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Remembering Tipu Sultan

Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by Hindustani78, May 9, 2015.

  1. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 BANNED

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    MYSORE, May 5, 2014
    Remembering Tipu Sultan - The Hindu
    Remembering Tipu Sultan

    On May 4, 1799, the ruler of Mysore fell fighting the British army
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    The sequence of events that unfolded on May 4, 1799, has been narrated by contemporary historians and reproduced in the Mysore Gazetteer.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

    The summer heat and dust brings alive memories of a historic battle that culminated on May 4, 1799, on the banks of the Cauvery at Seringapatam (Srirangapatna).

    For it was the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in which Tipu Sultan, who was the scourge of the British and an impediment to their imperialist ambition, fought the British army and died.

    Failed negotiation

    The sequence of events that unfolded on the fateful day has been narrated by contemporary historians of his times and reproduced in the Mysore Gazetteer , which notes that Tipu Sultan tried to negotiate with the British through General Harris on April 20 only to be told that he should cede half his territory, hand over four of his sons as hostage for compliance of British diktats, apart from payment of Rs. 2 crore.

    The treaty, Tipu Sultan was told, should be signed within 24 hours.

    Unacceptable treaty

    The Mysore Cavalry commanded by Kammar-ud-din Khan was beaten behind the last line of defence near the Seringapatam Fort and the British reiterated the terms and conditions of the treaty, which was unacceptable to Tipu Sultan.

    B. Lewis Rice describes the last day of the battle in the Mysore Gazetteer in the late 19th Century as per which more than 2,490 European soldiers and 1,887 soldiers from various contingents of the native kingdoms raided the Fort and breached on May 4, 1799, at 1 p.m.

    General Baird and his contingent took heavy shelling from a battery of musketry and rockets fired by Tipu’s forces, but it was not enough to repel the invading forces that entered the fort. One of the important casualties was his General Syed Gafur.

    Buried among the dead

    On learning of his death, Tipu Sultan mounted his steed and headed to the northern ramparts of the fort.On noticing a large British contingent, he turned east and headed through a gateway where his horse was struck by a volley of bullets.

    Tipu Sultan fell and was buried among a heap of dead.

    “While he lay with the lower part of his body buried underneath the slain, the gold buckle of his belt excited the cupidity of a soldier who attempted to seize it. Tipu snatching up a sword, made a cut at him but the grenadier shot him through the temple and thus terminated his earthly career,” the Gazetteer recorded.

    British were unaware of Tipu’s death

    The British were oblivious of his death and when Tipu Sultan was not found in the palace, General Baird sent a search party that discovered his body among the dead.

    The news of Tipu’s death and the capture of Seringapatam, according to the Gazetteer , reached London on September 13, 1799.

     
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 BANNED

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    For all his valor Tipu Sultan spent more time fighting fellow Indians than the British
     
  3. kakathiya

    kakathiya BANNED

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    Do any one knows about the lion of kerala
    Veera Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja
    one of the earliest freedom fighter who fought the british

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    Resistance to hyders occupation (1773–1793)
    Pazhassi Raja's warfare with Mysore troops can be divided into two phases based on the rulers of the kingdom of Mysore. First phase lasted from 1773 to 1782 during this time Mysore ruler was Hyder Ali. Second phase extended from 1784 to 1793 and during this phase he fought troops of Tipu Sultan, son and successor of Hyder Ali:

    Resistance to Hyder Ali (1773–1782)
    In 1773, hyder ali marched into Malabar for the second time, for non-payment of tributes from the Rajas (kings) of Malabar as agreed after war in 1768. Most of the Rajas of Malabar, along with many Naduvazhis or vassals fled to seek political asylum in Travancore. Princes and younger noblemen who refused to flee the invasion organised resistances. The Malabari partisans made excellent use of the wooded hills that covered most of Malabar during this rebellions.

    In 1774, at age of 21, Pazhassi Raja took over the throne to replace his uncle who had fled to Travancore. He vowed to resist Hyder Ali's troops, and stayed in Kottayam where he gathered a force and began guerrilla battles against the troops of Mysore as he had neither guns or troops enough to face them in an open battle. He set up a large number of bases in the nearly impenetrable forested mountains of Puralimala and Wynad and repeatedly inflicted severe minor losses to the Mysore army in Kottayam as well as in Wynad.

