. These rockets were not very big – the pictures that one gets to see in Tipu’s Summer Palace make them look almost like long metal versions of the normal Deepavali rockets. These rockets consisted of a tube, 60 mm in diameter, tied to a wooden pole or sometimes a sword and had a range of 1-2 km.

In fact, a journal from the Society of Army Historical Research describes that the largest Indian war rocket itself was not more than one fourth of a 32 pounder (8 lb) and its range not more than 1500 yards.

Lagâri Hasan Çelebi’s rocket flight depicted in a 17th-century engraving. Pic: wikimedia commons

So, how did these seemingly innocuous missiles cause so much havoc? The three basic factors that determine the power of a good rocket are its aerodynamics, propellant and the material used. Dr Narasimha stated emphatically that the key to the success of these rockets was the use of soft iron. He goes on to say that iron was used in India as far back as 1400 BC and hence the use of iron came very naturally to the armies of Mysore. However after the wars, rocket technology took off in a big way in Europe while in India it faced a setback. One of the key reasons, he said, was the link or rather the lack of it between the science of rockets and their application by the craftsmen.

A noted historian who shares the same name, Dr A L Narasimhan, agrees with the theory. He says that though the craftsmen were talented, they used more of a trial-and- error method instead of applying scientific principles when they devised these weapons.

Robert Goddard and his first liquid fuelled rocket. Pic

Dr Narasimhan has yet another interesting tale about the use of the rockets. In Golur, near Tumkur, during the immersion of Lord Ganesha, villagers create a network of fire works that goes around the village and finally ends at a huge structure called maddina mane (literally means &lsquohouse of fireworks’ this includes rockets of different colours and sizes). At the end of the puja, the priest ignites the starting point at the temple they burst along the network, finally culminating at the huge structure. Dr Narasimhan describes the entire show as spectacular and goes on to say that earlier the rockets for the fireworks were earlier manufactured by a Muslim community in Tarapur Pete in Bangalore. He feels that they might be traditionally linked to the rocket manufacturers of Srirangapatna.

The Mysore rockets made such an impact on the English that after the Anglo-Mysore wars, a research programme was set up to study this science. Sir William Congreve made a systematic study, improved upon the technology by applying Newtonian principles and released the first solid fuel rockets, named Congreve rockets after him. These were used in the wars against Napolean and the US in 1812. Thereafter, rocket technology saw a lull in development until it was revived by one Robert Goddard from the US who designed the first liquid fuel rockets in 1936.

The story of rockets and how they have evolved over the ages is engrossing. What intrigues me particularly is the fact that a technology which travelled through countries and continents in the 19th century, had its origins in the small town of Srirangapatna. Perhaps, if the fourth Anglo-Mysore war had ended differently, we would have had defence and research organisations in Srirangapatna and this article might have been written in Persian or Kannada!&oplus

Friday, July 18, 2008

All top companies and service providers now offer a complete toll free phone number service, using which you can contact them for free. Here is a list of many toll free phone numbers which you can use when you are in need to contact the service providers. Don't forget to bookmark this list now because it may come useful in case of some emergencies.

Toll Free Phone numbers airlines Toll Free Phone Numbers :
Indian Airlines - 1800 180 1407
Jet Airways - 1800 22 5522
SpiceJet - 1800 180 3333
Air India — 1800 22 7722
KingFisher - 1800 180 0101

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IDBI Bank - 1800 11 6999
Indian Bank - 1800 425 1400
ING Vysya - 1800 44 9900
Kotak Mahindra Bank - 1800 22 6022
Lord Krishna Bank - 1800 11 2300
Punjab National Bank - 1800 122 222
State Bank of India - 1800 44 1955
Syndicate Bank - 1800 44 6655

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BenQ - 1800 22 08 08
Bird CellPhones - 1800 11 7700
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Nokia - 3030 3838
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Computers/IT Toll Free Phone Numbers :
Adrenalin - 1800 444 445
AMD - 1800 425 6664
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Goel Packers & Movers - 1800 11 3456
UPS - 1800 22 7171

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Edu Plus - 1800 444 000
Hindustan College - 1800 33 4438
NCERT - 1800 11 1265
Vellore Institute of Technology - 1800 441 555
Amity University NCR Delhi - 1800 110 000

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Best on Health - 1800 11 8899
Dr Batras - 1800 11 6767
GlaxoSmithKline - 1800 22 8797
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GRT Grand - 1800 44 5500
InterContinental Hotels Group - 1800 111 000
Marriott - 1800 22 0044
Sarovar Park Plaza - 1800 111 222
Taj Holidays - 1800 111 825

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AMP Sanmar - 1800 44 2200
Aviva - 1800 33 2244
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Chola MS General Insurance - 1800 44 5544
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LIC - 1800 33 4433
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SBI Life Insurance - 1800 22 9090

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Kurl-on - 1800 44 0404
Sleepwell - 1800 11 2266

