17 May 2008

Tiger of Mysore

With our TucTuc driver in the front of the palace of the man who fought the British four times, and beat them the first two of those. Sultan Fateh Ali Tipu, also known as the Tiger of Mysore (November 20, 1750, DevanahalliMay 4, 1799, Srirangapattana), was the first son of Haidar Ali by his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-nissa. He was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore from the time of his father's death in 1782 until his own demise in 1799.

He had a vision and a mission in life. The vision was to make his people enlightened and prosperous, and the mission was to liberate his land from the yoke of the colonials. His short but stormy rule is significant because of his view that the only life worth living was that which would unfold the drama of human freedom, not only political freedom, but also social freedom, economic freedom, cultural freedom, and freedom from want, hunger, apathy, ignorance and superstition. His definition of the State itself was organized energy for freedom.

Tipu Sultan was a learned man and an able soldier. He was reputed to be a good poet. He was a devout Muslim. The majority of his subjects were Hindus and they were his staunch loyalists for he was a benevolent ruler. At the request of the French, he built a church, the first in Mysore.

In alliance with the French in their struggle with the British both Tipu Sultan and Haidar Ali did not hesitate to use their French trained army against the Maharattas, Sira, Malabar, Coorg and Bednur. He was proficient in the languages he spoke. He helped his father Haidar Ali defeat the British in the Second Mysore War, and negotiated the Treaty of Mangalore with them.

However, he was defeated in the Third Anglo-Mysore War and in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War by the combined forces of the English East India Company, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Mahratta Confederacy, and to a lesser extent, Travancore. Tipu Sultan died defending his capital Srirangapattana, on May 4, 1799.

Source: Wikipedia

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