Tipu Sultan

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To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
My victorious sabre is lightning for the destruction of the unbelievers. Haidar, the Lord of the Faith, is victorious for my advantage. And, moreover, he destroyed the wicked race who were unbelievers. Praise be to him, who is the Lord of the Worlds! Thou art our Lord, support us against the people who are unbelievers. He to whom the Lord giveth victory prevails over all (mankind). Oh Lord, make him victorious, who promoteth the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuseth the faith of Muhammad; and withhold us from those who are so inclined. The Lord is predominant over his own works. Victory and conquest are from the Almighty. Bring happy tidings, Oh Muhammad, to the faithful; for God is the kind protector and is the most merciful of the merciful. If God assists thee, thou wilt prosper. May the Lord God assist thee, Oh Muhammad, with mighty victory. ~ Inscription of Tipu's sword
Tipu Sultan

Sultan Fateh Ali Tipu (20 November 17504 May 1799), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Indian Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 until his death in 1799. He was a scholar, warrior and poet.

Quotes[edit]

  • To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live for a hundred years like a jackal.
    • As quoted in Encyclopedia of Asian History (1988) Vol. 4, p. 104
    • Variants:
    • It is far better to live like a lion for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
    • It is far better to live like a tiger for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
      • Variant mentioned in Tipu Sultan : A Study in Diplomacy and Confrontation (1982) by B. Sheikh Ali, p. 329
  • People who have sinned against such a holy place are sure to suffer the consequences of their misdeeds at no distant date in this Kali age in accordance with the verse: Hasadbhih kriyate karma rudadbhir-anubhuyate (People do [evil] deeds smilingly but suffer the consequences crying).
    • Tipu expressing grief against the raid on Sringeri temple and matha by a contingent of the Marathas, called the Pindaris. Quoted in Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department 1916 pages 10–11 and 73–6 and History of Tipu Sultan by Mohibbul Hasan, p. 358
  • [ ….In a proclamation issued to the people in 1788 Tipu Sultan outlined his new scheme of social reform as follows:] 'From the period of the conquest until this day, during twenty-four years, you have been a turbulent and refractory people, and in the wars waged during your rainy season, you have caused number of our warriors to taste the draught of martyrdom. Be it so. What is past is past. Hereafter you must proceed in an opposite manner, dwell quietly and pay your dues like good subjects and since it is the practice with you for one woman to associate with ten men, and you leave your mothers and sisters unconstrained in their obscene practices, and are thence all born in adultery, and are more shameless in your connections than the beasts of the fields: I hereby require you to forsake these sinful practices and be like the rest of mankind; and if you are disobedient to these commands, I have made repeated vows to honour the whole of you with Islam and to march all the chief persons to the seat of Government.'
    • Kerala District Gazetteer, quoted in IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY Writ Petition No. 5435 of 1989, in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)

From Tipu Sultan's Decrees[edit]

  • Looting a conquered enemy enriches a few, impoverishes the nation and dishonors the entire army. Wars must be linked to battlefields. Do not carry them to innocent civilians. Honor their women, respect their religion, and protect their children and the infirm
  • Agriculture is the lifeblood of the nation. This land, rich and fertile, will reward those that work on it. Famine and want are either the result of sloth and ignorance or of corruption. The 127 Regulations of this Revenue Code are intended for your immediate implementation. In particular, your urgent attention is drawn to the provisions which relate to cash advances to needy peasants for buying ploughs, steps for taking over derelict land and protection to the cultivator and his descendants. Non-traditional crops must be specially encouraged and the formula for tax concessions to those who grow crops such as sugar cane, beetle and coconut must be brought into effect without delay. Also essential it is to encourage the planting of valuable trees-mangoes and the like-at the rate of 200 per village
  • I have given detailed instructions for the establishment of silk industry in Mysore. Silk worms and men well versed in the art of rearing them have already arrived from foreign lands to train our people. Eighteen centres have been set up for development of the industry. Many more are needed. Every encouragement is being given to plantation of mulberry trees. I would like you to take direct interest in this developmental activity. My goal is clear: I want Mysore to be the foremost amongst silk producing nations.
  • A pearl fishery is being established on the Malabar coast. Expert pearl divers are coming to Mysore from foreign lands. They will be with us for a short while until our own people can be trained. Believe me, there is glitter and romance in those pearls—and there is wealth and profit in them. Government is prepared to subsidise your training the youth in this field of work. You will also be assisted in case you suffer any financial losses in the pioneering years. Can I count on your cooperation?
  • The temples are under your management; you are therefore to see that offering to the gods and the temple illumination are duly regulated, as directed out of government grants.
  • [It appears that circular orders for the conversion of the Hindus were issued to all the different detachments of his troops. The original of one of these orders found in the records of Palglmut fort, after its capture in 1790, ran as follows : — ] “It directed (all military detachments) that every being in the district, without distinction, should he honored with Islam, that the houses of such as fled to avoid that honor should be burned, that they should be traced to their lurking places, and that all means of truth and falsehood, fraud or force, should be employed to effect their universal conversion.”—
    • Circular/Order sent to various army contingents by Tipu, it was found among the records from Palghat Fort, after its capture by the English Company in 1790.
