Hyder Ali

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Hyder Ali, Haidarālī (c. 1720 – 7 December 1782) was the Sultan and de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Born as Sayyid wal Sharif Hyder Ali Khan, he distinguished himself militarily, eventually drawing the attention of Mysore's rulers. Rising to the post of Dalavayi (commander-in-chief) to Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, he came to dominate the titular monarch and the Mysore government. He became the de facto ruler of Mysore as Sarvadhikari (Chief Minister) by 1761. He offered strong resistance against the military advances of the British East India Company during the First and Second Anglo–Mysore Wars, and he was the innovator of military use of the iron-cased Mysorean rockets. He also significantly developed Mysore's economy.

Quotes about Hyder Ali[edit]

  • Hyder Ali did not belong to the nobility. He had descended from a family of saints. He was a self-made man. He was a shrewd politician who established his kingdom. Tipu went a step ahead compared with Hyder as he also saw himself as a social reformer.
  • 'Nothing was to be seen on the roads for a distance of four leagues, nothing was found but only scattered limbs and mutilated bodies of Hindus. The country of Nairs [Hindus] was thrown into a general consternation which was much increased by the cruelty of the Mappilas who followed the invading cavalry of Hyder Ali Khan and massacred all those who escaped without sparing even women and children; so that the army advancing under the conduct of this enraged multitude [Mappilas] instead of meeting with continued resistance, found villages, fortresses, temples and every habitable place forsaken and deserted (p. 461).
    • RAVI VARMA, TIPU SULTAN: AS KNOWN IN KERALA, quoting a Muslim officer of Mysore army in his diary and as edited by Prince Ghulam Muhammad, the only surviving son of Tipu Sultan. in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "Wherever he (Hyder Ali Khan) turned, he found no opponent; and every inhabitable place was forsaken and the poor inhabitants who fled to the woods and mountains in the inclement season experienced anguish to behold their houses in flames, fruit-trees cut down, cattles destroyed and temples burnt. By means of Brahmin messengers despatched to woods and mountains, Hyder Ali Khan promised pardon and mercy to the Hindus who had fled. However, as soon as the unfortunate Hindus returned on his promise of mercy and pardon, Hyder Ali Khan, like all the other Muslim tyrants of North India, saw to it that they were all hanged to death, their wives and children reduced to slavery (p. 468).
    • RAVI VARMA, TIPU SULTAN: AS KNOWN IN KERALA, quoting a Muslim officer of Mysore army in his diary and as edited by Prince Ghulam Muhammad, the only surviving son of Tipu Sultan.in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).
  • "Before quitting the country (Kerala) Hyder Ali Khan by a solemn edict declared the Nairs deprived of all (social and political) privileges and (ordered) not to carry arms. This ordinance was found to make the submission of the proud Nairs absolutely impossible because they would have thought death preferable to such humiliations and degradation. Therefore, Hyder Ali Khan by another ordinance, consented to restore all social and political privileges including carrying of arms, to the Nairs who embraced the Mohammadan religion. Many nobles had to embrace Islam; but a significantly large section (Nairs, Chieftains and Brahmins) chose rather to take refuge in the kingdom of Travancore in the South than to submit to the last ordinance" (p. 469).
    • RAVI VARMA, TIPU SULTAN: AS KNOWN IN KERALA, quoting a Muslim officer of Mysore army in his diary and as edited by Prince Ghulam Muhammad, the only surviving son of Tipu Sultan.in Tipu Sultan: Villain or hero? : an anthology. (1993).

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External links[edit]

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