THE SWORD OF TIPU SULTAN
Making darkness by closing one's eyes
Former Editor of
Historical novels are usually an admixture of historical facts and imagination. As suchthey are not expected to truthfully portray all the historical events. However, authors of historical novels have the moral responsibility to present historical facts without blatantdistortions.Mr. Bhagwan Gidwani, the author of the controversial novel,
The Sword of Tipu Sultan
,does not seem to be bound by any such ethical obligations; he does not have any qualmseven to deliberately falsify historical facts. Therefore, a tele-serial based on such a novelalso cannot be otherwise.Mounting opposition to this controversial serial also stems from this basic reason.PSUEDO-RESEARCHMr. Gidwani claims that his novel is the result of thirteen years of historical research. Heasserts that he has studied and scrutinized all the historical documents available fromvarious sources in India and abroad. Then, why did not this researcher make any effort tovisit Kerala, particularly Malabar region, the main area of Tipu Sultan's cruel militaryoperations for a decade, or to scrutinize the historical evidence available from Malabarregarding the atrocities committed by Tipu Sultan, or to study the ruins of templesdestroyed in Malabar during that period?AUTHOR'S CREDIBILITYWhen a serious author is collecting historical data for writing a historical novel on TipuSultan, does he not have ail obligation or responsibility to at least visit the Malabarregion, the main area of the operations of Tipu Sultan, and try to understand thesignificance of his activities there? The mere fact that Mr. Gidwani did not bother to doso, is itself sufficient reason for suspecting the credibility and credentials of the author.