Pic source: Syed Naseer Album

Syed Naseer|Tipu Sultan, the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, was a great visionary who exposed the expansionist designs of the British imperial forces. He gave a clarion call to his fellow countrymen and native rulers  to  unite and fight against the East India Company.  Tipu was born on 10 November, 1750 at Devanahalli village of Kolar district, Karnataka State where Hyder Ali, who was famous as ‘the Nepoleon of South India’ was his father and  Fatima Fakhr-un-nissa was his mother. He received proper training in martial arts  and participated in several wars along with his father.  Tipu became the ruler of  Mysore in 1782,  after the  death of  his father  Hyder Ali.  While taking charge of  Mysore  he declared to  his people : ‘If I oppose you I could lose my paradise, my life and my happiness. The happiness of the people is my happiness. I don’t think that whatever I like is good. But, I consider that whatever is the wish of my people is my wish. Those who are the enemies of my people are my enemies. And those who are troubling my people are deemed to be declaring war against me.’ Tipu kept his promise all  through  his life.  While  facing continuous attacks  by the Nizam  of  Hyderabad and the Marathas, Tipu sultan was able to expand  his kingdom from  River Krishna in the North to Dindigal in the South, for about 400 miles and from Malabar in the West to the Eastern Ghats, about 300 miles, in his 17 year rule.

Edwards Orme painting of Tipu Sultan from the ‘Picturesque Scenery in the Kingdom of Mysore’ by James Hunter, Source: British Library

Tipu Sultan encouraged modern  trade, industry, agriculture and civil engineering. He tried to reform petty criminals by assigning them  community work just like plantation etc., as punishment. Tipu Sultan was a polyglot,  he was  well versed in  Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and French. He worked hard for the promotion of education. Tipu , like his father held  a secular  out look and was  impartial towards all religions. The British identified Tipu as their enemy number one in south India. The  jealous Nizam of  Hyderabad and Marathas  could not digest the success of Tipu and joined hands with the East India Company against him.

A painting from the siege of Seringapatam, C 1800 by Henry Singleton, Source: Wikiimages

They all attacked Seringapatam, capital of  Mysore state, which led to the  historical fourth war of Mysore. Tipu sultan entered the battlefield of Seringapatam  to defend his people and the state,  Due to treason committed by his diwan, Mir Sadiq and others who paved the way for the enemy to enter the fort of Seringapatam, Tipu Sultan suffered defeat.  He died on 4 May, 1799 fighting against enemy in the battle field.

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Syed Naseer Ahamed is a history buff who is documenting the role of Muslims in the struggle for Indian freedom. He is author of sixteen different titles covering the theme of "Muslim participations in Freedom struggle" in Telugu, Urdu, & English. The author can be contacted by 00919440241727


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