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CAMS - 1800 44 2267
Chola Mutual Fund - 1800 22 2300
Easy IPO’s - 3030 5757
Fidelity Investments - 1800 180 8000
Franklin Templeton Fund - 1800 425 4255
J M Morgan Stanley - 1800 22 0004
Kotak Mutual Fund - 1800 222 626
LIC Housing Finance - 1800 44 0005
SBI Mutual Fund - 1800 22 3040
Sharekhan - 1800 22 7500
Tata Mutual Fund - 1800 22 0101

Paints Toll Free Phone Numbers :
Asian Paints Home Solutions - 1800 22 5678
Berger Paints Home Decor - 1800 33 8800

Emergency 108 Phone NumberTeleshopping Toll Free Phone Numbers :
Asian Sky Shop - 1800 22 1800
Jaipan Teleshoppe - 1800 11 5225
Tele Brands - 1800 11 8000
VMI Teleshopping - 1800 447 777
WWS Teleshopping - 1800 220 777

Travel Toll Free Phone Numbers :
Club Mahindra Holidays - 1800 33 4539
Cox & Kings - 1800 22 1235
God TV Tours - 1800 442 777
Kerala Tourism - 1800 444 747
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Raj Travels & Tours - 1800 22 9900
Sita Tours - 1800 111 911
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APC - 1800 44 4272
Numeric - 1800 44 3266

Indian Railways :
Indian Railway General Enquiry 131
Indian Railway Central Enquiry 131
Indian Railway Reservation 131
Indian Railway Railway Reservation Enquiry 1345,1335,1330
Indian Railway Centralised Railway Enquiry 1330/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Others Important Helplines :
Consumer Helpline - 1800 11 4000
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Indane - 1800 44 51 15
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Pedigree - 1800 11 2121
Kodak India - 1800 22 8877
Domino’s Pizza - 1800 111 123
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Telecom Monitoring Cell - 1800 110 420