    • Malabar Manual by William Logan, quoting Wilks, Historical sketches.[1] Quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • If any person, whether before or after marriage, shall keep a prostitute or a female-slave, you shall, after ascertaining the fact, take the slave for the Government,' and, if any person objects to it, he will be punishable
    • Circular of Tipu Sultan to local administrators, quoted by K.N.V. Sastri, in his essay Moral Laws under Tipu Sultan, in The Proceedings Of The Indian History Congress 6th Session, 1943
  • In the whole of the territories of the Balaghat (i.e., in the country below the ghats) most of the Hindu women go about with their breasts and heads uncovered. This is animal-like. No one of these women should hereafter go out without a fuller robe and a veil.
    • Circular of Tipu Sultan to local administrators, quoted by K.N.V. Sastri, in his essay Moral Laws under Tipu Sultan, in The Proceedings Of The Indian History Congress 6th Session, 1943

From Tipu Sultan's letters[edit]

  • Over 12,000 Hindus were 'honoured' with Islam. There were many Namboodiris (Brahmins) among them. This achievement should be widely publicised among the Hindus. There the local Hindus should be brought before you and then converted to Islam. No Namboodiri (Brahmin) should be spared. Also they should be confined there till the dress materials sent for them, reach you.
    • Tipu Sultan's Letter dated March 22, 1788, to Abdul Kadir. cited in Bhasha Poshini of Chingam 10, 1099 (August, 1923), Article on Tipu Sultan by Sardar K.M. Panicker. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993). [2] Also quoted in [3]
  • I am sending two of my followers with Mir Hussain Ali. With their assistance, you should capture and kill all Hindus. Those below 20 may be kept in prison and 5,000 from the rest should be killed by hanging from the tree-tops. These are my orders.
    • Tipu Sultan's Letter dated December 14, 1788, to his Army Chief in Calicut: cited in Bhasha Poshini of Chingam 10, 1099 (August, 1923), Article on Tipu Sultan by Sardar K.M. Panicker. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • 242 Nairs are being sent as prisoners. Categorise them according to their social and family status. After honouring them with Islam, sufficient dress materials may be given to the men and their women.
    • Letter dated December 21, 1788, to Sheik Kutub. cited in Bhasha Poshini of Chingam 10, 1099 (August, 1923), Article on Tipu Sultan by Sardar K.M. Panicker. Also in TIPU SULTAN: AS KNOWN IN KERALA by RAVI VARMA
  • With the grace of Prophet Muhammed and Allah, almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. Only a few are still not converted on the borders of Cochin State. I am determined to convert them also very soon. I consider this as Jehad to achieve that object.
    • Tipu Sultan's Letter dated January 18, 1790, to Syed Abdul Dulai: cited in Bhasha Poshini of Chingam 10, 1099 (August, 1923), Article on Tipu Sultan by Sardar K.M. Panicker. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair (Rajah of Travancore) very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now.
    • In Tipu’s letter of 19 January 1790 to the Governor of Bekal, Budruz Zuman Khan (Badroos Saman Khan). quoted in K.M. Panicker, Bhasha Poshini, August 1923
  • "Your two letters, with the enclosed memorandums of the Naimar (or Nair) captives, have been received. You did right in ordering a hundred and thirty-five of them to be circumcised, and in putting eleven of the youngest of these into the Usud Ilhye band (or class) and the remaining ninety-four into the Ahmedy Troop, consigning the whole, at the same time, to the charge of the Kilaaddar of Nugr…"
    • In a letter dated 8th Eezidy (February 13, 1790) addressed to Budruz Zuman Khan. (Selected Letters of Tipoo Sultan by Kirkpatrick)., also in C. NANDAGOPAL MENON, TIPU'S OWN TESTIMONY, 1990. in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).

Quotes about Tipu Sultan[edit]

(Sorted alphabetically by author/source)

  • Tipu was not happy with the social conditions of the day. There was wide disparity between different castes. The rigidity of the caste system was intensely high at the time. As far as land relations were concerned, the jagirdari system was prevalent. In Kerala, for example, there were communities where women did not cover the upper part of their bodies. Tipu was concerned about the inequalities in society. Tipu was in contact with the French during the time of the French Revolution. He was aware of events in Europe and was attracted to the maxims of the revolution, which called for equal rights for everyone in the world: liberty, equality and fraternity. He referred to himself as “Citizen Tipu” and saw himself as a revolutionist. In Srirangapatnam, he had a club consisting of 59 French soldiers and himself. In this club, everyone was equal, including the king. Through his friends among the French, he was aware of social movements in Europe. He was influenced by three European movements: Renaissance [Italy], Reformation [Germany] and Revolution [France]. He wanted to blend the salient features of these movements in his reign.
    Tipu was aware of the role of the French in the American War of Independence [1775-1783]. The French offered crucial support to the Americans. They went to America, fought the war for American independence and came back. Likewise, Tipu was under the assumption that Napoleon would drive the British out of India and go back. That did not happen. That was the reason for his embassy to Louis XVI in 1787 and the invitation to Napoleon in 1798.
    Tipu Sultan was the first Indian ruler to envisage state control of trade and industry. He established manufacturing and trade centres in several parts of his kingdom and also in Muscat, Jeddah, Basrah and Pegu.
    Tipu Sultan conceptualised a system of state capitalism that was far ahead of his times. Mysore silk, which has become a recognised industry in Karnataka, had its roots in Tipu’s success in introducing sericulture. Tipu’s army also had iron-cased rockets that were far more advanced than what the East India Company was equipped with at the time. He is also credited with forming a navy with the intention of fighting sea battles as opposed to the merchant navies that other rulers had. He undertook a series of reforms such as the abolition of the jagirdari system.
