Thursday December 14, 2017

10 lesser known facts about Tipu Sultan

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Tipu-Sultan

By Poonam Verma

Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore is known for his heroic acts in the wars and the sacrifices he made to save his land from foreign invaders. He saved Deccan India from the British for a long period but not all the South Indians loved this martyr.

Here are ten interesting facts about the great Indian ruler:

The barbaric acts of the Tiger

Tipu Sultan forced more than 10 million Hindus and Christians in Malabar region to convert to Islam. These people were imprisoned and made to eat beef. Those who refused to convert to Islam were hanged to death. Hindus and Christians were forced to marry Muslim women. The Tiger ordered to burn down and destroy the temples and churches in his kingdom.

The father of rockets

The first rocket invented by the French was based on the technology devised by Tipu Sultan and his father, Haider Ali. The rockets which used to launch swords were better than those used in France.

Mysore navy

He played a major role in building a navy in Mysore consisting of 20 battleships of 72 cannons and 20 frigates of 62 cannons.

“Ram” ring, his trophy

Tipu Sultan owned a ring given to him as a war trophy. The irony is that the ring reads “Ram” and Sultan hated Hindu religion.

A great scholar and soldier

Tipu Sultan was a great soldier and saved the South India from British invasions for a long time. He learnt military strategies from the French.

Tippoo Sahib

He saved Deccan India from British attacks for a long time and was addressed as Tippoo sahib by them.

Farsi ruled his kingdom

Before Tipu overtook the thrown of Mysore, official works were done on Kannada and Marathi language. But after he sat on the thrown, Farsi was introduced as the new official language of Mysore state.

Love for gardening

Tipu had a great inclination toward gardening. He used to ask foreign dignitaries for several varieties of seeds and plants. He is known for creating the Lal-Bagh botanical garden in Bangalore

A self-admirer

Tipu Sultan’s letters reflect his enthusiasm. Nowhere, those letters showed that he was guilty of his barbaric acts. In fact, he was proud of converting Hindus and Christians to Islam.

They loved to hate him

People in Malabar, Mangalore and Coorg loved to hate him to such an extent that they joined hands with the British for his doom. This helped the British in winning the fourth Anglo Mysore War. He lost his sons in the third war and his own life in the fourth one.

 

 

 

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24 years after Converting his Faith to Islam, 52-year-old Sheshadri from Mysore Returns to Hinduism

What was the reason for his conversion from Islam to back to his original religion Hinduism?

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Sheshadri originally belonged to a Brahmin family
(Representative image) Sheshadri originally belonged to a Brahmin family. Wikimedia
  • Sheshadri lost his mother when he was only 2 years old and he also lost his father while he was studying in class 10
  • No one from his community came to help him and to survive he had to take odd jobs at hotels in Mysore and Bengaluru 
  • He adopted Islam religion as he developed a liking for that religion

 Mysore, Karnataka, August 25, 2017:  Sheshadri, an old man from Mysore who is  59 yrs old and earlier belonged to a Brahmin family and Shree Vaishnava Pantha Brahmin community. He later adopted Islam religion. Now, after a long duration of time, Sheshadri and his 20-year-old son Syed Ateek have converted back to Hinduism.

Here’s how a Brahmin man who first converted to Islam and later came back to his own religion- Hinduism:

  • Sheshadri is a resident of Jakkanahalli (a small village which falls in Mandya district) town Shree Ranga Pattana in Karnataka. His profession is that of a lorry driver in Mandya.
  • His father’s name was late B Govindaraju, who was a priest and follower of Ramanujacharya, a Hindu theologian and held a belief in Vishishtadvaita (non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy).
  • His mother’s name was Kamalamma, who was a Shaiva Brahmin and follower of Adi Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta (a type of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, they believe that their soul is not really different from God). 
  • But his parents didn’t have an easy life as they had to leave the town as the community opposed their marriage.

ALSO READ: Tamil Brahmin’s transformation to urban middle class 

  • Sheshadri didn’t have a normal childhood. He lost his mother when he was only 2 years old and he also lost his father while he was studying in class 10.
  • During those tough days no one from his community came to help him, to survive he had to take odd jobs at hotels in Mysore and Bengaluru.
  • In 1993, he started working as a lorry driver with Syed Keezer from Kollegala. At that time, Sheshadri adopted Islam religion as he developed a liking for that religion.
  • Sheshadri married Fahmida, who was a relative of Syed Keezer and with her, he had two sons- Syed Ateek and Syed Siddiq.
  • But even his marriage didn’t last long as Fahmida left Sheshadri 2 years ago because of some conflict and after it, she started living with her parents and took her younger son Syed Siddiq along with her.
  • This event affected him in a huge way, leaving him frustrated and thus he decided to convert back to the religion he originally belonged to that is Hinduism.
  • His elder son Syed Ateeq joined him in conversion and changed his name to Harshal.
  • Sheshadri talked about the reason for conversion from Islam to Hinduism. According to Banglore Mirror report, he said “I embraced Islam and married a Muslim woman due to restrictions from our community. I was always eager to come back to Hinduism. I will now persuade my wife and the other son to convert to Hinduism.”
  • There was a Ghar Waapsi (homecoming) programme held for Sheshadri, conducted by Pramod Mutalik, Sri Ram Sene chief at the Arya Samaj Mandir, Mysore.