Tipu Sultan (Kannada: ಟಿಪ್ಪು ಸುಲ್ತಾನ್, Urdu: سلطان فتح علی خان ٹیپو) (November 1750, Devanahalli – 4 May 1799, Seringapatam), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. He was the son of Hyder Ali, at that time an officer in the Mysorean army, and his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa. He was given a number of honorific titles, and was referred to as Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Shahab, Tipu Saheb, Bahadur Khan Tipu Sultan or Fatih Ali Khan Tipu Sultan Bahadur.
During Tipu's childhood, his father rose to take power in Mysore, and Tipu took over rule of the kingdom upon his father's death. In addition to his role as ruler, he was a scholar, soldier, and poet. He was a devout Muslim but the majority of his subjects were Hindus. At the request of the French, he built a church, the first in Mysore. He was proficient in many languages.[1] In alliance with the French in their struggle with the British, and in Mysore's struggles with other surrounding powers, both Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali used their French trained army against the Marathas, Sira, rulers of Malabar, Coorg, Bednur, Carnatic, and Travancore. He won important victories against the British in the Second Anglo-Mysore War, and negotiated the 1784 Treaty of Mangalore with them after his father died the previous year.
He engaged in expansionist attacks against his neighbours, and harshly put down rebellions within his territories, deporting whole populations into confinement in Seringapatam. He remained an implacable enemy of the British, bringing them into renewed conflict with an attack on British-allied Travancore in 1789. In the Third Anglo-Mysore War Tipu was forced into a humiliating peace, losing a number of previously conquered territories, such as Malabar and Mangalore. He sent embassies to foreign states, including the Ottoman Empire and France, in an attempt to rally opposition to the British. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War the combined forces of the British East India Company and the Nizam of Hyderabad defeated Tipu and he was killed on 4 May 1799, defending the fort of Seringapatam.
Tipu's treatment of conquered subjects, non-Muslims, and prisoners of war, were controversial, and continue to be a subject of debate today. He introduced a number of administrative and military innovations to Mysore (including the expansion of rocket technology), and introduced and promoted a more widespread use of Persian and Urdu languages in southern India.
“ Although I never supposed that he (Napoleon) possessed, allowing for some difference of education, the liberality of conduct and political views which were sometimes exhibited by old Hyder Ali, yet I did think he might have shown the same resolved and dogged spirit of resolution which induced Tipu Sahib to die manfully upon the breach of his capital city with his sabre clenched in his hand. ”
Memorial at the birth place
Tipu Sultan was born at Devanahalli, in present-day Bangalore District, some 33 km (21 mi) North of Bangalore city. The exact date of his birth is not known various sources claim different dates between 1749 and 1753. According to one widely accepted dating, he was born on 20 November 1750 (Friday, 10th Dhu al-Hijjah, 1163 AH). His father, Hyder Ali, was a military officer in service to the Kingdom of Mysore he rapidly rose in power, and became the de facto ruler of Mysore in 1761. His mother Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa was the daughter of the governor of the fort of Kadapa.
A flintlock blunderbuss, built for Tipu Sultan in Seringapatam, 1793–94. Tipu Sultan used many Western craftsmen, and this gun reflects the most up-to-date technologies of the time.[2]
Tipu Sultan was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employment of his father, Hyder Ali (also spelled "Haidar Ali"). At age 15, he accompanied his father against the British in the First Mysore War in 1766. He commanded a corps of cavalry in the invasion of Carnatic in 1767 at age 16. He also distinguished himself in the First Anglo-Maratha War of 1775–1779.[citation needed]
Alexander Beatson, who published a volume on the Fourth Mysore War entitled View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tippoo Sultaun, described Tipu Sultan as follows: "His stature was about five feet eight inches he had a short neck, square shoulders, and was rather corpulent: his limbs were small, particularly his feet and hands he had large full eyes, small arched eyebrows, and an aquiline nose his complexion was fair, and the general expression of his countenance, not void of dignity".[3]
[edit] Second Mysore War
Main article: Second Anglo-Mysore War
In 1779, the British captured the French-controlled port of Mahé, which Tipu had placed under his protection,providing some troops for its defence. In response, Hyder launched an invasion of the Carnatic, with the aim of driving the British out of Madras.[4] During this campaign in September 1780, Tipu Sultan was dispatched by Hyder Ali with 10,000 men and 18 guns to intercept Colonel Baillie who was on his way to join Sir Hector Munro. In the Battle of Pollilur, Tipu decisively defeated Baillie. Out of 360 Europeans, about 200 were captured alive, and the sepoys, who were about 3800 men, suffered very high casualties. Munro was moving south with a separate force to join Baillie, but on hearing the news of the defeat he was forced to retreat to Madras, abandoning his artillery in a water tank at Kanchipuram.[5]
Tipu Sultan defeated Colonel Braithwaite at Annagudi near Tanjore on 18 February 1782. Braithwaite's forces, consisting of 100 Europeans, 300 cavalry, 1400 sepoys and 10 field pieces, was the standard size of the colonial armies. Tipu Sultan seized all the guns and took the entire detachment prisoner. In December 1781 Tipu Sultan successfully seized Chittur from the British. Tipu Sultan had thus gained sufficient military experience by the time Hyder Ali died on Friday, 6 December 1782 – some historians put it at 2 or 3 days later or before, (Hijri date being 1 Muharram, 1197 as per some records in Persian — there may be a difference of 1 to 3 days due to the Lunar Calendar). Tipu Sultan realised that the British were a new kind of threat in India. He became the ruler of Mysore on Sunday, 22 December 1782 ( The inscriptions in some of Tipu Regalia showing it as 20 Muharram, 1197 Hijri – Sunday ), in a simple coronation ceremony. He then worked to check the advances of the British by making alliances with the Marathas and the Mughals.
The Second Mysore War came to an end with the 1784 Treaty of Mangalore. It was the last occasion when an Indian king dictated terms to the British, and the treaty is a prestigious document in the history of India.[6] The war is also remembered for alleged excesses committed by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan in Tanjore.[7] During the period of occupation which lasted six months, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan are believed to have impoverished the country, destroying crops and cattle.[7] As late as 1785, the Dutch missionary Christian Friedrich Schwarz describes Tipu's alleged abduction of 12,000 children from the region.[7] The economic output of Tanjore is estimated to have fallen by 90% between 1780 and 1782.[8] The ravages of Hyder and Tipu were followed by alleged expeditions of plunder launched by the Kallars. The economic devastation wrought by these attacks was so severe that Tanjore's economy did not recover until the start of the 19th century the era is referred to in local folklore as the Hyderakalam.[7]
Ruler of Mysore
Tipu Sultan's summer palace at Srirangapatna, Karnataka
While leading a predominantly Hindu country, Tipu remained strong in his Muslim faith, going daily to say his prayers and paying special attention to mosques in the area.[9] He built a church, the first in Mysore, on French request.
During his rule, Tipu Sultan laid the foundation for a dam where the famous Krishna Raja Sagara Dam across the river Cauvery was later built.[10][11] He also completed the project of Lal Bagh started by his father Hyder Ali, and built roads, public buildings, and ports along the Kerala shoreline. His dominion extended throughout North Bangalore including the Nandi Hills, Kanivenarayanapura, and Chickballapur. His trade extended to countries which included Sri Lanka,Oman,Afghanistan, France, Turkey, and Iran. Under his leadership, the Mysore army proved to be a school of military science to Indian princes. The serious blows that Tipu Sultan inflicted on the British in the First and Second Mysore Wars affected their reputation as an invincible power. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, in his Tipu Sultan Shaheed Memorial Lecture in Bangalore (30 November 1991), called Tipu Sultan the innovator of the world's first war rocket. Two of these rockets, captured by the British at Seringapatam, are displayed in the Royal Artillery Museum in London. He managed to subdue all the petty kingdoms in the south. He defeated the Marathas and the Nizams and was also one of the few Indian rulers to have defeated British armies. He is said to have started new coinage, calendar, and a new system of weights and measures mainly based on the methods introduced by French technicians. He was well versed in Urdu, Kannada, Persian, and Arabic. Tipu was supposed to become a Sufi, but his father Hyder Ali insisted he become a capable soldier and a great leader.