    The English saw Tipu as an impediment to their plans of conquering India. The early British sources on Tipu were the ones written by soldiers who had been imprisoned by him during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. This formed the basis for prejudiced accounts of Tipu’s reign that cast him as a despot. There was a constant campaign against Tipu by the English. No one in India had humiliated and dictated terms to the English as Tipu and Hyder had done. The intensity and hostility had gone to such a level that the English regretted that their language was not copious enough to find sufficient epithets to condemn him with.
  • First a corps of 30,000 barbarians who butchered everybody on the way, followed by the Field-Gun Unit under the French Commander, M. Lally. Tipu Sultan 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 were hanged with children tied to the necks of their mothers. That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied the naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants move about till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. Temples and Churches were ordered to be burnt, desecrated and destroyed. Christian and Hindu women were forced to marry Muhammadans and similarly their men were forced to marry Muhammadan women. Those Christians who refused to be 'honoured' with Islam, were ordered to be killed by hanging then and there. The above version of the atrocities was obtained from the sorrowful narration by the victims who escaped from Tipu's army and reached Varapuzha (near Alwaye) which is the centre of Carmichael Christian Mission. I myself helped many victims to cross the Varapuzha river by boats.
    • Fra Bartolomaco, in his well-known book, Voyage to East India, Cited in History of Cochin State by K.P. Padmanabha Menon, Mathrubhoomi Publication, 1989. p. 573. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • As soon as he had conquered Egypt, he will establish relations with the Indian princes and, together with them, attack the English in their possessions.
  • Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send a force of 15,000 men from Suez to India, to join the forces of Tipu-Sahib and drive away the English.
  • "To show his ardent devotion and steadfast faith in Muhammaddan religion, Tipu Sultan found Kozhikode to be the most suitable place. It was because the Hindus of Malabar refused to reject the matriarchal system, polyandry and half-nakedness of women that the 'great reformer' Tipu Sultan tried to honour the entire population with Islam."
    • Lewis B. Boury quoted in LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • For thirty years, first Haidar Ali, Tipu’s father, then Tipu himself, had been at the forefront of the British public’s consciousness…. So by the time he died at the hands of General Harris’s troops, as they besieged his island capital in 1799, Tipu Sultan was probably the most famous Indian, if not villain, in the United Kingdom.
  • Unfortunately, there are no memorials erected anywhere in Kodungallur, or Trichur, or Alwaye to honour Dharma Raja who gave shelter in his state to thousands of Hindus escaping from the Islamic brutalities of the fanatic Tipu Sultan; or Ayyappan Marthanda Pillai who was the architect of the historic Nedumkotta; or Raja Keshavadas under whose direct command a comparatively small army humbled and defeated the invading army of Tipu Sultan; or scores of valiant Hindu soldiers who laid down their lives to protect their country and faith. The most despicable and shameful act of the anti-Hindu secularist government of Kerala since Independence was that instead of honouring the legendary heroes of the land, a memorial in the form of a flagstaff was erected near the historic Trichur Palace to perpetuate the memory of the Islamic bigot Tipu Sultan who was instrumental in the forcible mass circumcision and killing of Hindus, destruction of Hindu temples, and devastation of the Malabar, Trichur, Alwaye and Kodungallur regions.
    • S.R. Goel in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, had been everyone’s icon. The recent efforts of the Hindu right to project him as a Muslim bigot show that their political stakes in him have changed.
    • Chandan Gowda, Professor of Sociology, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru in his article All about Tipu Sultan The Hindu, 09 November 2016.
  • 'Accompanied by an army of 60,000, Tipu Sultan came to Kozhikode in 1788 and razed it to the ground. It is not possible even to describe the brutalities committed by that Islamic barbarian from Mysore."
    • The German missionary Guntest, quoted in: LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993) (C.A. Parkhurst also noted that 'Almost the entire Kozhikode was razed to the ground.")
  • Tipu succeeded to a large kingdom that was bounded in the north by the river Krishna, in the south by the state of Travancore and the district of Tinnevelly [Tirunelveli], in the east by the Eastern Ghats and in the west by the Arabian Sea.
    • Mohibbul Hasan, in his book History of Tipu Sultan, quoted in Tipu—fact & fiction, Frontline Magazine, 06 January 2016.
  • Tipu proclaimed: "It is our constant object and sincere intention that those worthless and stiffnecked infidels (Hindus) who have turned aside their heads from obedience to the true believers, and openly raised the standard of infidelity should be chastised by the hands of the faithful and made either to acknowledge the true religion or to pay tribute."...He proclaimed that his commanders should serve Islam: "Promoting the prosperity and advantage of the people of Islam and the overthrowing of unrighteous infidels, you will do whatever may be in your power to increase the lustre of the firm religion of Mohammed.... He was out to humuliate the Hindus and glorify Islam: "By the blessings of Allah and the aid of the Prophet, the forces of the accursed, having experienced a signal defeat and chastisement, have turned their faces to flight, and the troops of Islam are victorious over the enemies of the faith. Thus the army of the accursed infidels has been trodden underfoot by the hoofs of the horses of Islam and rendered vile and miserable, while the religion of Mohammed has been thereby made to flourish. You, Sir, will, therefore, apply with all your heart the best means of advancing the religion of Mohammed and of administering to the support of Islam.".... He wrote to Zaman Shah, the king of Afghanistan, that "we should come together in carrying on a holy war against the infidels, and for freeing the region of Hindustan from the contamination of the enemies of our religion (Hindus)".
