THE LION WHOSE ROAR MADE THE BRITISH SOLDIERS TREMBLE LIKE DRY LEAVES

TIPU SULTAN

The Life & Biography of the one of the Greatest Warrior Of India. Compiled by: Rashid Shekhani Shekhani Publishers : Dubai
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he rushed forth towards the danger spot. to a great extent. Tipu Sultan. was surrounded on all sides by the formidable invading forces. He received excellent coaching in the art of war from Ghazi Khan. and entered the fort without much resistance. Mir Sadiq. the alien forces stormed the opening in the front wall guarded by zealous soldiers. the history of the subcontinent would have been different from what it has been during the last 150 years. He was named Tipu after the name of Tipu Mastan. the capital of Mysore. He was the eldest son of Haider Ali. who employed competent teachers for the purpose. But the reply which the lion-hearted Tipu gave will go down as the most chivalrous recorded in history. This triple alliance strengthened by the subversive activities of the state traitors had compelled the "Lion of Mysore". was born on November 21. whose tomb Haider Ali and his wife had visited a few months before Tipu's birth and prayed for the birth of a son. But. to make a strategic retreat and fall back to defend his capital. He soon became well versed in different branches of learning and could speak Urdu. the ruler of Mysore. Young Tipu was given the best possible education by his father. the prince used to attend military parades and reviews along with his father. comprising the British. Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Padshah.Saringapattam. one of the most talented. The alien generals had conspired with some of the highest dignitaries of the state to storm the capital on an appointed day when. for the treachery of his own men. one of the principal traitors. Persian and Arabic very fluently. The Sultan was taking his lunch. He said: `One days's life of a lion is preferable to hundred years' existence of a jackal'. Tipu Sultan put up a gallant fight against much superior forces. the Marhattas and the Nizam. With these words he fought heroically to the last drop of his blood and became a martyr to the cause of national freedom. Just at that moment. as he was called. Even in his young age. many of whom had been summoned to receive their pay. established its supremacy over the major pat of the subcontinent and had successfully conspired with the Marhattas and the Nizam to overcome the only formidable hurdle in the south-.the Muslim state of Mysore. He gallantly fought a hand to hand fight. as pre-planned. a saint of Arcot. a small town near Bangalore. populary known as Tipu Sultan. In the heat of the battle. Leaving his meals aside and with sword in hand. 2 . was destined to struggle against heavy odds at a time when the British power had. started distributing salaries to the state soldiers. an experienced warrior. he was advised to accept the British offer of subsidiary alliance. valiant and enlightened monarchs that India has produced. 1750 at Devanhali. when he was informed of the treachery of his trusted officers and the entry of the alien forces.

Sir Thomas Munroe described the disaster of Colonel Baillie's army as `the severest blow that the English ever sustained in India'. `Had Haider Ali followed up his success at that time to the gates of Madras'. Colonel Braithwaite. He joined his father. The swift movements of Tipu Sultan surprised the enemy in several sectors and led to his victories. be silent'. During Haider Ali's compaigns against the Mahrattas (1769-78). he hurried to capture Arcot and. later increased to 500. He was an affectionate father and an obdeient son of his mother. In fact. made no mean contribution to the victories of his father over the British and the Marhattas on several occasions. he dodged the British Generals who tried their best to intercept him. he remained a widower for the rest of his life. By his swift movements. he was the right hand man of his father in almost all the campaigns which he fought during his last days. This resulted in the conquest of the forts of Tirppatur and Vaniyambadi. Tipu Sultan exhibited dauntless courage and great military skill in wars waged by his father. After the death in 1797 of his last and favourite wife Khadija Zamani Begum. in great panic. Tipu played a heroic role in harassing. who was proud of him and conferred on him the command of 200 horses. 1782 at Tanjore which seriously foiled British designs in this area. In July 1780. Tipu. He 3 . He was a terror for the English army. 1767. thus. he was ordered to rush to the help of Lutf Ali Beg who was fighting against the British forces on the Malabar coast. Another notable achievement of prince Tipu Sultan was his victory over the British Commander. let slip from his hands the prospects of dominating southern India. on February 18. during the time when he was a prince. Tipu Sultan was engaged in the seige of Ponnani. English mothers used to silence their naughty children by terrorizing them: `Tipu has come. a lady of great culture and scholarship. when Haider Ali with his 80. But. along with 150 soldiers.Tipu Sultan married three wives one after another. writes Sir Eyre Coote. Colonel Baillie. The prince captured the Mangalore fort from the English who retreated towards Madras. Tipu Sultan was given his first military assignment. was taken prisoner. Tipu Sultan was deputed to intercept Colonel Baillie's forces that had made a bold bid to join the main British forces and inflicted on them a crushing defeat. and the history of southern India would have taken a different turn. and also gave him several districts as `Jagir'. when he received the news of his father's death. who exercised tremendous influence over him. `he would have been in possession of the most important fortress'. defeating and recapturing a ceded property from the enemy.000 men came down like an avalanche on the plains of Carnatic. Later. who was in a precarious position. On June 19. Even during his teens. instead.