Tipu Sultan is also infamous for the inhuman atrocities committed during his invasion of South Kanara, Kodagu and Malabar. The revolt against Tipu's rule in Malabar was crushed. The Sirian Christians and Hindus were persecuted in these regions with plunder, destruction places of worship, and mass conversions. The main deity at the famous Guruvayur Temple had to be shifted to Ambalapuzha due to the imminent attack from Tipu's forces. The King of Kozhikode (Samudiri/Zamorin) committed suicide in his palace to avoid capture by Tipu. Members of the royal family of Chirakkal were deported to Mysore. There were large scale migration of people to the kingdom of Travancore, fearing persecution. In fact, historically the region south of the Tungabhadra river was relatively immune to the great ravages and plunder from attacking armies unlike those in the Northern parts of India. The only two exception to the aforementioned were the acts of Hyder Ali/ Tipu Sultan in Malabar- Kodagu- South Kanara regions and the sacking and destruction of Vijayanagara.
Foreign Relations of Tipu Sultan
In his attempts to junction with Tipu Sultan, Napoleon annexed Ottoman Egypt in the year 1798.
Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were independent rulers of the Sultanate of Mysore, with some degree of loyalty to the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. Both of them are known to have maintained correspondence with their Mughal Emperor. Furthermore unlike the Nawab of Carnatic, neither owed any allegiance to the Nizam of Hyderabad and often instead chose direct contact and relations with the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.[12]
Immediately after his coronation as the ruler of the Sultanate of Mysore, Tipu Sultan sought the investiture of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, unfortunately Nizam Ali Khan the Nizam of Hyderabad clearly expressed his hostility by dissuading the Mughal Emperor and laying false claims onto Mysore. Disheartened but not disappointed, Tipu Sultan began to establish contacts with other Muslim rulers of that period.[13]
When the eunuch Ghulam Qadir had the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II blinded on August 10 1788, when Tipu Sultan was given the news about the helpless plight and the atrocities enacted against of the elderly Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, he the ruler of Mysore is believed to have broken in tears[14]. After facing substantial threats from the Maratha's who were sworn enemies of the Sultanate of Mysore, Tipu Sultan began to fervently corresponded with Zaman Shah Durrani the ruler of Afghanistan, so they could defeat the Marathas once more after the Third Battle of Panipat and restore the blind Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II[15]. Although he was a loyal ally of his regnant Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, Tipu Sultan believed he had the right to issue coinage in his own name.
In the year 1787, the bold and ambitious Tipu Sultan sent an embassy to the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, to the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I requesting urgent assistance against the British East India Company and had proposed an offensive and defensive consortium. Tipu Sultan requested the Ottoman Sultan to send him troops and military experts. Furthermore Tipu Sultan also requested permission from the Ottomans to contribute to the maintenance of the Islamic shrines in Mecca, Medina, Najaf and Karbala. However, the Ottomans were themselves at crisis and still recuperating from the devastating Austro-Ottoman War and a new war against the Russians in Crimea had just begun. Due to the Ottoman-inability to organise a fleet in the Indian Ocean, Tipu Sultan's ambassadors returned home only with gifts from their Ottoman allies, this event caused his defeat and loss of much territory by the year 1792. Furthermore Tipu Sultan's correspondence with the Ottomans and particularly their new Sultan Selim III continued till his final battle in the year 1799.[16]
Tipu Sultan then sought an alliance with Napoleon and particularly the French, supposedly aimed at achieving this goal by driving his main rivals, the British East India Company out of the subcontinent.
Like his father Hyder Ali before him, Tipu Sultan maintained many embassies and made several contacts with Mohammad Ali Khan ruler of the Zand Dynasty in Persia. Tipu Sultan also maintained correspondence with Hamad bin Said, the ruler of the Sultanate of Oman[17].
[edit] Conflict against the Peshwa
Maratha Empire under their new peshwa Madhav Rao regained most of Indian Subcontinent , twice defeated Tipu's Father Hyder Ali who was forced to accept Maratha Empire as the supreme power in 1764 and then in 1767. In 1767 Maratha Peshwa Madhav Rao defeated both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and entered Seringapatnam the capital of Mysore. Hyder Ali accepted the authority of Madhav Rao who gave him the title of Nawab of Mysore.[18]. However Tipu Sultan wanted to escape from the treaty of Maratha's and therefore tried to take some Maratha Forts in South India, this brought Tipu in direct conflict with Maratha Empire. Maratha Army proceeded towards Mysore under leadership of its general Nana Phadnavis , one by one Maratha took many forts of Tipu Sultan in the Mysore region Badami, Kittur, and Gajendragad in 1786 june. This forced Tipu to start making talks with Maratha leadership, he sent two of his agents to Poona which was Maratha capital. The deal was finalized that Maratha will get all the possesion of their territories which was annexed by Mysore forces , further Nizam of Hyderabad will get Adoni and further Mysore will pay 48 lacs as war cost to Maratha Empire. In return Marathas will recognize the rule of Tipu in the Mysore region. Further Tipu paid 12 lacs as annual tribute to Maratha.[19]
Third Mysore War
General Lord Cornwallis, receiving two of Tipu Sultan's sons as hostages in the year 1793.
Main article: Third Anglo-Mysore War
In 1789, Tipu Sultan disputed the acquisition by Dharma Raja of Travancore of two Dutch-held fortresses in Cochin, which was a Mysorean tributary. In December 1789 he massed troops at Coimbatore, and on 28 December made an attack on the lines of Travancore, knowing that Travancore was (according to the Treaty of Mangalore) an ally of the British East India Company. On account of the staunch resistance by the Travancore army, Tipu was unable to break through the Tranvancore lines and the Maharajah of Travancore appealed to the East India Company for help. In response, Lord Cornwallis mobilised company and British military forces, and formed alliances with the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad to oppose Tipu. In 1790 the company forces advanced, taking control of much of the Coimbatore district. Tipu counterattacked, regaining much of the territory, although the British continued to hold Coimbatore itself. He then descended into the Carnatic, eventually reaching Pondicherry, where he attempted without success to draw the French into the conflict.
In 1791 his opponents advanced on all fronts, with the main British force under Cornwallis taking Bangalore and threatening Seringapatam. Tipu harassed his enemy's supply and communication and embarked on a "scorched earth" policy of denying local resources to the invaders. In this last effort he was successful, as the lack of provisions forced Cornwallis to withdraw to Bangalore rather than attempt a siege of Seringapatam. Following the withdrawal, Tipu sent forces to Coimbatore, which they retook after a lengthy siege.
The 1792 campaign was a failure for Tipu. The allied army was well-supplied, and Tipu was unable to prevent the junction of forces from Bangalore and Bombay before Seringapatam. After about two weeks of siege, Tipu opened negotiations for terms of surrender. In the ensuing treaty, he was forced to cede one half of Mysore's territory to the allies, and deliver two of his sons as hostages,till he paid in full,the sum of Rupees Three crores and Thirty lakhs fixed as the expenses of the British campaign against him. He paid the amount shortly and got back his sons from Madras.
[edit] Napoleon's attempt at a junction