    • High Court, Bombay. From the September, 1990, Petition for special leave to appeal (Civil) which was filed against the judgement dated August 30, 1990 passed by Bombay High Court. quoted in : HISTORY OF LEGAL BATTLE AGAINST THE T.V. SERIAL - The Sword of Tipu Sultan by Madhavrao D. Pathak, in: Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • Tipu, after a feeble resistance in the field, retired into Seringapatam, and, when his capital was stormed, died fighting bravely in the breach, 1799. Since the battle of Plassey no event had so greatly impressed the native imagination as the capture of Seringapatam, which won for General Harris a peerage, and for Wellesley an Irish Marquisate.
    The silk-worm is said to have been introduced into Mysore by Tipu Sultan, and for many years continued to prosper. But recently the Mysore worms have been afflicted by an epidemic.
  • Tipu Sultan died a heroic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development and use of Mysore rockets in warfare. This technology was later adopted by the Europeans.
  • 'In consequence, the Hindus of Malabar had to suffer the most severe enormities the world had ever known in history' ... "When the second-in-line of Zamorins, Eralppad, refused to cooperate with Tipu Sultan in his military operations against Travancore because of Tipu's crude methods of forcible circumcision and conversion of Hindus to Islam, the enraged Tipu Sultan took a solemn oath to circumcise and convert the Zamorin and his chieftains and Hindu soldiers to Islamic faith."
    • K.V. Krishna Iyer, in his famous book, Zamorins of Calicut, quoted in : LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • Among the galaxy of heroes and heroines of Indian history the personality of Tipu Sultan will ever shine with a rare lustre. He was the only Indian Ruler who had the courage to challenge the British and had the distinction of dying on the battle field fighting the British and their allies. More than 200 years back Tipu Sultan visualised the birth of a free country. He was inspired by the French Revolution and wanted to put into reality the concepts of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
  • Tipu's proclamation created universal resentment and the whole country rose in rebellion. Fearing forcible conversion about 30,000 Brahmins alone fled to Travancore. The Kottayam and Kadattanand Rajas sought the English East India Company's protection. Calicut was attacked in November, 1788. Tipu's officers laid hands on the Karanavappad of Manjeri. The Nairs of Calicut and South Malabar headed by Ravi Varma and other princes of the Padinjare Kovilakam turned in despair on their oppressors. Tipu set 6,000 troops under M. Lally to raise the siege, but Ravi Varma could not be driven out of the field. Earlier, in 1789, Tipu himself came down to Malabar via the Tamarasseri Ghat to enforce his proclamation at the point of his sword. General orders were issued to his army that 'every being in the district without distinction should be burned, that they should be traced to their lurking places, and that all means of truth and falsehood, force or fraud should be employed to effect their universal conversion'. The Kadattanad Raja's fortified palace at Kuttipuram was surrounded and 2,000 Nairs, forced to surrender after a resistance of several days, were circumcised and regaled with beef. Several. Rajas and rich land owners fled to Travancore where the Dharma Raja rendered them all help to rehabilitate themselves in their new surroundings. The poor Nairs, however, retreated into the jungles and were relentlessly pursued by Mysorean troops. From their jungle homes the Nairs could engage themselves in a kind of guerrilla warfare against the enemy forces. Hence Tipu organised a regular and systematic Nair hunt with the help of his soldiers. He then proceeded to Cannanore and after celebrating the marriage of his son with the daughter of the Ali Raja, marched along the coast of Chowghat to overawe the native population by a show of his power. From there he retired to Coimbatore after making arrangements for the administrative reorganisation of the province and leaving a permanent army of occupation to frighten the population into passive submission."
    • Kerala District Gazetteer, quoted in IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY Writ Petition No. 5435 of 1989 in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • Oh Shiva! Shiva Lingam (idol) has gone (destroyed) from the temple,
    and also the Lingam (manliness) from the land:
    • Katathanad Royal Family, poem about the consequences of Padayottakalam, quoted in : LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.)in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • "Tipoo knew his will to be a law the propriety of which… would never be questioned or doubted by any of his slaves… He probably measured the sentiments in question by a different standard from that with which we estimate them. Thus the various murders and acts of treachery which we see him directing to be carried into execution, were not criminal, but on the contrary just, and even meritorious, in his eyes."... "The Koran taught him that it was not necessary to keep faith with infidels, or the enemies of the true religion, in which case it was not difficult for him to persuade himself that it was right to include all who opposed or refused to cooperate in his views for the extension of that religion; or, in other words, for his own aggrandisement."
    • William Kirkpatrick, Selected Letters of Tipoo Sultan (published in 1811) quoted in C. NANDAGOPAL MENON, TIPU'S OWN TESTIMONY, 1990. in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • The Sultan, therefore, in his infancy being like all children fond of play, and as in that space boys of Kinhiri Brahmin castes assembled to amuse themselves, was accustomed to quit the house to see them play, or play with them. It happened one day that a Fakir (a religious mendicant) a man of saint-like mind passed that way, and seeing the Sultan gave him a life bestowing benediction, saying to him, 'Fortunate child, at a future time thou will be the king of this country, and whey thy time comes, remember my words-take this temple and destroy it, and build a Masjid in its place, and for ages it will remain a memorial of thee.' The Sultan smiled, and in reply told him, 'that whenever, by his blessing, he should become a Padishah, or king, he would do as he (the Fakir) directed.' When, therefore, after a short time his father became a prince, the possessor of wealth and territory, he remembered his promise, and after his return from Nagar and Gorial Bundar, he purchased the temple from the adorers of the image in it (which after all was nothing but the figure of a bull, made of brick and mortar) with their goodwill, and the Brahmins, therefore, taking away their image, placed it in the Deorhi Peenth, and the temple was pulled down, and the foundations of a new Masjid raised on the site, agreeably to a plan of the Mosque built by Ali Adil Shah, at Bijapur, and brought thence.