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Court questions Karnataka’s Move to Celebrate Tipu Jayanti, says Mysore ruler was not a Freedom Fighter

Though Tipu was born in 1750 at Devanahalli on the outskirts of Bengaluru, his kingdom's capital was at Srirangapatna near Mysore

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Mysore Ruler Tipu Sultan, Flickr

Bengaluru, November 2, 2016: Observing that erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan was not a freedom fighter, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday questioned the state government’s move to celebrate his birthday on November 10.

“What is the logic behind the state government’s decision to celebrate Tipu’s birth anniversary (Jayanti) as he was only a king and not a freedom fighter,” asked Chief Justice S.K. Mukherjee hearing a PIL against the event.

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Known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, Tipu Sultan ruled the Mysore kingdom from 1782-1799 succeeding his father Hyder Ali.

Though Tipu was born in 1750 at Devanahalli on the outskirts of Bengaluru, his kingdom’s capital was at Srirangapatna near Mysore.

A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Mukherjee and Justice R. B. Budhihal sought response of the state government to the PIL, which claimed that Tipu was a monarch who fought against the British to protect his own kingdom.

[bctt tweet=”K.P. Manjunathja of Kodagu had filed the PIL opposing the state government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti.” username=””]

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Defending the celebration, public counsel M.R. Naik told the bench that Tipu was a great warrior who also fought against the British rulers.

Challenging the state government’s move, petitioner’s counsel Sajan Poovaiah said Tipu was a tyrant ruler who killed hundreds of people belonging to other communities, including Kodavas, Konkanis and Christians during his 17-year rule.

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At this, Justic Mukherjee noted: “Even the Nizams and other monarchs of then princely states across the country fought against the British during the 18th century and the 19th century to safeguard their own interests.”

The ruling Congress began celebrating Tipu’s birth anniversary since last year, which led to violent protests by the right-wing organisations in the Mysore region.

Opposition BJP and pro-Hindu organisations like RSS have threatened to stage protests against the event, as Tipu was a “religious bigot and violent sultan”.

Manipal Global Education Chairman and former Infosys Director T. V. Mohandas Pai also slammed the state government’s plan to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, saying it amounted to celebrating the birth anniversary of Aurangzeb, the 17th century Mughal Emperor, perceived as a tyrant and a religious fundamentalist.

“The state government, instead, should celebrate the birth anniversaries of benevolent rulers like the Wodeyars of Mysore and their Diwan (Prime Minister) Mirza Ismail,” said Pai here on Tuesday.

Accusing the government of playing politics over Tipu Jayanti, Pai said celebration of such a ruler would dived the people as Tipu had killed people of different communities and forcibly converted people to Islam.

“I am a Konkani and feel offended that the state government is celebrating somebody (Tipu) who did wrong to both communities,” he said.

Pai also said that Tipu butchered Coorgis and Christians in Kodagu and Kerala and destroyed Konkani temples near Sultan Bathery and Kasargod (in north Kerala). (IANS)

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In USA, Texas University looks into the Indian-American Author Raja Rao’s Works to advance their Research on Arts and Humanities

Raja Rao was honored with India's highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007

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Books by Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Pete Smith
  • Raja Rao, an acclaimed Indian-American author had also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award 
  • University of Texas has acquired his works for further research on humanities
  • Rao completed his education in Aligarh Muslim University and later moved to France for specialized studies

Globally acclaimed Indian-American author and philosopher Raja Rao had built quite an exquisite collection of his works over the years in the form of novels, poems, short stories, essays and talks, often departing from the generic western novel theme and mixing a dab of indigenous ways  of assimilating his material. Today, 10 years after he passed away, University of Texas has acquired his works to advance their research on arts and humanities, said a NDTV report.

Raja Rao
A Portrait of Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao (1908-2006) is well known for his “The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi” (1998), which is about Gandhi’s life in Africa. His other notable works include ‘Kanthapura’ (1938), ‘The Serpent and the Rope'(1960) and ‘The Chessmaster and his Moves’ (1988). Apart from these, his works include a few written in Sanskrit, French and native Kannada.

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Raja Rao's typed manuscript of "The Serpent and the Rope." Image courtesy: Pete Smith
Raja Rao’s typed manuscript of “The Serpent and the Rope.” Image courtesy: Pete Smith

Raja Rao was honored with India’s highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007. His genius helped him win the prestigious Indian National Academy of Letters’ Sahitya Akademi Award for Literature in 1964 for the philosophical novel ‘The Serpent and the Rope,’ a novel revolving around the breakdown of his marriage.

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, museum and humanities research center in the University of Texas in Austin, that specializes in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts across Europe and the USA. While praising Rao, the Ransom Center said to NDTV, “It’s a notable acquisition in part because Rao is widely considered to have been one of India’s most noted authors, having received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and other honours”.

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Raja Rao
Harry Ransom Center. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao completed his primary education in the Muslim schools of Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Madras, after which he moved to France to study at University of Montpellier. Rao is known to have researched about Indian influence on Irish literature in his years of study.

Born on 8 November, 1908 in Mysore, Rao breathed his last in 2006 in Austin, Texas.

-written by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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