Pindi Boys – Tipu Sultan’s missiles failed because ‘traitors’ were inside

When traitors are inside missiles, rockets and tanks can not save the state like in case of Tipu Sultan and his state, I hope Generals and commanders in Pakistan knows this? “Enemy – Agenda is to De-Nuke, De-Rail & Defenceless Pakistan and Sharifs and Bhuttos are working on this model from debt trapping to starving from wheat to electricity ”. They shut down the steel mills in Karachi and had stolen the wheat of billions. Good Generals always checked the wheat and steel stocks of their own and enemy’s before starting a war’, I said to a security analyst in London.

At a time when Pakistani military successfully conducted its latest missile test of Shaheen-3 this week but on the other hand its corrupt, anti Pakistan, Indianised politicians of PML-N, (sharifs), ‘dawn leaks’, PPP (Zardari-Bhuttos), ‘memogate’, and some religious and regional party leaders were bashing the Pakistan armed forces. They have already laid the foundations of break of pakistan in hastily passed 18th Amendment. It should be alarming for the Generals if not already as Tipu Sultan’s missiles and rockets failed to protect the state against the British colonial attacks.

“Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen-3 surface-to-surface ballistic missile, having a range of 2,750 kilometres, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Wednesday, 20 January 2021. “The flight test was aimed at the revalidating various design and tech parameters of weapon system,” the military’s media wing said.

Tipu Sultan was the only ruler in the world who died in the battlefield fighting the enemy according to a French scholar. Tipu Sultan reigned 1782-1799 and died on 4 May 1799, fighting the combined forces of British and collaborators, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Marhattas. He lost the battle because of deceit and treachery by collaborators like Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafar in Bengal. Mir Jafar’s treachery resulted in 200 years British rule over India.

Tipu Sultan, was the only Muslim ruler in India who used modern short-range missiles against the British but lost the battle due to ‘treachery of Mir Sadiq’ and killed on 4 May 1799, in Srirangapatna, because gates of the fort were opened from inside. It means kill the collaborators first otherwise your missiles and nukes will not save you Pindi Boys.

British brought his missiles back to England for reverse engineering and now in the Artillery museum near Woolwich Arsenal in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London.

World’s First War Rockets Were Made By Tipu Sultan

J Wilkerson former chief of staff of US General Colin Powel said something like, ‘what we know now is that sources of the intelligence on Iraqi WMDS were not credible and Colin Powel was probably misled and deliberately sent to the UN Security Council with false or half true information. The name ‘Chelabi’ an Iraqi collaborator in exile seems central to most of the information US had on biological, chemical and nuclear programs’.