    • Hussain Ali Khan Kirmani, History of Tipu Sultan Being a Continuation of The Neshan-i-Hyduri, translated from Persian by Col. W. Miles, first published 1864, New Delhi Reprint, 1986, pp. 66-67. Also quoted in S.R. Goel, Hindu Temples - What Happened to them (about the Masjid-i-Ala or Jama Masjid standing in Srirangapatanam on the site of a Shiva temple)
  • Tippu’s soldiers, therefore daily exposed the heads of many Brahmans in sight of the fort. It is asserted that the Zamorin, rather than witness such enormities (and to avoid further killing of innocent Brahmins), chose to abandon Palghautcherry (Palghat Fort).
    • Malabar Manual by William Logan (p. 500). [4] , citing the official report of Col. Fullarton of the British forces stationed in Mangalore. (Printed and published by Charitram Publications under the editorship of Dr. C.K, Kareem, Trivandrum). p. 500. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • It had been confirmed from Calicut that "200 Brahmans had been seized and confined, made Mussulmen, and forced to eat beef and other things contrary to their caste."
  • It was at Kuttippuram, the head-quarters of the Kadattanad family, that this force surrounded 2,000 Nayars with their families in an old fort which they defended for several days. At last finding it untenable they submitted to Tippu’s terms which were “a voluntary profession of the Muhammadan faith, or a forcible conversion with deportation from their native land. The unhappy captives gave a forced assent, and on the next day the rite of circumcision was performed on all the males, every individual of both sexes being compelled to close the ceremony by eating beef.”
    • Malabar Manual by William Logan p. 451. also in part quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • In the month of Chingam 952, Malayalam Era (corresponding to August, 1786) Tipu's Army destroyed idols of the famous Perumanam Temple and desecrated all the temples between Trichur and Karuvannur river. Irinjalakuda and Thiruvanchikulam temples were also defiled and damaged by Tipu's Army.
    • History of Kerala by A. Sreedhara Menon. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • The nightmarish results of Tipu's invasion of Kerala have been aptly described by the former editor of Gazetteer of Kerala and the renowned historian A. Sreedhara Menon. They state as follows: "Hindus, especially Nairs and chieftains who resisted Islamic cruelties, were the main targets of Tipu's anger. Hundreds of Nair women and children were abducted to Sreerangapatanam or sold as slaves to the Dutch. Nairs were hunted down and killed and also deprived of all traditional and social privileges. Thousands of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Nairs and other respected classes of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam or driven out of their traditional ancestral homes. Thousands sought refuge in Travancore State while hundreds fled to forests and hills to escape Tipu's atrocities which had completely shaken their sense of security." "The new phase of Mysore administration in Kerala resulted in unending wars. Extreme cruelties of the invading army had badly affected every section of the society, leading to the mass exodus of people from Malabar." "Many Hindu temples, royal houses and chieftain families were destroyed and plundered. The exodus of Brahmins and Kshatriyas who were the patrons and custodians of traditional arts and culture, resulted in stagnation in the cultural field also."
    • A. Sreedhara Menon.quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • Hindus, especially Nairs and chieftains who resisted Islamic cruelties, were the main targets of Tipu's anger. Hundreds of Nair women and children were abducted to Sreerangapatanam or sold as slaves to the Dutch. Nairs were hunted down and killed and also deprived of all traditional and social privileges. Thousands of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Nairs and other respected classes of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam or driven out of their traditional ancestral homes. Thousands sought refuge in Travancore State while hundreds fled to forests and hills to escape Tipu's atrocities which had completely shaken their sense of security.. The new phase of Mysore administration in Kerala resulted in unending wars. Extreme cruelties of the invading army had badly affected every section of the society, leading to the mass exodus of people from Malabar.. Many Hindu temples, royal houses and chieftain families were destroyed and plundered. The exodus of Brahmins and Kshatriyas who were the patrons and custodians of traditional arts and culture, resulted in stagnation in the cultural field also.
    • History of Kerala by A. Sreedhara Menon. Also quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "The Padayottam military occupation period won't be forgotten by the Malayalis for generations. It was this invasion, between Malayalam era 957 to 967 (1782 to 1792) that turned Malayalam upside down," says P. Raman Menon, biographer of Shaktan Tampuran, the King of Cochin during Tipu's invasion. He adds: "There was hardly any cowshed left in Malayalam where the Mysore Tiger did not enter." The reference is to the mass cow-slaughter carried out by Tipu's army on his orders.