which. he ascended the throne and succeeded to a large principality bordered by river Krishna in the north. he found formidable forces arrayed against him. He implored other Indian states. He even sought the help of foreign powers like Turkey and France for driving out the British from India. Haider Ali. The British forces had suffered some of their worst military disasters in India at his hands. by the Arabian Sea in the west. Despite the heavy drain on the national exchequer due to his incessant warfare. Tipu Sultan was made of a different metal. Tipu Sultan was a great warrior and an outstanding general. later. had established its supremacy over the major part of India and was now threatening his own state of Mysore. Practically. Being a true Muslim. The Marhattas tied up with the British by subsidiary alliance. were jealous of their machinations. with its political intrigues. The Nizam. he was not only just but generous towards the minorities. He was a real "Mujahid" and a true patriot. the Mahrattas and the Nizam to sink their differences and unitedly face the common danger against their country. as he rightly considered them the greatest Imperialist Power in the world which. Tipu's life mission was to save his country from the machinations and political domination of a foreign power. He was the hero of hundreds of battles in which he had inflicted crushing defeats on his enemies. On his accession. the whole life of Tipu Sultan was spent in warfare.hurried to Chittoor. who fought against the enemies of his state and his country. by the Eastern Ghats in the east and by the state of Travancore in the south. was won over by the clever Lord 4 . This places him at par with the most enlightened and progressive monarchs of the world. There. proved to be the greatest threat to the unity and glory of Islam in the world. on the other hand. at the age of 32. His whole life and his entire efforts were directed towards the fulfilment of this mission of saving his motherland from being dominated by a foreign power. is simply amazing. the place where his father. 1782. He had seen with his own eyes how this foreign power had step by step established its power over different states of India by entangling them into a Subsidiary System. who could foresee the danger ahead and like a true patriot he waged war against the evil forces which had conspired against the freedom of his country and even sacrificed his life at last. He successfully adopted the military strategy of swift movement and sudden surprise blitzkrieg against his enemies who would either surrender or retreat in panic. his people passed a happy and prosperous life. Despite his troubled life. His subjects both Muslims and non-Muslims were happy and contented. had died and reached there on December 26. the extent of reforms introduced by him in different departments of his government and the social life of his people. He was a farsighted ruler.