In the current scenario look at the statements of Bilalwal Zardari Bhutto. He is no different than Dilip Singh son of Mahraja Ranjit Singh whom British took away to London and he became Catholic in London but everyone was thinking he was a Sikh.

Maryam Nawaz, Shabaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif are other collaborators with Indians and foreigners in Europe and US. They are guilty of Dawn leaks and active RAW agents were arrested from their mills but PTM’s Manzoor Pashteen is more guilty. Security establishment should have a fairness and equality in their actions against enemies of the state be it rich or poor.

Let me tell you that: ‘18 th Amendment was purposed by Asif Zardari and Altaf Hussain supported by Nawaz Sharif in the parliament is actually a foundation to weaken the federation and break Pakistan following the article 70 of Soviet Constitution which lead to the break up of Soviet Union. All three of them have same handlers in 5 I’s. It is time to ‘men with guns’ to open their both eyes and see PTM, PPP and PML-N equally. All happened under your nose and no body smelt the danger or was it an intelligence failure?

(Mir Jafar and his son Miran delivering the Treaty of 1757 to William Watts. Pakistani President Skindar Mirza who died in London and buried in Iran was great-grandson of Mir Jafar.)

Nawaz Sharif, Shabaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal Bhutto, Asif Zaradri and Rehman Malik are doing exactly what Chelabi did in Iraq. They are misleading the westerns by saying something like that ‘mullahs’ are going to take control of ‘Pakistani Nukes’ as if they are lying in some fruit market. There are people in the US and West, who are more interested in fiction then reality. These foreign fed traitors like Hussain Haqani sing what neo-cons want to hear and not what they should know.

They got Pakistan into IMF trap deliberately to ruin the economy like Greece. They will sell all the national assets to IMF cronies, and in the end cripple the economy to surrender the nuclear program. The debt burdening was a military strategy to weaken Pakistan from 2008 – 2018 by Zardari and Nawaz Sharif.

The expansive and damaging electricity contracts with so called IPPs with capacity payments in dollars as well as non availability of high tension wiring to use the electricity made these contracts as ‘treacherous’. Those who signed and approved must have been hanged but the elites world is different.

Pakistanis don’t need lecturing from outside about how to protect nukes and use missiles. A painting in the reception lobby of NASA’s flight facility at Wallop Island shows Tipu Sultan’s soldiers launching rockets attacks against the British. He was the first Muslim rocketry warfare hero. The current Pakistani nuclear and missile program seems a revival of the 18th century dream of Tipu Sultan’.

The British captured more than 700 rockets and subsystems of 900 rockets in the battle of Turukhanahally in 1799. Tipu Sultan’s army had 27 brigades called Kushoons, and each brigade had a company of rocket men, called Jourks. These rockets had been taken to England by William Congreve and were subjected by the British to what we call “reverse engineering” today.

Tipu Sultan was the only ruler in the world who died in the battlefield fighting the enemy according to a French scholar. Tipu Sultan reigned 1782-1799 and died in May 1799, fighting the combined forces of British and collaborators, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Marhattas. He lost the battle because of deceit and treachery by collaborators like Mir Sadiq.

Another traitor Mir Jafar’s treachery in Bengal to Nawab Sira ud Daula resulted in 200 years British colonial rule over India after the battle of Plassy (Bengal) in 1757. Pakistani President Skindar Mirza who died in London and buried in Iran was great-grandson of Mir Jafar.)

It seems Iraqis and Pakistanis have learnt how to deal with occupiers and invaders i.e. ‘kill the collaborators first’. Pakistanis are keeping close eyes on their collaborators living both in and outside of Pakistan.

US had used nuclear weapons against the civilians and also have made nuclear threats more than 60 times. US must check its own back yard as far as nuclear safety is concerned. Its own pilots have been sacked for flying around with live nuclear warheads for hours and claimed ‘they thought it was dummy’ not very long ago. How irresponsible and dangerous is that?

They must understand that people of Pakistan have thousands of year’s glorious history and civilisations behind them. People of Pakistan have no history of genocide, slavery and criminality. Why US have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons and who is going to invade her? Pakistan has genuine threat from its hostile and nasty neighbour India and need a nuclear deterrent that’s all. As far as the security of the nukes is concerned no one should worry including US, they are in safe hands and Pakistanis don’t need patronising.

Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and they know how to defend its assets.

Dr Shahid Qureshi defence analyst meeting with General. Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Pakistan Army.

A British think tank International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) published a dossier about the Dr AQ Khan and nuclear proliferation.

I mentioned to Mark Fitzpatrick before the launch that: “word ‘dossier’ is associated with lies, deception and dodgy in the context of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMDs).

I told him that: “more than 170 British companies were involved in the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons program according to Channel 4. When journalist presented the list of the companies supplied chemical and biological material to Saddam Hussein regime to Ministry of Defence, the response was something like ‘list is correct”. The moral of the story is that people don’t trust the dodgy dossiers and biased reports.