    • P. Raman Menon, quoted in C. NANDAGOPAL MENON, TIPU'S OWN TESTIMONY, 1990.in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • The Mysore Gazetteer says that the ravaging army of Tipu Sultan had destroyed more than 8000 temples in South India. The temples of Malabar and Cochin principalities had to bear the brunt of plunder and destruction. The History of Cochin by K.P. Padmanabha Menon and History of Kerala by A. Sreedhara Menon narrate some of them: "In the month of Chingam 952, Malayalam Era (corresponding to August, 1786) Tipu's Army destroyed idols of the famous Perumanam Temple and desecrated all the temples between Trichur and Karuvannur river. "Irinjalakuda and Thiruvanchikulam temples were also defiled and damaged by Tipu's Army." Some of the other famous temples looted and desecrated were as follows: Triprangot, Thrichembaram, Thirunavaya, Thiruvannoor, Calicut Thali, Hemambika Temple, the Jain Temple in Palghat, Mammiyur, Parambatali, Venkitangu, Pemmayanadu, Tiruvanjikulam, Terumanam, Vadakhumnnathan Temple of Trichur, Belur Siva Temple, Shri Veliyanattukava, Varakkal, Puthu, Govindapuram, Keraladhiswara, Trikkandiyur, Sukapuram, Maranehei Temple of Aaalvancheiri Tambrakkal, Vengara Temple of Aranadu, Tikulam, Ramanathakra, Azhinjalam Indiannur, Mannur Narayan Kanniar and Vadukunda Siva Temple of Madai.
    • K.P. Padmanabha Menon, A. Sreedhara Menon quoted in Ravi Varma, " Tipu Sultan: As Known In Kerala" in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • My victorious sabre is lightning for the destruction of the unbelievers. Haidar, the Lord of the Faith, is victorious for my advantage. And, moreover, he destroyed the wicked race who were unbelievers. Praise be to him, who is the Lord of the Worlds! Thou art our Lord, support us against the people who are unbelievers. He to whom the Lord giveth victory prevails over all (mankind). Oh Lord, make him victorious, who promoteth the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuseth the faith of Muhammad; and withhold us from those who are so inclined. The Lord is predominant over his own works. Victory and conquest are from the Almighty. Bring happy tidings, Oh Muhammad, to the faithful; for God is the kind protector and is the most merciful of the merciful. If God assists thee, thou wilt prosper. May the Lord God assist thee, Oh Muhammad, with mighty victory.
    • Inscription of Tipu's sword, Mysore Gazetteer, Volume 2, Part 4, eds. Conjeeveram Hayavadana Rao and Benjamin Lewis Rice (Bangalore: Government Press, 1930), Ch. 9, pp. 2697–2698
  • The reversion of Mangalore to the possession of Tipu was signalized by the forcible circumcision of many thousands of Indian Christians and their deportation to Seringapatam. A revolt in Coorg next year led to the same treatment of the greater part of the inhabitants the occasion being marked by Tipu's assumption of the tide of Badshah. ... A simultaneous rebellion occurred now in Coorg and Malabar, and the Sultan, passing through Coorg to quiet it, entered Malabar. Large parties of the Nairs were surrounded and offered the alternative of death or circumcision. ... Over 8,000 temples were also desecrated, their roofs of gold, silver and copper and the treasures buried under the idols amounting to many lakhs, being treated as royal plunder....His orders were, that 'every being in the district, without distinction, should be honoured with Islam; that the houses of such as fled to avoid that honour should be burned; that they should be traced to their lurking places, and that all means of truth and falsehood, fraud or force, should be employed' to effect their universal conversion.
    • Mysore Gazetteer , quoted in IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY Writ Petition No. 5435 of 1989 in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • The following is a translation of an inscription on the stone found at Seringapatam, which was to have been set up in a conspicuous place in the fort:"Oh Almighty God! dispose the whole body of infidels! Scatter their tribe, cause their feet to stagger! Overthrow their councils, change their state, destroy their very root! Cause death to be near them, cut off from them the means of sustenance! Shorten their days! Be their bodies the constant object of their cares (i.e. infest them with diseases), deprive their eyes of sight, make black their faces (i.e. bring shame)."
    • Mysore Gazetteer , quoted in IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY Writ Petition No. 5435 of 1989 in : Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993)
  • Agrarian trade prospered in the reign of Haider and Tippu Sulthan. Kumbala, Mangalore, Mulki, Basaruru, Gangoli, Bhatkala, Honnavara and Karwar continued to be prominent trade centres of agrarian products namely rice, pepper and coconut. Both Haidar and Tippu Sulthan had intentions to expand agrarian trade ofrice and pepper to Muscat, China, Pegu, Arabia and even distant Maldiva Island. For the expansion of trade, Tippu Sulthan set up a depot at Muscat and it was placed under the charge of Amildar at Mangalore.
    Hyder and Tippu Sulthan also took keen interest in the expansion of activities further. They particularly encouraged the cultivation of cash crops namely sugarcane, pepper, arecanut, coconut, sandal wood etc. Attempts were made to bring barren and unproductive lands under the cultivation. Tippu Sulthan in particular granted barren lands to peasants and collected a nominal rate of tax. He even encouraged the cultivation of sugar cane and sandalwood. The enterprising peasants were given loans for the expansion of agricultural activities in the barren places. His Government provided irrigation facility in places, where it was feasible.
    Both Haidar and Tippu sulthan took interest in improving the communication system with an intention of increasing the agrarian trade in rice, pepper and coconut produced in the Kingdom. For instance, the state constructed boats for the sea trade. The state ships carried rice, pepper, sugarcane and coir to Muscat, Aden, Arabia and Red Sea region and even distant China. The state maintained roads and provided facilities to the traders.
    Although Tippu’s revenue code was framed with great ability, it was badly implemented by his officers of whom the Sultan had lost his grip after 1792. Newly recruited revenue officers were indulged in corruption and dishonesty. They kept the revenue accounts in the most unreliable manner. For instance in Kanara, the ryots in 1796 A.D. under Tippu received a nominal remission of 20% of their assessment but the remitted amount was paid in years between 1796 and 1799 as a bribe to the revenue officers.
