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Tipu Sultan: “Defender of Hindu Dharma”, First Freedom Fighter, Secular Ruler

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View of the Hoally Gateway, where Tipu Sultan_...

Tipu Sultan was killed here

Sep 2015 Update:

There are reasons why some people hate Tipu Sultan. Find out a few things from this Professor’s article Tipu Sultan: a secular internationalist, not a bigot. A few more reasons can be found in the next article (below)


Tipu was radical in more than one sense. He was the first to ban consumption of alcohol in the entire State, not on religious grounds, but on moral and health grounds. He went to the extent of saying: “A total prohibition is very near to my heart.” He is credited with introducing missile or rocket technology in war. He was the first to introduce sericulture to the then Mysore state. He was the first to confiscate the property of upper castes, including Mutts, and distribute it among the Shudras. He is also credited with sowing the seeds of capitalist development at a time when the country was completely feudal. He thought about constructing a dam across the Cauvery in the present-day location of Krishnaraja Sagar. He completed the task of establishing a biodiversity garden named Lal Bagh.

His tolerance is reflected in his annual grants to no less than 156 temples, which included land deeds and jewellery. His army was largely composed of Shudras. When the famed Sringeri Mutt, established by Shankaracharya, was invaded by the Maratha army, he issued a firman to provide financial assistance for reinstallation of the holy idol and restoring the tradition of worship at the Mutt. His donation to the famous Srikanteshwara temple at Nanjangud; the donation of 10,000 gold coins to complete temple work at Kanchi; settling the disputes between two sects of priests at the Melkote temple; and gifts to Lakshmikanta temple at Kalale are all well-known. Interestingly, Srirangapatna, a temple town, remained his permanent capital till the end of his rule. He was also instrumental in constructing the first-ever church in Mysuru. Incidentally, well-known historian B.A. Saletore calls him “defender of Hindu Dharma”.



Jan 2013 Update:

Q: Who was the first freedom fighter of India?

A: Vasu M.V, Associate Professor, Department of History, Bangalore University said: “Tipu Sultan in my opinion represents the leader who brought modernity that entered India. He had good affiliation with the members of the French Revolution and was deeply inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution. He perceived the concept of nationalism among Indians. He also fought against the colonial rulers and can be called as the first freedom fighter of India. He is the only one in the world who surrendered his children for the cause of the nation during the 3rd Anglo Mysore war. The recent protests by various groups against naming the university after him are meaningless. I believe that the university should be named after him so that the university is honoured by keeping his name.”


“While Tipu Sultan’s treatment of Hindus is perceived to be harsh, not many are aware the Sultan’s treatment of Muslims was equally stern. The Mappillas of Malabar, Nawabs of Savanur, Cuddapah and Kurnool were inflicted severe treatment for their disloyalty and it was purely political in nature. One cannot ascribe communal or religious motives to it and Tipu Sultan was more hostile towards the Nizam than towards the Marathas,” said Prof. B. Sheik Ali, former Vice Chancellor of Mangalore and Goa Universities

Those disparaging Tipu Sultan for communal reasons should be aware that he made numerous gifts to temples, notably the Srikanteshwara temple at Nanjangud and Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangapatana, donated 10,000 gold coins to complete the temple at Kanchi, settled the disputes between the two sects of priests at the Melukote temple, while his several letters to Sringeri Shankaracharya speaks volumes of his respect to Hindusism, according to Prof. Ali, who said the present prejudice against Tipu Sultan was a fallout of the bias of colonial historians because Tipu had challenged the British paramountcy in India.



Mahmud Ghazni’s destruction of the Somnath temple was known but not the fact that Tipu Sultan gave an annual grant to 156 Hindu temples.

Dr. Har Prashad Shastri, the then head of the Sanskrit Department in Calcutta University, wrote that during Tipu’s rule 3,000 Brahmins had committed suicide to escape conversion to Islam. The only authentication Dr. Shastri could provide was that the reference was contained in the Mysore Gazetteer. But the Gazetteer contained no such reference. [Source: Dr. B.N. Pande’s History in the Service of Imperialism]

Dr. Pande, who summarised his conclusions in a lecture to members of the Rajya Sabha in 1977, had said: “Thus under a definite policy the Indian history textbooks were so falsified and distorted as to give an impression that the medieval period of Indian history was full of atrocities committed by Muslim rulers on their Hindu subjects and the Hindus had to suffer terrible indignities under Islamic rule.”

The Hindu Article: Muslim rulers deliberately projected as intolerant: Justice Katju

மஞ்சை வசந்தன் எழுதிய மாவீரன் திப்பு சுல்தான் வரலாற்று நூல் முழுவதுமாக படிக்க

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