Dr Shahid Qureshi presented Ravian’s Medal to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan at The Government College Lahore 1990.

I asked Dr John Chipman Director General of the IISS and Mark Fitzpatrick editor of dossier Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, AQ Khan and the rise of proliferation networks, in the Q&A:

“(a) Is there any nuclear program in the world, in which human and material proliferation were not involved? (b) your report seems unfair because you have not mentioned anything about the Israeli nuclear program, proliferation and illegal assistance by the US and Western countries.? Two paragraphs about Israeli Nuclear program in 176-page document. (c) What national and international law Dr A Q Khan has violated and what should be his punishment.

Mark Fitzpatrick agreed that: “there is no nuclear program in the world where proliferation did not happen US program was based on proliferation i.e. technical and material knowledge of the German Nazi scientist. He agreed that: “Israelis were involved in proliferation in a roundabout way”. He stated that: ‘Israeli program was assisted by the states than private individuals’. It is like saying if an individual is involved in terrorism, he or she should brought to justice but if a state is involved in state terrorism, that’s OK.

According to common knowledge Dr Khan did not violate any national or international law. He could have been accused of smuggling or illegal trading like British use to trade in drugs (opium) with China in the past. We should not make a moral issue of things, which are strategic or related to security of small insecure countries.

If Israel who is not NPT signatory can be allowed to have nuclear weapons and program because it is ‘surrounded by hostile neighbours’ why can’t Iran who is NPT signatory allowed to have a peaceful nuclear program under IAEA safe guards. What is the point on signing NPT when one cannot benefit of it? I think it’s time that NPT should be reviewed if it is not serving the purpose.

Nasty friend like US and real enemy like India never stopped conspiring and undermining Pakistan, now they have joined hands without a doubt. On the other hand, as far as safety and security of the much-protected Nukes and long range missiles are concerned People of Pakistan are competent to protect and ready to eliminate enemies be local or foreign.

It is high time to cleanse the country from ‘traitors’ indiscriminately be it Sharifs or Bhuttos or others with or without uniform.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Azerbaijan 2018, 2020, Kazakhstan 2019, 2016 and 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China)

So really what had happened on Nov. 10?

Is this what the Government of Karnataka wants to celebrate? This is a cruel joke on not only the Iyengars but also on other communities like the Kodavas of Coorg, Nairs of Wayanad and Malabar, Zamorins of Calicut, the Mangalorean Catholics (Nasranis), the Jains of Dakshin Kannada, the Hindus from Dindigal and Coimbatore against whom he had committed unspeakable crimes including forced conversions which Tipu himself mentioned in his two autobiographies: Sultan-ut Tawarikh and Tarikh-i-Khudadadi, housed in the India Office Library, London.

The State Government wants to project that people with vested interest are opposing Tipu because Tipu Sultan was a Muslim Monarch, but the fact is that the protest is against the monstrous atrocities committed by Tipu and the most shocking fact is that there is ample documentation of his atrocities in Gazetteers of Mysore and Kerala. Probably Siddaramaiah’s government believes in the idea that if a lie is repeated a hundred times it becomes the truth. We, the team at will not sit idle and watch this repugnant celebration from sidelines BUT bring you the “truth of the tyrant“.

The glorification of Tipu began with the controversial novel entitled “The sword of Tipu Sultan” by Bhagwan Gidwani, the novel was full of bias, deliberate distortion, fabrication, and intentional suppression of many recorded facts of history with the object of glorifying a villain as a man of great religious tolerance, national hero, a benevolent ruler, and an epitome of all virtues. The incisive truth about the sword of Tipu is that it carried an inscription in Persian stating: “My victorious Sabre is lightning for the destruction of the Non-believers. Thou art our Lord, make him victorious who promotes the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuses the faith of Muhammad and withold us from those who are so inclined”.

This book was also the basis of the serial “The sword of Tipu sultan” by Sanjay Khan, a serial I myself enjoyed in childhood and could never understand why my parents and grandparents detested my watching it. I still remember my grandfather telling me “It’s all lies, he was a murderer don’t watch that serial.” I could never understand at the time when serial was aired, why he would leave the house and sit outside until I finished watching it. Doordarshan in those days is nothing but a state owned vehicle of miraculous brainwashing. The history of legal battle against the book and serial is long and the essence of the matter is that Sanjay Khan was forced to add the disclaimer that “it was a work of fiction”. Maybe the Government of Karnataka should take a leaf from it and add it to their celebration.

Tipu Sultan’s Persecution of Hindus,In His Words.

In Karnataka, Tipu Sultan is held in veneration for his religious tolerance ,his donations to Hindu Temples and honorable treatment of Hindus.

He is held in high esteem,his Fort,Summer Palace in Bangalore ,the place where he was imprisoned are maintained by the Archaeological Department of India.