    Along with the Muslims, “trusted Brahmans” from the region of Mysore were entrusted with the revenue administration of South Kanara. The defective implementation of Tippu’s agrarian policy adversely affected the status of the Christian agriculturist, the Gowda-Sarasvats and the Jain Paleyagars in the agrarian set up in the region under study.
  • "The communal Mappila outrage of 1921 in Malabar could be easily traced to the forcible mass conversion and related Islamic atrocities of Tipu Sultan during his cruel military regime from 1783 to 1792. It is doubtful whether the Hindus of Kerala had ever suffered so much devastation and atrocities since the reclamation of Kerala by the mythological Lord Parasurama in a previous Era. Many thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted into Muhammadan faith."
    • K. Madhava Nair, on page 14 of his famous book, Malabar Kalapam (Mappila outrage). Quoted in V.M. KORATH: THE SWORD OF TIPU SULTAN in Goel S.R. (Ed.) Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • rockets made an extraordinary impression on the British, and led, from 1801, to what would now be called a vigorous research and development programme (at the Royal Woolwich Arsenal). Sir William Congreve made systematic studies of propellants, analysed performance applying Newton’s laws, developed a series of rockets of different sizes and characteristics, made a comparative cost analysis and published three books on the subject. Rockets were soon systematically used by the British during the Napoleonic Wars and their confrontation with the U.S. during 1812-14.
    • Rockets in Mysore and Britain, 1750-1850 A.D. by Roddam Narasimha, 1985, Quoted in Striking legacy, Frontline Magazine, 23 November 2018.
  • It was not religious bigotry that made Tipu issue this amazing proclamation. He was firmly convinced that in asking the Nairs to give up what he called their obscene habits, he was undertaking a mission of civilisation. It is the narrow reformer’s mind, anxious for the moral and material welfare of the people, and not the fanaticism of the bigot desirous of converting the Kafir, that speaks in his proclamation.
    • K.M. Panikkar in his book History of Kerala: 1498-1801 Quoted in Contested legacy, Frontline Magazine, 11 December 2015.
  • Tipu’s moves are not good. He is full of arrogance. Recently Nur Muhammad received a letter from Tipu that he converted 50,000 Hindus including women and children to Islam, no Padishah or Vazir did it in the past, with God’s grace he could. He converts entire villages.
  • "Kozhikode was then a centre of Brahmins. There were around 7000 Namboodiri houses of which more than 2000 houses were destroyed by Tipu Sultan in Kozhikode alone. Sultan did not spare even children and women. Menfolk escaped to forests and neighbouring principalities. Mappilas increased many fold (due to forcible conversion).... "During the military regime of Tipu Sultan, Hindus were forcibly circumcised and converted to Muhammadan faith. As a result the number of Nairs and Brahmins declined substantially."
    • Elankulam Kunjan Pillai quoted in V.M. KORATH: THE SWORD OF TIPU SULTAN in Goel S.R. (Ed.) Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • Muhammadans greatly increased in number. Hindus were forcibly circumcised in thousands. As a result of Tipu's atrocities, strength of Nairs and Chamars (Scheduled Castes) significantly diminished in number. Namboodiris also substantially decreased in number.
    • Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai in the Mathrubhoomi Weekly of December 25, 1955, in : LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.), in : in Goel S.R. (Ed.) Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "During Malayalam Era 965 corresponding to 1789-90, Tipu Sultan crossed over to Malabar with an army of uncivilised barbarians. With a sort of fanatical love for Islamic faith, he destroyed many Hindu temples and Christian churches which were the custodians of precious wealth and religious traditions. Besides, Tipu Sultan abducted hundreds of people and forcibly circumcised and converted them to Islam - an act which was considered by them as more than death."
    • Govinda Pillai in his famous book, History of Literature;, quoted in : LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) in : Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "With respect to the much-published land-grants I had explained the reasons about 40 years back. Tipu had immense faith in astrological predictions. It was to become an Emperor (Padushah) after destroying the might of the British that Tipu resorted to land-grants and other donations to Hindu temples in Mysore including Sringeri Mutt, as per the advice of the local Brahmin astrologers. Most of these were done after his defeat in 1791 and the humiliating Srirangapatanam Treaty in 1792. These grants were not done out of respect or love for Hindus or Hindu religion but for becoming Padushah as predicted by the astrologers."
    • Biography of the Diwan of Travancore, Life History of Raja Kesavadas by V,R. Parameswaran Pillai. quoted in C. NANDAGOPAL MENON, TIPU'S OWN TESTIMONY, 1990. in : Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • 'In a deliberately designed taxation scheme, the religious prejudice of Tipu Sultan became quite clear. His co-religionists, Muslims, were exempted from house tax, commodity tax and also the levy on other items of household use. Those who were converted to Muhammadanism, were also given similar tax exemptions. He had even made provisions for the education of their children. Tipu Sultan discontinued the practice of appointing Hindus in different administrative and military jobs as practised by his father, Hyder Ali Khan, in the past. He had deep hatred towards all non-Muslims. During the entire period of sixteen years of his regime, Purnaiyya was the only Hindu who had adorned the post of Dewan or minister under Tipu Sultan. In 1797 (two years before his death) among the 65 senior Government posts, not even a single Hindu was retained. All the Mustadirs were also Muslims. Among the 26 civil and military officers captured by the British in 1792 there were only 6 non-Muslims. In 1789, when the Nizam of Hyderabad and other Muslim rulers decided that only Muslims would be appointed henceforth in all Government posts, Tipu Sultan also adopted the same policy in his Mysore State. Just because they were Muslims, even those who were illiterate and inefficient, were also appointed to important Government posts. Even for getting promotions, one still had to be a Muslim under Tipu Sultan's regime. Considering the interest and convenience of only Muslim officers, all the records relating to tax revenue, were ordered to be written in Persian rather than in Marathi and Kannada as followed earlier. He even tried to make Persian the State language in place of Kannada. In the end all the Government posts were filled by lazy and irresponsible Muslims. As a consequence the people had to suffer a great deal because of those fun-seeking and irresponsible Muslim officers. The Muslim officers, occupying important posts at all levels, were all dishonest and unreliable persons. Even when people complained to him with evidences against those officers, Tipu Sultan did not care to inquire about the complaints lodged."