    Once true Raja of Kottayam had fled away, a three royals rose to power in Kottayam. Nephew of escaped Raja named Vira varma and his nephews, Ravi Varma and Pazhassi Raja now took over reigns of government. Vira Varma was a skilled in political intrigue and manipulation whereas Ravi Varma was too incompetent to play any serious political role and hence his role only was nominal. Pazhassi Raja become most powerful figure in Kottayam, much to chargin of his uncle Vira Varma. Hence Vira Varma played a series of power games with aim to check growing clout of his nephew. So relations between Vira Varma and Pazhassi Raja was one of enmity right from onset.

    Military situation was grim for Pazhassi Raja and his troops – in 1774, Coorgs had joined hands with Hyder Ali on promise of being gifted Wynad and a large Coorg army camped in Wynad to help Mysore troops. In 1776, Hyder Ali re-installed Hindu Raja in Chirakkal and latter joined Mysore war effort to crush Pazhassi Raja. This triple alliance which lasted till 1780 reached nowhere near defeating Kottayam army.

    During his long war with the Mysore and then the English East India Company, Pazhassi Raja increased his sphere of influence significantly eastwards as far as the outskirts of Mysore. His men regularly looted enemy treasuries and sandalwood from southern Karnataka and his enemies could do little to check these raids. This enabled him to lay claim on a great chunk of the Mysore district – as far as Nanjangod in east.[3] Also Pazhassi Raja and his men frequently raided the domains of neighbouring Rajas in northern Malabar and Coorg to harass the enemy regiments posted there and he was often supported by local population of those territories. Along with this he had close ties with Ravi Varma and Krishna Varma, who were princes of Calicut and popular rebel leaders of southern Malabar.

    Siege of Thalasseri[edit]
    Thalasseri or Tellicherry in late 18th century was a harbour-fort which was held by British East India Company as a factory. Value of Tellicherry as a naval base meant that her capture could seriously impact British naval situation in West Coast. Also rebels in North Malabar bought arms and ammunition from British in Tellicherry. So if Hyder could capture this fort, he could in a stroke cripple both rebels in North Malabar as well as British military power at a regional basis.

    So in 1778, Hyder’s vassal, the Raja of Chirakkal, besieged Thalasseri and enforced an economic blockade-under orders from Hyder himself. The British factors at Talassery armed Pazhassi Raja’s men to enable them to recover Kottayam from the Mysorean occupation army. This move by the British ensured that the Chirakkal army was now at risk of being struck in the rear by Pazhassi Raja’s force. The Chirakkal troops began to retreat. But Pazhassi chased and devastated the Chirakkal army, and then marched to Kottayam where he obliterated the Mysorean occupation and over-ran all of Western Kottayam. But at this critical moment when the Mysorean army in Malabar could have been destroyed by a joint action on the part of British and the Rajas, the British factors at Talassery were instructed by the Governor not to upset the nominal peace with Hyder.

    Thus the British decision not to exploit the victory at Thalasseri was exploited by Mysore. The Chirakkal army reinforced by a Mysorean contingent under Balwant Rao marched into Kottayam. Pazhassi’s men, though secretly supplied with arms and ammunition by the British, could not hold or defeat this huge host and soon the Kottayam army was forced to disperse after a fight. Then the Mysore-Chirakkal army captured Kadathanad and installed a puppet Raja who joined hand with Mysore. In 1779, a huge Mysore-Chirakkal-Kadathanad army besieged Thalasseri. Pazhassi Raja sent a force of 2000 Nairs to aid British defence of Thalassery-and this enabled factors to hold on successfully.

    By end of 1779, Sardar Khan, the Mysorean general was sent to Thalasseri to bring the siege speedily to a successful conclusion. Sardar Khan knew that it was Pazhassi Raja’s help that enabled the British to resist him and so he opened negotiations with Pazhassi – his offer was the restoration of Mysore occupied territories of Kottayam if Pazhassi would ally himself with Mysore and pay an immediate tribute of 500,000 rupees. It was well beyond the capacity of Kottayam to raise so huge a sum in so short a time. But Pazhassi did his best to pay Sardar Khan [probably in hope that latter would make concessions] and 60,000 rupees was paid to the latter. But Khan was not satisfied and rejected Pazhassi’s request that his possessions in Malabar be restored. This greedy and tactless approach of Sardar Khan's made sure that there was little chance for Mysore to capture Thalasseri. Kottayam army became far more stronger with their major victory in 1779 at Kalpetta (Wynad) where whole Coorg army of 2,000 was surrounded and decimated by Pazhassi Raja's troops.Destruction of Coorg army in Wynad enabled Raja to throw a whole new army into contest at Thalasseri.