Even the second train track from Bangalore to Mysore is held up and the route goes 1.6 km in the existing track, to be away from Tipu’s Gunnery!

Tipu Sultan Facts.

In the first part of his reign in particular he was a religious bigot destroying many temples within his own kingdom-proper and many more in the invasion of Malabar. Mass forced conversions took place during the invasion of Malabar, outnumbered Nair warriors were given choice of Islam or death and Tippu is said to get great pleasure by converting Namboodhiri Brahmins. 20% of the population of Kerala are now Muslim mainly due to this. In battle After being defeated in the first Anglo-Mysore war he started dealing cordially with the Hindus in his kingdom so as to avoid insurrection and get support in the face of the British power. There are some historians who claim that Tippu Sultan was a religious persecutor of Hindus.

C. K. Kareem also notes that Tippu Sultan issued an edict for the destruction of Hindu temples in Kerala.

Historian Hayavadana C. Rao wrote about Tippu in his encyclopaedic work on the History of Mysore. He asserted that Tippu’s “religious fanaticism and the excesses committed in the name of religion, both in Mysore and in the provinces, stand condemned for all time. His bigotry, indeed, was so great that it precluded all ideas of toleration”. He further asserts that the acts of Tippu that were constructive towards Hindus were largely political and ostentatious rather than an indication of genuine tolerance.”

In 1783-84, 1788 and 1789-90, Tipu personally led the attacks on Malayalam (Kerala), besides sending his army contingents to various resistance spots during the intervening period. Well-known Muslim historian, P.S. Syed Muhammed, author of Kerala Muslim Charitram (History of Kerala Muslims), has this to say about these invasions: “What happened to Kerala because of Tipu’s invasion, reminds one of the invasion of Chengez Khan and Timur in Indian history.”

Vadakunkur Raja Raja Varma writes in Kerala Samskrita Sahitya Charitram (History of Sanskrit Literature in Kerala): “The number of temples destroyed during Tipu’s invasion is countless. It was the hobby of Tipu and his army to put the temples on fire destroy the idols and indulge in cow-slaughter. The memory of destruction of the Talipparampu and Trichambaram temples aches the heart.”

According to the Malabar Gazetteer, the important temples in the towns of Tali, Srivaliyanatukavu, Tiruvannur, Varakkal, Puthur, Govindapuram, and Talikunnu were destroyed by Tipu’s ravaging armies. Even the Tirunavaya Temple known all over India as a centre of Rig Veda teaching was destroyed. Tipu personally ordered the destruction of Calicut which was the capital of the Zamorin Rajas.’

In a letter (December 14, 1788), he said to his army commander in Calicut: “You should capture and kill all Hindus. Those below 20 years may be kept in prison and 5,000 from the rest should be killed hanging from treetops”. Writing on January 19, 1790, to Badroos Saman Khan, he said: “I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam. I am now determined to march against the cursed Raman Nair.” Tipu issued orders in different parts of Malabar: “All means, truth or falsehood, fraud or force, should be employed to effect their (Hindu) universal conversion to Islam” (Historical Sketches of the South of India in an attempt to trace the History of Mysore, Mark Wilks Vol II, page 120).

Removing lessons on Tipu means twisting reality, history: Siddaramaiah

Criticising the BJP for trying to remove lessons on Tipu Sultan from school textbooks, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that doing so would be nothing but twisting reality and history.

Addressing presspersons in Jamkhandi on Wednesday, he asked the BJP to clarify whether they believe that Tipu fought against the British or not. Asserting that schoolchildren have the right to know about history, he said no efforts should be made to remove Tipu from books. Taking exception to the statement of BJP leaders who call Tipu a fanatic, he remarked that: “Since the BJP is fanatic, they call others the same.”

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao said Tipu was known world-over and he had granted land and financial support to temples during his rule.

Mr. Gundu Rao said Tipu had protected Sringeri Shankaracharya Mutt during the invasion of the Marathas and generously donated land and funds to temples. Noting that only people having no knowledge of Tipu were speaking ill about the ruler, Mr. Gundu Rao said the move to remove the lessons would not go well with scholars of history. Former president and scientist Abdul Kalam had praised the achievements of Tipu Sultan for his knowledge in missile technology but the BJP government wanted to delete lessons from history books. Cinemas, television serials and textbooks written on life and achievements of Tipu Sultan, the Congress leader added.

Rewriting history from the BJP’s point of view was not good, he said. He also reminded the BJP leaders about communal riots that occurred in 2002 in Gujarat and opposed saffronisation of education. Instead of thinking about removing Tipu from textbooks, the BJP should focus on reviving economy, providing jobs and relief to the flood affected people, the KPCC chief said.

Meanwhile, replying to Mr. Yediyurappa’s statement that Mr. Siddaramaiah would always remain Leader of the Opposition, the latter asked whether the former can predict the future. " Is he learning any course that helps him predict future", he asked.

Watch the video: Tipu Sultan Ke Rockets Unki Technology aur Unki Power (January 2023).

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