The Sutlan was much distressed by the atrocities committed by the British soldiers on helpless citizens. 1783 and in the very first engagement. he heard of the sack of this port by the British forces on March 9. `the most beneficial I could ask for the garrison.000 pagodas. had shut their eyes to the impending danger of foreign domination and the British used them 5 . The treachery of the Mysore Governor Ayaz led to the surrender of Badnur on January 28. Before he could reach Mangalore. in reality. The Sultan arrived at Mangalore on May 20. says Campbell. But the two other important powers of southern India. 1783. He hurried to Badnur and after making a dangerous thrust in the enemy ranks defeated General Matthews who retreated into the fort. `under articles'. Their commander Campbell disheartened by the hardships which he had endured for several months. He delivered the fort to Tipu Sultan. Among the Indian chiefs. According to Mill `orders were given to shed blood of everyman who was taken under arms: and some of the officers were reprimanded for not seeing those orders rigidly executed'. The British forces shut up into the fort were besieged by the Sultan's army. the Mahrattas and the Nizam. the British army was defeated with heavy losses. children and old men were not spared. But on search. the Nizam and the British formed against the rising power of Mysore. the British soldiers were found in possession of about 40. brought to an end the Anglo-Mahratta hostilities. Soon after his accession. capitualated on January 29. which the two shortsighted Indian partners could not foresee. aimed at achieving British supremacy in India. namely. The remaining British forces shut themselves in the fort which was besieged by Tipu Sultan himself. Earlier. and which the Nawab has most honourably and strictly adhered to. Tipu's territories on the Malabar coast were threatened by British forces under the command of General Matthews.Cornwallis on the promise of being granted the conquered territory of Tipu Sultan. At last. who was sent by Tipu Sultan for the defence of Badnur reached there too late.' His primary aim was the expulsion of the British from India and for this purpose he sought assistance wherever he could. Thus the triple alliance of the Mahrattas. the British General was forced to capitulate on terms dictated by the Sultan. 1783 in which even women. which being a clear violation of surrender terms the British General and his men were placed under arrest. 1784. was. the British Governor-General Warren Hastings had concluded treaties with the Mahratta chief and the Treaty of Salbai in May 1782. Tipu Sultan alone had the vision to foresee the danger of foreign domination and he staked his all to expel it from India. Then his entire diplomacy was directed against the rising Muslim power of Mysore which led to the second Anglo-Mysore war. Luft Ali Beg.

He advanced towards Coimbatore and occupied it on July 21st. The swift movements of Tipu Sultan was a problem for the enemy forces. according to the text of the letter by Cornwallis to the Governor of Mardras. This was soon forthcoming. The assault was put off for the next year. Having achieved all this. The British were not happy with the treaty of Mangalore concluded with Tipu Sultan. The British Governor-General was not content with the triple alliance. they were planning against him. He promised them the distribution of the conquered territories of Tipu Sultan. Ever since then. retired to Bangalore. did not lose his heart. The allied forces made a final assault on Saringapattam.as tools to achieve their objects. the 6 . Having achieved this triple alliance. The British decided to intervene as. who had become the Governor-General of British India. Lord Wellesely. therefore. He had fought against overwhelming odds. This was followed by rapid blows inflicted on the British forces by him in different sectors. He again rose to be a formidable power which could meet the challenge from any quarter. the Nizam and the highest dignitaries of Mysore state to wipe out Tipu Sultan. though hard hit by this treaty. He reorganized his finances and army. The war was renewed next year and a treaty was signed in which Tipu Sultan lost much of his territory. The Sultan was preparing for a final attack on the main British forces when the treachery of Krishna Rao foiled his designs. But the gallant Sultan. But he was not a man who could be unnerved or disheartened by misfortunes. reached Madras in January 1799. The first encounter of Tipu Sultan was victorious. His continuous warfare had been a heavy drain on his finances. 1790. he started the Third Mysore War through an assault made by General Meadows on May 26. He also bribed and conspired with the state dignitaries to work against their own ruler. His treachery led to the fall of Bangalore into the hands of Lord Cornwallis who was commanding the British forces. After organizing the East India Company's army and finances on a sound basis he started negotiations for an alliance with the Mahrattas and the Nizam directed against Tipu Sultan. Here he conspired with the Mahrattas. Tipu Sultan wanted to punish the Raja of Travancore for his misdeeds. the capital of Mysore. improved his agriculture and industry to a great extent and regained his past glory. Loard Cornwallis. He even tried to win the support of the tributaries and refractory subjects of Tipu Sultan. Lord Cornwallis sought some excuse of waging war agianst Mysore. but they were badly beaten by Tipu Sultan and. started preparations against Mysore which was the greatest stumbling block in the realization of his dream of dominating India. they had every prospect of aid from the country powers. The Sultan was shocked at the fall of Bangalore. The British Governor-General. whilst he (Tipu Sultan) could expect no assistance from France.