    In 1780, Pazhassi Raja proposed a plan to the British to break the Mysorean siege of Thalassery: he and his men would strike the enemy in the rear from the east as the British came out of the fort and struck the Mysorean line in front. Both armies would effect a junction that would split the enemy into two. The Mysorean and allied troops could then be routed easily. But it was only in 1781 that the British understood the value of this plan and their Bombay authorities agreed to it. An operation was carried out as per Pazhassi's plan; it ended with the destruction of the Mysorean forces. Sardar Khan himself was killed. What followed was a rebellion in Kottayam by the Nayar militia led by Pazhassi Raja. Soon, the Mysoreans were ousted.

    Rebellion to Oust Tipu Sultan (1784–1793)
    By 1782, Kottayam was once more a free land. But by the Treaty of Mangalore [1784] after the Second Anglo-Mysore War, the British recognised Tipu sultan's sphere of authority in Malabar. Thus with its only valuable ally lost, Kottayam was ready to become a vassal state of Mysore. Once more, as Sardar Khan did in 1779, Mysore exacted an exorbitant rate of tribute. Although Ravi Varma, the elder brother of Pazhassi Raja agreed to pay 65,000 rupees per year, Mysore demanded 81,000 rupees. The hiked rate of tribute meant greater hardship for the peasantry [largely Tiyar/Izhava] who had suffered from years of foreign occupation. So Pazhassi Raja took up this issue and decided to launch a mass resistance struggle once more.

    What angered Pazhassi Raja even more was that his brother Ravi Varma who paid visit to Tipu Sultan in 1786 for peace talks was forced to sign a treaty which ceded Wayanad to Tipu Sultan. Pazhassi Raja decided not to let Tipu enjoy Wayanad in peace and kept up a guerrilla warfare that constantly harassed Mysore troops in Wayanad and neighbourhood. War in Wayanad lasted for seven years – till 1793 – when the last of Mysore garrisons were expelled from soil of Wayanad.

    By the end of 1788, Pazhassi Raja’s hatred of Tipu had shot up on account of the latter’s policy of forcible conversion. So he strengthened his ties with British on one hand and with fellow rebel chiefs and princes in Malabar on the other hand. Tipu sent an army under a French general named Lally with a genocidal mission—the extermination of the Nair caste from Kottayam to Palakkad – as Tipu was determined to end the menace of Nair rebels in Malabar who had foiled all attempts of him and his late father Hyder Ali to subjugate and exploit Malabar. But in 1790, Tipu abandoned the war in Malabar as the war in Deccan drew his attention. Pazhassi Raja joined the British with a force of 1500 Nairs to capture the Mysorean stronghold in Katirur (near Talassery). After Katirur, Pazhassi Raja and his troops moved south-east and captured the Kuttiyadi fort from Tipu’s men. Thus once more the whole of Kottayam was in the control of Pazhassi Raja. In 1790, the British recognised Pazhassi Raja as the head of Kottayam instead of the original Raja who was in refuge at Travancore. Raja agreed to pay 25,000 rupees as tribute to the British. But his struggle with Mysore troops continued in Wayanad till 1793
     
  4. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 BANNED

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    Victoria Memorial to display Tipu Sultan’s notebook on artillery - The Hindu

    The lovers of history and connoisseurs of artefacts are up for a treat as the Victoria Memorial Hall is going to display for the first time a notebook belonging to Tipu Sultan, the legendary ruler of Mysore.

    The notebook written in Persian (Shikasta) touches on a variety of subjects but is mainly a treatise on the art of artillery. It is divided into eight chapters with introduction dealing with certain tenets of Islam and chapters dedicated to rules for horsemen and piyada (foot soldiers) of his army.

    Each page of the notebook consists of nine lines of script. Some pages bear the stamp of the three royal seals while ten sketches explain the use of muskets with details on how to load and hold them.

    Sahebzada Ghulam Mohammad, one of Tipu Sultan descendants, had donated the notebook to the trustees of Victoria Memorial in 1904.

    “The notebook reflects his keen interest and the first hand information on the use of arms and artillery along with the fact that he was introducing modern equipment in his armoury. In fact Tipu Sultan was one of the few great kings who died fighting,” Gholam Nabi, head of VMH documentation and photography unit told The Hindu.

    Mr. Nabi said the King of Mysore who wrote in Kannada, had dictated the contents of the note book to his calligrapher who wrote it in Persian. Historians believe that Tipu Sultan was one of the first kings to have made use of rockets in war as early as 1790s.

    “The artefact is going to be part of an exhibition on ‘Life and Times of Tipu Sultan’ which we have been planning for quite some time. The exhibition is likely to be held at the end of this year,” Jayanta Sengupta, the secretary and curator of VMH told The Hindu.