Garden’s Name on Tipu Sultan


    In News

    Recently, the name of Tipu Sultan has been at the centre of controversy on naming a garden after him in Govandi, a suburb in Eastern Mumbai.

    About the Issue

    • Background
      • In January 2021, a Samajwadi Party corporator from Govandi suggested the Market and Garden Committee to name a newly developed garden after Tipu Sultan.
      • The demand was accepted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration in June and sent to the Market and Garden Committee for approval in mid-July.
      • However, the move drew criticism from right wing organisation Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and later the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
        • They claimed that Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu leader and naming a garden after him would hurt religious sentiments of the community.
        • BJP has warned that if the proposal is not scrapped, then they will start agitation against the BMC administration and the Shiv Sena which controls the BMC.
    • Shiv Sena has hit back at the BJP claiming that it is communalising the issue and there are other places in the city named after Tipu Sultan.
      • There are at least two facilities (a ground and a road) in the western suburbs of Mumbai named after Tipu Sultan.
    • Since 2015, after the emeregence of new political parties, contemporary historical figures like Tipu Sultan are being used by Muslim youth as a symbol of political assertion.
      • A large number of pictures of Tipu Sultan have started coming up in areas across Maharashtra, particularly Marathwada, and locals claim that these posters are a way of the Muslim youth to show the contribution and history of Muslims in India.

    About Tipu Sultan

    (Image Courtesy: DH)

    • Birth: At Devanahalli, Karnataka in 1750.
      • A memorial with a small plaque stands 150 m south-west outside of the Devanahalli fort and the area around the enclosure is known as Khas Bagh
      • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has declared both the fort and the birthplace of Tipu as protected monuments (National Heritage).
    • Tipu was an able general and administrator and though a Muslim, he retained the loyalty of his Hindu subjects.
    • He was the ruler of Mysore, which had grown in strength under the leadership of powerful rulers like his father Haidar Ali, who ruled from 1761 to 1782 and himself, who ruled from 1782 to 1799.
      • Hyder Ali was already a Commander-in-Chief when he made himself ruler of the state of Mysore in 1761.
      • Tipu succeeded his father in December 1782 and in 1784 concluded peace with the British and assumed the title of Sultan of Mysore.
      • Mysore controlled the profitable trade of the Malabar coast where the Company purchased pepper and cardamom.
    • Major Contributions
      • Economic
        • He established banking networks and cooperatives, where capital was raised from the public (similar to banks inviting deposits), the principal held on an annual basis and returned with interest (or `nafa‘).
        • He established trading houses for Mysore products worldwide, including places like Puducherry , Kutch, Karachi, Oman, Baghdad and Constantinople.
        • He preferred to do cashless, barter transactions for two reasons, one was to create a market for Mysorean goods and workmen abroad and the other, more important reason, was to curtail the drain of wealth out of India, which the Europeans, especially the British, were notorious for.
        • He realised that trading in currency would sap Mysore’s purchasing power at some point.
        • In 1785, he stopped the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through the ports of his kingdom and disallowed local merchants from trading with the Company.
        • He eliminated middlemen in the collection of land revenue.
      • Political
        • Long before the Nehruvian fillip to public sector undertakings (PSU), he ruled that certain key industries would be monopolised by the State. This included sugar, salt, iron, tobacco, sandalwood and mining of silver, gold and precious stones.
        • His association with the French to counter the British led him to be fascinated by the Jacobin Club (popular political group of the French Revolution that identified with egalitarianism and violence).
        • He wanted to create a Republic in Srirangapatna on similar lines.
      • Art, Culture and Literature
        • His library was apparently filled with translations of world literature and he used to make handwritten observations of foreign countries.
        • He encouraged the Persians to come down to India to teach the artisans the art of making wooden toys (now famous as Channapatna toys).
        • He also got experts from across the world to further the silk cottage industry that Mysore became famous for.
      • Technological
        • Ships arriving at his port in Mangalore would bring various gadgets like telescopes and barometers.
        • He was perhaps the first ruler to understand that there was a marked difference between Europe of the 1700s and 1790s, thanks to scientific innovations.
        • He realised the power of technology , combined with discipline, and set up four innovation hubs (like modern-day tech parks) in Bengaluru, Chitradurga, Srirangapatna and Bidanur and called them Taramandalpets.
      • Strategic
        • He also established a close relationship with the French in India, and modernised his army with their help.
        • His hubs took advantage of India’s long tradition of producing and handling ferrous metals like iron and steel to create the predecessor of the modern rocket that was more effective than the “firecracker-like missiles” used by the Chinese.
        • He created iron tubes filled with gunpowder, hoisted them on flags or bamboo poles and mounted them on ramps for better accuracy and range.
      • Infrastructure and Development
        • He laid the foundations for the construction of the Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mandya.
        • Tipu’s industrial belt spread across the Mysore State, from Bengaluru to Srirangapatna, so that locals everywhere found employment, and if the British attacked one centre, he still had control over the others.
    • Death: He died on 4th May 1799, defending his capital Seringapatam in the fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
      • Mysore was placed under the former ruling dynasty of the Wodeyars and a subsidiary alliance was imposed on the state.

    Mysore Wars

    • These were four military confrontations in India between the British and the rulers of Mysore.
      • The British saw Haidar and Tipu as ambitious, arrogant and dangerous rulers who had to be controlled and crushed so they fought four wars with Mysore in 1767-69, 1780-84, 1790-92 and 1799.
      • Only in the last, the Battle of Seringapatam, did the Company ultimately win a victory.
    • First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69)
      • In 1766, the East India Company (EIC) joined the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad against Hyder Ali in return for the cession of the Northern Sarkars.
      • However, the Nizam abandoned the war in 1768, leaving the British to face Hyder Ali alone.
      • In 1769, Hyder Ali appeared before the company’s government in Madras (now Chennai) and dictated peace on the basis of the status quo.
    • Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)
      • Hyder Ali joined forces with the Marathas in 1780 and again devastated Karnataka.
      • The tide was turned by the dispatch of British help from Calcutta (now Kolkata) and by the death of Hyder Ali in December 1782
      • French help came too late to affect the issue. Peace was made with Hyder Ali’s son Tippu Sultan by the Treaty of Mangalore (1784).
      • In this war, Tipu defeated Col. John Brathwaite on the banks of the Kollidam (Coleroon) River, with the help of his rockets. This was the first defeat of British in India
        • Tipu’s rockets are all preserved in England.
    • Third Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92)
      • In 1789, he provoked British invasion by attacking their ally, the raja of Travancore.
      • Consequently, in 1790, Governor-General Lord Cornwallis dropped his name from the list of the company’s “friends”, leading to this war.
      • Tipu held the British at bay for more than two years, but by the Treaty of Seringapatam (March 1792) he had to cede half his dominions.
    • Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)
      • After the third war, Tipu remained restless and allowed his negotiations with France to become known to the British.
      • On that pretext the governor-general, Lord Mornington (later the marquess of Wellesley), launched the War.
      • Seringapatam, Tipu’s capital, was stormed by British-led forces in May 1799, and he died leading his troops in the breach.

    Source: IE