    • M.A. Gopal Rao, quoted in : LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) , in: Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "Whatever cruelties, the local Mappilas were desirous of indulging in the land, Tipu Sultan and his army of Muslim converts did. The ancient and holy temples were heartlessly defiled or burnt down. The ruins of those temples destroyed by Tipu's fanatic army are the existing evidences of the atrocities committed by Muslims in the country. Christian churches also had to suffer widespread destructions. However, Tipu Sultan spared only the territories of Cochin Raja who had surrendered to Hyder Ali Khan in the beginning itself. Still, when Tipu Sultan and his army entered Parur and started firing at Kodungallur, the Cochin Raja sent a letter to the Travancore Raja requesting him 'to protect me and my family'."
    • Dewan of Travancore, Madhava Rao, History of Travancore, quoted in: LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.)in: Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • In the vast empire of Tipu Sultan on the eve of his death, there were only two Hindu temples having daily pujas within the Sreerangapatanam fortress. It is only for the satisfaction of the Brahmin astrologers who used to study his horoscope that Tipu Sultan had spared those two temples. The entire wealth of every Hindu temple was confiscated before 1790 itself mainly to make up for the revenue loss due to total prohibition in the country.
    • Lewis Rice, cited in : V.M. KORATH, THE SWORD OF TIPU SULTAN: in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • He (Tipu Sultan) was indifferent to women even though his seraglio contained many beautiful ladies. The case of Coorg women who fell into his hands is a good illustration of this statement. But his indifference did not arise from any temperamental dullness. He had to set a proper example and was therefore very careful. His attitude towards Ali Raza Beebi of Tellicherry goes to prove that he would not hesitate to punish the faithless even among well-placed women. He created a special military corps, Usud-Illahis, with a desire to make such ill-advised persons physically strong. It is said that there was a touch of romance however in the whole business. But this did not out-weigh his higher intention, which was prescribed by the holy Koran.
    Drunkenness, Prostitution and Irreverance were the most oommon vices. It appears from the available evidence that Tipu Sultan was the sole exception among the Muhammadan rulers of his time and among the noblemen of his own country to have had a real abhorrence to these social evils.
  • Tipu was one of our great statesmen, and politically he was committed to driving the British out of the country. He took into account both his Muslim and Hindu subjects. He was farsighted, particularly the way in which he tried to be self-sufficient and manufacture rockets. If he had mastered the technique, probably the history of India would’ve taken a different turn.
  • Vilification of Tipu was linked to the development of an imperial culture. Expansionist Governors General consciously blackened the character of Tipu to make their own aggressive actions more palatable to British audiences at home. Through a process of reversal, preventive war came to be justified as defensive in nature, protecting the native inhabitants of Mysore from the depredations of an unspeakable despot. The increasingly vilified and caricatured representations of Tipu allowed the East India Company to portray itself as fighting a moral crusade to liberate southern India from the depredations of a savage ruler. Company servants were recast in the British popular imagination from unscrupulous nabobs into virtuous soldier-heroes that embodied the finest qualities of the British nation. The study of the faithless and violent character of ‘Tippoo the Tyrant’ ultimately reveals much about how empire is constructed at home and abroad.
    • Michael Soracoe in his thesis, Quoted in Contested legacy, Frontline Magazine, 11 December 2015.
  • There was no limit as to the loss the Hindu temples suffered due to the military operations of Tipu Sultan. Burning down the temples, destruction of the idols installed therein and also cutting the heads of cattle over the temple deities were the cruel entertainments of Tipu Sultan and his equally cruel army. It was heartrending even to imagine the destruction caused by Tipu Sultan in the famous ancient temples of Thalipparampu and Thrichambaram. The devastation caused by this new Ravana's barbarous activities have not yet been fully rectified.
    • Vatakkankoor Raja Raja Varma in his famous literary work, History of Sanskrit Literature in Kerala, in: LATE P.C.N. RAJA, RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE OF TIPU SULTAN (This is the English translation of the Malayalam article by P.C.N. Raja first published in Kesari Annual of 1964. The late Raja was a senior member of the Zamorin Royal Family.) : in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "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."
    • Vadakunkur Raja Raja Varma in Kerala Samskrita Sahitya Charitram (History of Sanskrit Literature in Kerala):, quoted in C. NANDAGOPAL MENON, TIPU'S OWN TESTIMONY, 1990.: in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • Tipu equally allowed Hindus to practice their religion freely, gave large donations, weekly offerings, financially supported Hindu ceremonies, relied on the prayers of eminent Hindu priests and generally appears to have provided protection for Hindu property. In one case, he even ordered the construction of a Hindu temple.

See also[edit]

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