Mir Sadiq started distributing salaries to the army. fought valiantly. endowed with great vision and calibre. He was a farsighted ruler who foresaw the danger which loomed on the Indian horizon and staked his all to remove it. 1799. considers his territories to be `the best and its population the most flourishing in India' and Tipu Sultan a ruler who `sustains an advantageous comparison with the greatest princes of the east. On February 3rd. Thus perished on May 4th. Lord Wellesley made an unprovoked attack on Mysore. the British troops in conjunction with the treacherous elements in the fort. crossed the Kaveri. displaying brilliant strategy. High dignitaries of the Mysore Government. chivalry and magnanimity. Tipu Sultan. Prime Minister Mir Sadiq.only serious obstacle in his way of domination over India. On that day. he hurried to the spot and gallantly fighting a hand to hand battle fell a martyr to the cause of national freedom. A siege was laid to the capital of Mysore. and Mir Ghulam Ali. The Sultan was taking his meals and when informed of this disaster. The Mahrattas and the Nizam too moved their forces into Mysore territory. The final assault on the city was fixed for May 4th.' He kept a watch over his people and received reports to make annual tours of their districts for this purpose. according to the plan. But the treachery of his own generals foiled his efforts and the allied forces appeared before Seringapattam on April 17. Tipu Sultan was an embodiment of nobility. and entered the fort. He sacrificed his life for the realization of his ideal of freeing his country from foreign domination and thus set an example for future generations. Arthur Wellesley was in command of an army from Hyderabad. and a true Muslim who practised what he preached. stormed the opening guarded by Syed Abdul Ghaffar together with his few gallant soldiers. 7 . Syed Abdul Ghaffar was killed in action. one of the most chivalrous and enlightened monarchs that India has produced. he introduced great reforms in almost all departments of the state administration which brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to his people. Mill. Tipu Sultan. including Dewan Purnia. The soldiers left their posts and hurried to receive their pays. In utter disregard of the treaty concluded after the third Mysore War. 1799. Tipu Sultan was an outstanding administrator and a great reformer. 1799 General Harris marched from Vellore and General Stuart from Cannanore. He highly developed agriculture and industry in his dominion and initiated progressive agricultural reforms beneficial to the peasantry. Despite his troubled life. were in secret league with the British. The `patels' could not subject the poor cultivators to forced labour. He preferred an honourable death to a life of humiliation and subjugation to a foreign power. His life was a constant struggle for a noble cause against heavy odds. At that moment. who was surprised by this unexpected as well as unprovoked attack. the celebrated English historian. He was a true patriot.

He was a well-wisher of his people and considered them as a `unique trust held for God. were far in advance of those of his predecessors and contemporaries. The enlightened and good administration of Tipu Sultan made Mysore the most prosperous state of the east and him as unquestionably the most powerful of all native princes of India. paper. During his short troubled reign. He wrote "Fath ul Mujahidin". He established several factories and built an Armada to protect his marine commerce from pirates. the real Master'. He was rightly considered as the greatest stumbling block in the way of foreign domination over the subcontinent. Arabic and Urdu. He set up trading agencies in several coastal towns and established large factories for manufacturing watches. he stated: `People who have sinned against such a holy place are sure to suffer the consequences of their misdeeds'. His reforms. the collection of his Friday Sermons. This led to the development of international trade with several countries. cutlery and paper.The Sultan took effective steps towards the promotion of trade and industry in his country. he immensely promoted learning. well versed in Persian. He adopted modern weapons of war and divided his dominion into 22 military districts. glassware. specially of the east. sugar. The Imperial Library of Saringapattam was the finest of its kind in the east. silk and cotton cloth. both in civil and military spheres. He held the Swami of Sringri Temple in high esteem and protected him when the temple was raided by the Mahrattas. 8 . he popularized education. He set up his military machine on a sound footing and divided the army administration into eleven different departments. an army manual and "Muwaa`iz ul Mujahidin". He was also a writer of repute. The real greatness of Tipu Sultan. ammunition. In a leter to the Swami. He was generous towards his nonMuslim subjects and bequeathed to them rich grants for the maintenance of their sacred places. This has earned for him an immortal place among the great men of the world. Being himself a very learned man. therefore. His state was surplus in foodgrains. Buchanan who visited his state acknowledges that `Tipu was born with a commercial mind'. Cottage industries also thrived. lies in his struggle against heavy odds and in ultimately laying down his life for a noble cause.

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